Archive for December, 2010

Antiques in Landscape Design Add Old World Charm

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Landscape Design can be elevated with the proper use of antiques, Cipriano Landscape Design shares techniques utilized in a New Jersey landscape design project

Over a decade ago, the old Hotel Dorset on 54th Street in New York City was sold to the Museum of Modern Art, who intended to use the building as an addition. The MOMA demolished the exterior of the building in order to transform it into art galleries and offices. In 2000, when the walls came down and demolition began, an antique medallion was salvaged from the original structure built in 1927 by architect Emery Ross. (Emery Ross and his sons played significant roles in the construction of many major NY buildings, including the World Trade Center.) For ten years, the salvaged antique medallion had a life of its own, until 2010, when it found its new home above an Old World swimming pool in New Jersey. Above the swimming pool, the antique was transformed into a working water feature with an additional custom sculpture set in the center of the piece.

A growing trend in swimming pool and landscape design is to incorporate antiques into projects. The story of this antique medallion represents the unbelievable journey of antiques as they travel for many years from their original sites to modern day landscape and swimming pool design. Skilled swimming pool and landscape designers have a keen-eye for one-of-a-kind pieces that can accent back yards in beautiful ways.

The key to the successful incorporation of antiques into a landscape design is establishing a style or theme and applying the antique treasure in a unique, practical, and appropriate way. Let’s use the antique medallion as a way of exemplifying these skills. The treasured medallion fits nicely above the swimming pool as a result of the Old World theme and elegant style. The swimming pool itself is small and designed for quiet relaxation, rather than recreation. As a result, the pool is able to reach a very high level of delicate intricacy. Along the back of the pool, there is a large barrier wall in need of decoration and a centerpiece. With concrete sculptures of lion heads and satyrs, as well as detailed precast concrete coping made to look like aged stone, this pool hosts the antique medallion quite fittingly. An antique medallion matches the Old World design and ornate style. The storied medallion also contributes to the mystical qualities provided by the sculptures.

Next, the seamless integration of the antique requires that it be a practical addition to the overall swimming pool and landscape design. In this case, the antique was transformed into a fountain. Six other fountains line the barrier wall, so naturally the centerpiece should provide the largest stream of water. A small trough was designed for the center of the medallion. The fountain in the medallion represents the antique’s usefulness to the swimming pool. Many antiques seem randomly thrown into swimming pools and landscapes so that designers can say there’s an antique in their design. This antique is the highlight of the entire yard, and it actively demonstrates this by serving as the swimming pool’s largest water feature.

Finally, an antique has to fit seamlessly within the swimming pool and landscape design. While most antiques are unique, some shine as one-of-a-kind treasures. In the medallion’s case, a hand-crafted concrete sculpture of a seahorse was placed in the center, bending around the fountain spigot. The seahorse has the head of a real horse and the fin of a mermaid. The intricate sculpture at the center of the antique medallion provides character to the antique just as it benefits the look of the elegantly mystical pool as a whole.

In conclusion, an antique addition to a swimming pool or landscape must be appropriate to the design, practical towards the goals of the design, and unique in its contribution to the overall project. Expand your landscape and pool design ideas with useful antiques. You can successfully incorporate antiques such as terra cotta medallions, columns from India, fire bowls from Turkey, and extravagant neoclassical rotundas into a swimming pool or landscape design. All you have to do is decide on a style and theme. Use your imagination. Search for that one-of-a-kind treasure that will set your yard apart from anything anyone has ever seen before. If you head in the right direction, keeping in mind appropriateness, practicality, and uniqueness, you could stumble across the perfect accent to your custom swimming pool and landscape.

Pool Design- Incorporating a Grotto in Pool Designs

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Grottos, defined simply as caves, can be found all over the world. Some famous natural grottos date back to the Roman Empire. One of these notable grottos even served as Emperor Tiberius’ private swimming pool, lined with statues of Roman gods which have been discovered in recent years. In continuation of this long history, luxurious modern swimming pool design began to include a wide variety of grottos. A certain mansion, which will remain nameless, features probably the most well-known swimming pool design with a grotto, which has probably become synonymous with the very word. Many hotel pools are also designed with swimming pool grottos. Here are a couple of pool design ideas that are guaranteed to transform your swimming pool and landscape into a resort-like backyard attraction.

Grottos can be designed to be small and secluded or spacious and open. They can be dark and mysterious or well-lit and animated. Colored LED and fiber optic lights can be designed within the swimming pool grotto with exhilarating effects. A colorful body of water can produce a glow across the entire inside surface of the stone. Swim-in grottos can be filled with water and act as a cavernous extension of the pool. Other grottos can rest above the water level and serve as a peaceful place for swimmers to dry-off or maybe have a bite to eat. For a supremely natural feel, waterfalls may even cascade over the face of the grotto to create a peaceful, rugged retreat. Whatever the design, swimming pool grottos provide a resort-like feel to any outdoor living space. Custom-fit to meet your needs, a swimming pool grotto made with faux stone or natural stone will draw friends and family into the pool to find out what’s inside the captivating cave.

Are NJ Swimming Pool Architects the Same as Licensed New Jersey Landscape Architects?

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Today more than ever, people want landscape or swimming pool companies to be competent and qualified enough to give them everything they need so they can go about their daily lives without having to worry about the task-at-hand. When hiring a swimming pool or landscape company for a project, homeowners tend to hire companies that have the experience, licensing, and skill to accomplish a complete backyard transformation including luxury swimming pools, complete landscaping, and superior masonry work. This worry and hassle-free process is the ideal situation for the busy homeowner. But who is qualified to design and then build the entire project: a swimming pool architect or a landscape architect?

A popular trend in the swimming pool and landscape industry today is for companies to say they can do everything from design to construction. Swimming pool companies have even begun using the term “Swimming Pool Architect.” What is a swimming pool architect and how many companies really can do everything? This can be a difficult market for consumers who simply want to hire one company with a Landscape Architect who can build all the aspects of a project including a swimming pool, patios, landscape, and an outdoor kitchen. Homeowners shouldn’t have to worry about whether a company who advertises a Landscape Architect with an all-inclusive package really completes all their landscape architecture in-house. Unfortunately, since turn-key is such a rising trend, swimming pool companies are claiming to offer landscape architecture services, much like landscape companies that have claimed to build swimming pools.

Here are a couple of ways that homeowners can protect themselves from some of these issues. First, you should note that there is no such thing as a “swimming pool architect”; only a Licensed New Jersey Landscape Architect can offer landscape architecture services for your swimming pool and landscape project. Second, look for the name of a Licenced Landscape Architect and their New Jersey license number in a company’s literature or on their website. If you see someone advertising as a Landscape Architect or offering landscape architecture services and you don’t see a name and license number of the landscape architect, you should contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and report the infraction. Next, if you find a licensed New Jersey Landscape Architect, Google that name of the landscape architect and find out more about them. You should end up right back where you started: on the same swimming pool or landscape company’s website. However, you may find out that this landscape architect actually has his or her own company and is really just subcontracted for the landscape architecture work; this is quite deceptive and you may want to consider other options.

In closing, there are plenty of great companies in the market today who are honest and well versed in their craft. Review the experience of each of the landscape or swimming pool companies you are interviewing. If they really do take care of it all, an equal portfolio for each service will be included on their website. You could also request to see these projects in person. Lastly, double-check credentials on paper. Certificates of membership to professional organizations and certified licenses for every type of work that will be done are essential in reassuring yourself as a consumer. So, what is a swimming pool architect? They do not exist. Remember, only a licensed landscape architect can provide landscape architecture services for swimming pools and landscaping. Finally, do your due diligence and you’ll feel safe with that large swimming pool and landscaping investment.

Cipriano – New Jersey Custom Swimming Pools and Landscaping Company Wins 12 Awards at the 2010 New Jersey Landscape Contractor Association Awards Dinner

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

12/13/2010, The NJLCA Awards at the Brownstone in Passaic County, NJ, our swimming pools, landscapes, outdoor kitchens, hardscapes, water features and nightscapes, combined to win 12 awards across five different categories. We earned 6 awards for swimming pools and water features alone, sweeping the entire swimming pools category for Excellence, Distinction, and Merit. In addition, our Master stone mason were excited to hear that two awards were achieved for hardscape and patio projects. Another two awards were also earned for swimming pool and landscape night lighting. Lastly, we took home two awards for complete residential landscaping design and build.
I would like to congratulate our experienced design team and talented staff on another job well done this year. This showing last night at the NJLCA Awards is only the tip of the iceberg. Our hard work and pursuit of greatness has truly paid off over the past few of years, earning our team 49 awards since 2006. From Licensed Landscape Architect Bill Moore, to hydraulics and horticulture expert Keith Steinhoff, to head Master Stone Mason Marlo Bernal, our talented staff continues to outdo themselves and amaze everyone else along the way in award-winning style. Congratulations, guys, and thank you!