Small Wonder

When is a pool house more than a pool house? When it’s a miniature French chateau


The Rozdolskys wanted a pool house that would be pleasing to look at from the main house (and that would hide the pool’s mechanical fixtures). A miniature French chateau fit in well with the main home’s stucco-and-stone exterior design. In the tiny but efficient kitchen, Wood-Mode cabinets provide storage for glassware and other necessities; an icemaker and a SubZero refrigerator are tucked under granite countertops. The entire bathroom is a wet zone, perfect for dripping kids fresh out of the pool. Stone tile covers every surface; a tempered glass panel separates the shower from the rest of the room.
 

Stop by the North Shore home of Terry and Lori Rozdolsky on a warm summer day and chances are you’ll stumble on a pool party. The Rozdolskys and their three children-ages 12, 9, and 7-take full advantage of the swimming pool and patio in their spacious backyard, often inviting friends over for swimming and impromptu barbecues."We pretty much live outside during the summer,” Lori says.

Until recently, though, there was a slight problem: As drippy kids dashed into and out of the house all day in search of snacks and the bathroom, they left puddles of water in their wake. The solution? Build a kitchen and bathroom outside. But a simple shed wouldn’t do. Because the pool house would be visible from the main house, the Rozdolskys insisted on an aesthetically pleasing design, a building that would look good even during those long, cold months when it wasn’t being used.

“It was a unique project, the kind of thing that doesn’t come around often,” says architect Jason DeBaker of Orren Pickell Designers & Builders."The goal was to take the materials we saw on the exterior of the house and make this building look like it was part of the original home’s design.” The result is a miniature French chateau, complete with a stucco and stone exterior and custom-designed arch-top mahogany doors modeled to resemble the doors on an old carriage house.

Inside, a compact kitchen functions as a serve-yourself snack bar, a place where family and friends can pick up a cold drink or something quick to eat. Its look is as traditional, and as dignified, as the little building’s exterior. Top-of-the-line amenities include a SubZero undercounter refrigerator and granite countertops. Window-paned cabinets that reach up to the ceiling provide ample storage; dark-stained wainscoting adds warmth to the space. The lower cabinets also hide a built-in icemaker.

The Old World influence continues in an adjacent bathroom, where stone tile covers the floors and walls and decorative moldings and tile work in the shower stall add elegance. Although aesthetics were important, the space is highly practical, too."The homeowners wanted the whole space to be a wet area, so there’s no shower curb,” says DeBaker. A tempered glass panel separates the shower area from the rest of the room.

Not just a glamorous changing room, the building has other important functions, too. DeBaker positioned it directly in front of the mechanical fixtures that keep the pool running-hiding them and blocking their noise, as well. Then the Rozdolskys installed a wood fence to keep the mechanics completely out of sight but still easily accessible through a gate. Doors along the side of the pool house contain shelves for storing toys and pool equipment.

The result is a building that blends into its surroundings, while gracefully performing specific tasks. Now that the Rozdolskys don’t have to worry about children wandering around inside their house, they can more easily relax with their guests by the pool."During the summer, at least a dozen kids will be here on any given day,” says Lori."Parents will come to pick up their children and not want to leave. So we end up ordering pizza and having cocktails.” Need a refill? The icemaker is only a few steps away.

For information on resources, see Buyer’s Guide.

 

Photography: Linda Oyama Bryan

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