These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things

The AQUA Design Award is a readers' choice award. You, the readers, vote to choose the winners from among scores of entries. And while we ask that you make your choices based on professional standards of workmanship and design context, much is left to pure personal preference.

And that's a pretty good reality check, because your customers will ultimately rely on personal preference to decide whether they are happy with their pools. Of course as builders, you hope that your clients have a preference for good design, just as we hope that our readers choose the well-designed over the ordinary. That's part of the fun of an award program like AQUA's; we get a strong sense of our readers' personalities, likes and dislikes. And it also underscores the fact that good design comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and prices.

This year we wondered, "Why should our readers have all the fun." and we decided to make some picks of our own. Each member of the editorial staff chose an overall winner from all the entries in all the categories, and then shared their thoughts on why they made the choices they did. Not surprisingly, the picks strongly reflected the personalities, lifestyles and aesthetics of each editor. The parents among us thought of their kids first, in terms of both safety and fun. Entertaining and parties were top considerations for the youthful, while the older one (OK, that's me) was more concerned with peace and quiet. We're so predictable, aren't we.

While the Awards issue is a dream book for us, it's a working document for you. This is a good time of the year to clear away the clutter and spend some time with the projects in this issue. Let your mind wander. Be inspired. From these pages, choose at least one design element that you don't currently offer your customers โ€” whether it's a beach entry, an overflow edge, a unique decking treatment or a special hot tub surround โ€” and add it to your repertoire. And, while you're thinking of it, plan to enter one of your own best projects in the next Awards contest.

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