Spa Treatment

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Tucked into a backyard in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, this 11-by-50-foot pool was just one part of a major home remodeling project, says Teresa Rosano, principal architect at Ibarra Rosano Design Architects of Tucson, Ariz. "Originally, there was a kidney bean shaped pool and there was paving all the way around it. There was nothing living at all in the entire backyard. It was all hardscaping, so it was extremely stark and uninviting."

What the homeowners wanted "was something very modern, elegant and simple, and something that resembled the kind of spas they had been to around the world," says Rosano.

To make this vision a reality, Rosano and her partner, Luis Ibarra, designed a space with geometric lines and serene, minimalist decor, like the yucca gloriosa in a bed of Mexican beach pebbles next to the rectangular pool, and the glass mosaic tile at the pool's perimeter and beyond. "We like to use glass tile primarily for its ethereal quality and the way light reflects and refracts off of it," says Rosano. "The Hakatai Light-Denim color beautifully complements both the water and the sky, giving a soothing but crisp feeling to the entire area.

"This space has been carefully edited to be both an elegant backdrop for a gathering and a calm oasis for individual meditation. The house is more than just a refuge for out-of-town friends and family. It is the owners' very own private spa in the desert."

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