Reclaiming contemplation in outdoor spaces

From the Taj Mahal to the Palace of Versailles, great structures around the globe have featured reflecting pools on their grounds. These watery outdoor features are typically rectangular in shape and are placed to create a grand view of the building to which they are bound. Of course, reflecting pools exist on smaller scales as well, allowing for quiet contemplation in more private spaces. In fact, they are a classic and beautiful feature to include in your yard.

Constructing for calm

While rectangular reflecting pools are common, they do come in other shapes as well. More important than line, however, is stillness. Reflecting pools get their name from their mirror-like surface that reflects the world around them.

To achieve this effect, your pool must be as still as possible. Reflecting pool manufacturers use techniques to help reduce disturbance caused by the environment. Additionally, these bodies of water are often very shallow, as deeper pools are more difficult to maintain and keep still. Some pools have rocks or pebbles that coat the bottom of the pond to further prevent movement.

What’s more, you likely won’t find any fish or people in a reflecting pool, as they tend to splash around and disturb the water.

Planning your pool

Whether you want a body of water in your yard as a way to add tranquility, or you want to reflect the construction of your home and beauty of your garden, you should plan for your pool. Willy-nilly placement could cause you to miss an opportunity.

Ideally, the pool should sit in a place where it will reflect something you want to look at. It could be beneath an open sky to take on the brilliant blue or nighttime stars. Or, situate it beneath a tree so you can see the green of its leaves reflected in the water. Note that if you put your pool beneath a tree, falling leaves and debris may disturb the water’s surface.

Also, the space where you install your pool shouldn’t feel crowded. You want the water to feel like it belongs in your yard. Some homeowners have used a reflecting pool as a sort of mote against their home while others run it in the center of their lawn.

Matching design

Just like homes, reflecting pools can be contemporary or classic, or follow some other design style entirely. Make sure your pool fits in with your home’s architecture and garden’s look. The pool should feel like a natural feature, not a random element you slapped into the design.

Establishing your style

While you want your reflecting pool to match the rest of the design of your home, you may also want to express your personal taste through the yard feature. Pick tiles or bricks you like, and add other elements that speak to you. Some homeowners have placed statues in their pools so the sculptures seemed to spring up from a mirror.

Enjoying the pool

Once you’ve installed your reflecting pool, you’ll want to enjoy it. Plan outdoor furniture placement when you design your yard. That way, seating will fit right into the space and give you a place to sit and enjoy the view.

As with the pool, your furniture should match your garden’s overall design style. For instance, contemporary outdoor furniture looks great with a sleek, modern pool and home.