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An Old Tappan pool house is a hit all year long, proving that the fun doesn’t end when you leave the water.

A Tennessee flagstone path leads to the covered lounge area of this Old Tappan pool house. Motorized screens are hidden from view but can be lowered to keep unwanted pests from spoiling the party inside.

What happens when the kids outgrow their backyard playhouse and an old shed is underused? For one Old Tappan homeowner, the answer was: Call in the wrecking ball. Well, it wasn’t that dramatic, says Glen Lumia, president and CEO of Northvale-based Creative Design Construction & Remodeling, but replacing those old structures with a one-of-a-kind pool house was a viable solution.

A simple pool house with four walls, windows, roof and a door just wouldn’t cut it for this property, he says. The yard already featured an in-ground pool with tanning shelf, spa, grotto and waterfall, while an outdoor kitchen, firepit area and trampoline dotted other spots on site. “The owner wanted the pool house to fit in with the character of the outdoor space and be an extension of the main house,” says Lumia, whose company oversaw each stage of the project. Their shared vision evolved from the concept of a Japanese pavilion, from its general shape and form to an interior chock full of upscale amenities and comforts. On the wish list: a full bath with indoor and outdoor showers, a changing room with washer and dryer, a bar with refrigeration, an entertaining area with TV and fire features, and plenty of storage for pool equipment and furniture.

Location played a large role in the intricate design of the building. Because direct sunlight literally hits the spot during summer days, “we designed the roof to allow for the natural process of convection,” Lumia says. Stay-cool Tennessee flagstone is used for patio floors, and the open ceiling—constructed of natural cedar—allows rising heat to escape. A roof transom is installed for function and aesthetics; it aids in the release of hot air while allowing views of summer sunsets.

Motorized screens around the cabana’s covered outdoor entertainment lounge provide protection from nature’s elements (including pesky bugs!).

“This space is important because it allows for more family time, Friday night pizza and movie events or just a cozy romantic night by the fire,” Lumia says. Portable decorative space heaters were added to extend the entertaining season. “Now, all the comforts of the inside can be enjoyed outdoors any time of the year,” he says.

A full indoor bathroom with seeded glass offers privacy, but the available outdoor shower is convenient for those needing a quick rinse.

The bar area includes refrigeration, sink and stone countertops with waterfall detail.

The covered entertainment area with free-floating fireplace and fire table makes outdoor gatherings a year-round possibility. Natural cedar lines the cabana ceiling, in keeping with the designer’s “outdoor organic” theme.

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