We pooled. TWICE.

People always get a little torn about why they would or wouldn’t want a pool. There are good reasons on both sides. There’s always the kids and the grandkids enjoyment for an easy win. They love pools. Many adults do as well. However, we pooled twice, because we are BIG on aesthetically pleasing living environments.

Our pool is NOT just a place to swim, although our daughter definitely enjoys it more than we have room to share. But, there are 12 months in the year–we wanted a pool to help us enjoy every one of them. We wanted our pool to create an atmosphere for our patio and home, where it could be enjoyed from all vantage points. We wanted to incorporate fire and water elements to bring a big dose of ambiance. We have traveled all over the world and always enjoy the fire and water elements of hotels. Colorado and New York probably have our favorites. So, we needed an “out of the box” dreamer to work with us in Tulsa. We hadn’t seen a lot of what we liked anywhere here. Enter Travis Hogan and team with Fiesta Pools.

In the first pool, we used Fiesta to create an Italian-themed water space. Due to smaller yards in today’s neighborhoods, we chose a freeform pool to best fill the space with an outdoor oasis. Starting to the left, Fiesta created a hot tub with water flowing over into the pool, giving us a completely peaceful mood both in our outdoor space, as well as in our covered patio area. In fact, the view went throughout our kitchen/dining space in the house to bring the outdoors in. The sound of beautifully flowing water cascaded throughout our home. Every party guest or visitor to our home marveled at the calming effect. Fiesta worked with us to transform this dreamy little Italian heaven in Tulsa idea into reality.

Curving around from the large hot tub, the team built up a 20-foot firewall utilizing water scuppers Fiesta suggested to add even more water flow and a warmer contrasting characteristic for the pool. Scuppers create flowing water and a remarkable level of sound for just the right atmosphere. Curving even further to the right, Fiesta suggested a rainfall curtain that aligned with the opening on our patio to give visibility from the kitchen and dining areas out to the feature. The rain fell onto a lovely tanning ledge, as Fiesta had us add 3 of those areas to the pool. With an infant, they gave wonderful areas for her to sit and play in the pool with us; then, they doubled for a great place to put a lounger and soak up the sun from the cool of the water.

Fiesta was so creative along the way as they partnered with us. We wanted some form of table in the water. They suggested building out seating around the pool edge that provided a uniquely enjoyable area to eat and drink in the pool while soaking up the views and sounds. The table was equipped with a removable umbrella, just like the tanning ledges, which gave shade when needed from those fierce Oklahoma heat waves.

As if their design help wasn’t enough, Fiesta also led us to the best “We love it but don’t wanna mess with it” pool system we’ve ever seen. We’re also not the biggest fans of over-using chemicals in pools. Fiesta suggested an Ozone system with ultraviolet light to clean the pool, which barely required any chemicals be added at all. They paired it with jets on the bottom of the pool, which pushed any debris out through the filter. Having had a standard pool before—we could NOT believe how little we ever did to the thing to keep it looking perfect all the time. As busy career travelers, we didn’t spend a lot of time at home. So, we would come back to the pool and find it pristine, WITHOUT the expense of the weekly pool teams coming around. (No offense pool teams—because Fiesta has some great ones!). It was unbelievable.

Our First Pool

We told Fiesta they had created the ultimate lazy man’s pool. By the time they added the iPhone control system—it became even more than the backyard in our dreams. We could flip on the hot tub from dinner to have it heated just perfectly by the time we walked in the door. There are some little convenient luxuries that leave you feeling 100% spoiled. Fiesta helped us pick and choose what worked best with our dreams and our budget. Fiesta even had quick service to head over to tweak anything needed. Travis made sure our experience was so good that we headed back in for round two just a few years later!

Take Two:

Funny enough, we wanted to take a little break from Tulsa life before our daughter entered school. We think it was the clanging sounds of lost freedom for the older parents ringing. We weren’t sure, but we happened to have an adventurous little traveler side kick and thought let’s go.

So, we sold the new house with the new pool. Yeah. We know. Ugh. However, the pool recouped much of our expense when we sold the house because there was no house with a matching ambiance. Truth is, if you do it right—it’s a serious selling point.

Fast forward. We quickly found we were past the jet setting free-spirited lifestyle. The little one loved her exploratory time all over Florida, from Disney to the Keys, but we were ready to come home. (Don’t let my husband tell the story without me, as he makes me out to be the bad guy who enjoys buying and selling houses!).

Anyway, we started the ever-long pilgrimage for a new house. We knew we wanted to recreate the feel we had before—as much as possible in a new yard. In fact, we even wanted to upgrade our view from our living area to really bring the outside into our main living space. We settled on a fun fixer-upper house in South Tulsa with a pre-existing, outdated pool. Someone had actually re-plastered it but we soon realized that what appeared to be dirt on the floor were actually footprints walking out of the pool. And, that long line of dirt—that was from the hose. We CANNOT stress the importance of finding someone skilled like Fiesta to do the job correctly.

Our New Pool: BEFORE

Once we realized the mess, it was beyond our ability to not be frustrated every time we looked at it. The pool also had a long diving board that felt a little dangerous for our little one. So, we called Fiesta to see what we could do to create the same type of atmosphere at our new place. We did give a few others a chance to bid, as we felt that was the must-do step in the process. However, Fiesta came back both with the best design and a price that fit nicely in our budget!

Travis and his team came right over with their design ideas and went to work. They treated the old plaster to replace it with a new gray, bringing a nice teal color out in the water. While doing so, they created a tanning ledge. They also completely updated our walkway with a new color complementing the whole scene.

Our New Pool: After

And, of course, Fiesta put in an extended firewall, with scuppers, creating a beautiful waterfall effect. The wall is about 15 feet long and curved around the edge. With the new look of our patio and windows, the wall of fire and water can be seen from the living room sofa, as well as the covered three season room on the back of our house. We found an incredible black and cream designed tile which coordinated with our fireplace rock and our reclaimed wood surrounding our patio fireplace. Plus, as an added bonus, the tile matched our indoor design perfectly, creating another beautiful backyard retreat to be enjoyed year ‘round inside and outside of our home.

We personally found using a high-quality pool company, like Fiesta, was the right decision for us–twice.

Plus, their pricing was well within our project budget. In fact, they gave us a little back in the end on the second project, as they actually came in UNDER budget. (Yeah. You read that right!) That financial surprise was just icing on the gorgeous backyard cake!

(And, for the record, this dual set of positive experiences with award-winning style backyards was all BEFORE we ever thought about buying the magazine and sharing our experience with you in here!)