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Fiery drama and a 25-yard-long pool in Hermosa Beach

May 15, 2010 |  7:00 am


Janine Dodson, a former collegiate swimmer, wanted a lap pool that didn't look like one. “I was afraid of having a concrete strip in the middle of the backyard,” the Hermosa Beach resident said.

Not to worry. Designer Ray Morrow of Orange created a striking landscape where the 25-yard-long pool serves not only as a place to exercise but also as a reflecting pond leading to a cozy deck with a fireplace and a TV.

Screened from neighbors by ficus hedges and Italian cypress, the pool and adjacent spa are clad in rustic San Juan cobble and pearlescent Oceanside brand glass tile.

“It's a mix of primitive and modern that was fitting for the Spanish Mediterranean home,” Morrow said.

The designer created custom iron fire bowls along the pool that add drama at night, as do candle pockets in the fireplace wall that were painted vermillion to match the Sunbrella shades overhead. Morrow's other custom work includes a hammered copper and iron fireplace screen and a stone bench.

But it's the pool, finished a year ago, that has been in regular use. Even the family dog, Dodson said, likes to swim.

— Emily Young

Photo credit: Timothy Dunham