The Wet Living Room

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Since a lot of homeowners tend to lounge next to their pool — without actually getting in — it's no surprise that many of Jeb Stewart's clients want what he calls the "Wet Living Room." It's a shallow area set in a corner of a pool where people can cool their feet and relax in cozy chairs, says Stewart, owner of Cool Pools, Melbourne, Fla. "It's the craze for us right now."

For this project in Malabar, Fla., the Wet Living Room is 9 inches deep and serves as either a fountain or a place to relax on casual furniture.

To help the pool area blend with the home's interior palette, Cool Pools installed a sand-colored stamped-concrete deck, and the man-made stone wall accented by sheeting waterfalls is the same stone used in the home's fireplace and entrance columns. Integrating this stone was no small matter, either. Stewart says he searched extensively for a sealer that would protect it from the pool water.

For a recent Parade of Homes tour, Stewart transformed the 560-square-foot pool's attached 10-foot octagonal spa into a koi pond complete with fish and vegetation.

"People were amazed to see the fish swimming in the spa with the three acrylic spillovers," he says. "Many said it reminded them of SeaWorld."

The transformed spa was such a hit that Stewart says he is now in the koi pond business as well.

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