If you have a space-challenged backyard, it’s easy to adopt a “What’s the point?” attitude when it comes to adding pool. A small yard must mean you’d be stuck with a tiny pool and virtually no extras, such as a spa or outdoor kitchen, right? Not so!

This project in Chatham, which was designed by Mitchell Landscaping, and constructed by Shoreline Pools last year, beautifully illustrates that you don’t need to “be big” to “go big.”

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With such a petite backyard, we knew it would be challenging to create the homeowner’s vision. While it would be understandable to assume any pool design would have to be conservative, without many bells and whistles, the landscape designers conceived a think-outside-the-square concept. By incorporating a series of circles and graceful curves, and with careful placement of other features, such as a natural stone waterfall, the space-challenged backyard is now filled with visual interest, beauty and an overall sense of opulence.

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Using circles and curves that meander around the pool makes the area feel larger and less choppy. Two focal points are a circular spa off to one side of the pool and a circular custom fountain, complete with two dancing dolphins, across from it. There is also a circular fire pit behind the fountain. Unlike the remainder of the surround, the area around the fire pit is surrounded with flagstone, rather than travertine, which helps define the space. Not far from the spa is an outdoor shower.

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The natural stone waterfall, which curves soothingly towards the spa and fire pit, appears to almost gently embrace the area. Plantings and tall trees provide beauty and privacy from nearby neighbors, creating a feeling of isolation.

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Of course, a backyard pool area is a place for entertaining, so space must also be reserved for a cooking area. Immediately adjacent to the home is an outdoor kitchen, including a built-in grille, over which was placed a large flat-screen television. Nearby is a square dinner table able to comfortably accommodate four, along with numerous chaise lounge chairs.

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The final piece to the puzzle was the use of lighting in a multitude of colors throughout the area. At night, calming lights illuminate the pool and the waterfall, with a special focus on the dancing dolphins.

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This pool and surround area were created in a relatively small space, but nothing about it feels small. Instead, it feels cozy, comfortable, luxurious and, dare we say it, even grand.

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