Sunday, November 4, 2012

Although we did check the pool cam off and on during the day yesterday to check on the fill, we were relieved when our neighbor emailed to say he had been over, and yes, there was a proper shut off valve on the end of the hose. And, he even went over later in the day to make sure that valve actually worked. He did notice that although it had stopped filling, the hose was leaking at both ends so he shut the tap off. And he sent a dozen photos.

Real Estate photo
In the historic parts of St. Petersburg, many of the houses are built close to the street with a carriage house/garage with apartment with alley access in the back, and a courtyard/garden sandwiched in between. Having the garage at the back takes up a lot of yard space and we found it hard to find a house in our budget with a pool sized yard. Our agent didn't originally show us this house because it had not backyard for a pool, however the minute I saw this large courtyard with it's Southern exposure, I knew it could accommodate a nicely private pool and garden. We just needed to move the jungle to the other side of the fence. 

Our house was built in 1936 in the Monterey Style from California. It's a mix of Spanish and New England styles, made with cement block walls, a staircase tower, stucco, and a cantilevered upper porch over a shaded lower porch. It has a very deep setback, giving it a front yard on the near side of the iron fence (top picture), a central courtyard, where we put the pool, and a fairly large gated area behind the house that accommodates parking. I love the Spanish influence in this house and I am trying to enhance that part. There is a ton of old terracotta brick on the property and we used some of this to create a pathway from the courtyard to the sidewalk. This was done in a 45 degree herringbone pattern, and curves away from the gate, allowing shrubs to be placed strategically in the front to block all view from the street. It's a very quiet street with little pedestrian or vehicle traffic, but we do want complete privacy. We are going to plant a hibiscus hedge right along the fence that will grow to 6 feet.

Despite all the glitches along the way, I think it looks really nice, although not 100% how I wanted it (there was a mixup with the coping stones uses). I did make sure after the coping error to contact the pool builder to confirm that the interior finish/color was to be exactly what I picked. This is what I picked above. Bluestone with black to give me blue water. Since  a 2" sample is a bit useless, I asked them to send a photo of a filled pool with this finish. This is what they sent.

Pretty blue water to compliment the blue tiles. Exactly the colour I pictured. Confident that the remainder of selections were correct, I was a little surprised to see the pool water (see photo below) is actually nothing like the above photo. It's quite green. I'm not sure at all that this is the same interior finish above and below. 


  1. You're Florida home looks just beautiful Chania - can't wait to see interior photos ( once the drama of the pool is over and done with lol )

  2. I loved seeing more of the exterior of the house Chania, it's really beautiful. And no matter what the water color...I actually prefer your color to the blue, you will enjoy every minute of relaxing in your new pool and hot tub!


  3. oh wow, i love this chania. i would want to live there year round!

    and i wouldn't be a bit surprised if the pool color is indeed bluer. it could just be the way the sun was hitting it. i know at times at our old house the water color fluctuated depending on the time of day. either way i think it looks stunning!

  4. I'm tempted to say I'm "green with envy" .. the truth is I love everything you are doing and am thrilled for you, it's so much fun watching it happen. You are providing inspiration for many folks in blogland, including me.

  5. Hello Chania

    Your pool is coming along nicely. The sky colour and reflected light may change the colour of the water in the pool and you will get a great variety.
    Building Inspectors have a lot of power and can give contractors a very challenging time. It is assuring that you have a good neighbour who will report to you.

    Wishing you a week of joy

    Helen xx

  6. Whew! I bet you are happy you have reached this point! OK the pool looks a more greenish than blue but I think you will be able to handle that and create an ambiance that will please you in the end.

    Did you say you have a ton of terracotta bricks?! I'll be right down to give you a quote for them! lol Kidding Chania, I do have my 'source' for these which is a little closer than Florida.....I am using them for a 'walkway' as well.
    Have a great day.

  7. I agree . . . it doesn't look like the pool color in the first photo. Hopefully it is the sunlight angle of the photo . . . The blue row of tile and the water shows the difference best. How frustrating this must be for you! Love the design . . . curved walkway entrance and with the Hibiscus Hedge . . . it will be stunning . . .

  8. Oh, I love it! Bet you can`t wait to get there ... not much longer now!

    So happy for you.


  9. Blue sells me on anything ... lovely all of it is.

  10. It is definitely green and not close to that beautiful Caribbean blue you want.
    Could it be because the water is not clean and perhaps has algae or something? I would definitely be on the phone/email to the pool people. Can they not get anything right ??

  11. It looks beautiful, even if it isn't as blue. The idea of the curved walkway with the hedge is brilliant :)

  12. I wish things were going more smoothly with your project! Fingers crossed that it turns more blue with more SUN!

  13. Well you certainly have a wonderful neighbor! That can make all the difference. I agree that the colors don't look the same, but I suppose it could depend on sky color and time of day at the time picture was taken. I think it has turned out quite nicely and I love that curved walkway and can't wait to see the planned Hibiscus hedge blooming by spring. When do you next plan to visit your beautiful home? I know you will feel better after you have been there in person. Ann

  14. Looking at the top picture in your previous post, the interior lining of the pool looks to be white. The inside would need to be blue to have blue looking water. We have a pale blue interior (I hate those deep blue pools), and the water is a beautiful colour. I like the pale green too, it's probably just reflecting 'local colour'.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania