In the beginning of, almost anything you do in life, it’s never pleasant and sometimes scary. Even when you think you have all the winning ideas, life will always teach you a few more lessons. But, if you don’t start down the path, you will never know what you are made of.
Over nine years ago, I was asked by my swimming pool builder friend to meet with his client to look over their new swimming pool plans. Before I became a full-time designer, my wife and I owned a paver patio installation company. We specialized in installing custom design paver patios, which is why I was asked to review the paver patio portion of the job.
After meeting with everyone to review the swimming pool layout, the homeowner asked for my opinion. I could have kept my mouth shut and gained a massive paver swimming pool deck job. Instead, I gave them my honest opinion. The current layout was just a swimming pool plopped in a backyard with no rhyme or reason.
The client was so impressed with my opinion that they asked me to design the entire space for them. Of course, I said yes. I also gave them a crazy low price. At the time, I thought $600 was a lot of money for an outdoor living design. This project became my first paid design and the birth of VizX Design Studios.
The fear set in after they paid the design fee deposit. Up until that date, I had only designed a bunch of paver patios. Designing swimming pools and outdoor kitchens were never in my wheelhouse, or so I thought. I took architecture and engineering classes during high school and in the US Marines, but this was real, and people were paying.
After getting over the imposter syndrome, I did what I learned most REAL designers do. I started researching the home’s architecture from colors, spacing, style, and materials.
Matching the existing home was the key. The entire neighborhood was Georgian Colonial, and the client wanted a taste of contemporary. So I ensured the walls were the same brick as the home to create continuity with the house and outdoor living space.
The homeowner chose the ledge stone for the outdoor kitchen, the same stone for the water wall, and the negative edge.
The spa was a must-have element, so I placed it close to the back door and in view of the entire space overlooking the infinity edge of the swimming pool.
A few changes were made during construction to accommodate the budget, but the concept led to a fantastic outcome. This project turned out way better than I could have ever imagined; it also began a tremendous life-altering career. With several design awards and hundreds of outdoor living space projects across the country, I can reflect and reminisce about the first steps taken on this path. You never know where life is going to take you.
- 3D design with a full set of construction drawings.
- Create an area for family fun.
- Swimming pool with a large water feature for effect.
- Swimming Pool
- Fire Feature
- Outdoor Kitchen
- Matching the existing architecture of the home.
- Obtaining a building permit in a very strict township.
- Working with elevation changes in the yard.