Exterior Architecture / Mosaics & Decorative Tile / CSTD News / Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

Glass mosaics create a “crown jewel”

Overlooking the scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, a custom-designed infinity pool and spa for an exclusive property in Laguna Beach, CA, glimmer with glass mosaics that reflect the colors of the sea

June 12, 2013
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In the high-stakes creative world that architects, designers and builders exist in, there’s going to be certain partnerships with other firms involved in the process that flow more easily than others. That’s just human nature. Many years ago, Jimmy Reed, President of Rock Solid Tile, Inc., formed one of those solid, creative and highly-productive working partnerships with Gary Morris, the driving force behind The Morris Design Group since its inception back in 1992. Recently, the two collaborated on a gorgeous waterscape, which resides between a luxury custom home and its majestic ocean views from the high, steep hills of Laguna Beach, CA. The luxurious pool and spa sparkle with irridescent glass mosaics from Oceanside Glasstile complemented by a limestone surround.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with Gary many times over the years,” said Reed. “It’s always a pleasure working with a perfectionist that has extensive knowledge of what he’s doing. Gary has an impeccable eye for high-end, classical design. He’s the absolute master at creating smart, handsome environments that resonate architecturally.”

The show-stopping custom pool and spa designed by Reed and Morris is located in Emerald Bay, an ultra-exclusive cliff-side enclave of luxury homes well-positioned high in the San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County. Nearly all homes in Emerald Bay have majestic vistas of the Pacific Ocean as well as of the famous crescent-shaped, half-mile cove and white sand beach directly below. The warm shallow waters inside this half-circle bay destined to crash on Laguna Beach and then return, take on a vibrant green hue much like the precious natural gemstone the private, gated community was named after.

Despite the modern, sophisticated custom pool and spa system designed by Reed with all its intricacies, the most powerful feature of this waterscape is by far the visual one. The mesmerizing beauty is created by the sublime contrast of colors between the pool’s interior surfaces that sparkle with 1- x 1-inch glass mosaics in “Fleet Blue” from the Tessera Collection by Oceanside Glasstile and the regal light tans of the natural Texas limestone coping and deck surround.

“We took the colors for the design right from the sky,” explained Morris. “The blue mosaics of the pool and the natural colors of limestone match the views of the horizon. We worked together to make sure we were on the same page overall, and then Jimmy did an unbelievable job making the pool and spa happen.”

From the residence, the luxury pool and spa appears to be a contemporary water feature —with square transitions and plumb walls in a traditional rectangular shape — but this luxury structure is far more than that. Reed hides the sophisticated intricate details that allow for the breathtaking infinity views well out of sight below the far seaside wall of the pool.

The intricate pool system starts with the slightly raised, square-shaped therapy spa that’s ringed on three sides with limestone coping tiles. The only open spa wall is the exposed top infinity edge that provides direct access into the pool. The infinity spa lazily overflows the exposed front wall beginning the pool’s complex system that’s mostly hidden from view. The signature design element Reed included in the spa design is the two L-shaped overlapping glass mosaic tile surfaced panels that serve as the spa’s stylish bench seating.

The far ocean-side wall of the main pool was also custom designed by Reed with a free-form, wave-shaped, infinity-edge wall that spills over into a 3-foot-wide cascading river-like trough with a limestone-tiled retaining wall that mirrors the shape of the pool’s exposed vanishing-edge. This river-like trough below the infinity wall happens to provide a beautiful visual, and it doubles as the pool’s water collection and return system.

For the exposed overflow face of the infinity spa and the long, wave-shaped, seaside vanishing-edge of the pool, Reed switched up the surface visual and artistically installed an iridescent finish option of the same Fleet Blue color range from the Tessera collection. The exposed infinity-edge surfaces surfaced by Reed with the iridescent Fleet Blue finish seem to dance and sparkle in almost indescribable soft blues, violets, grays and silver-like shades, especially when amplified by the California sun.

“This pool is just stunning,” said Stephanie Leilani Duerden, Brand Coordinator for Oceanside Glasstile. “Jimmy and Gary designed a beautiful pool and spa setting using the perfect materials, color styles and surfaces, including the tan deck-surround that only enhances the contrast between the shimmering blue glass tiles used for the interior pool walls and floor.  Jimmy added even more drama using the same Fleet Blue color range with the iridescent finish style that sparkles in different unique shades of blue from the infinity edge and the custom benches he designed for the therapy spa. Just looking at this water feature creates the feeling of luxury. The gorgeous water feature only adds to the natural beauty of the coast.”

The elegant free-form infinity pool wall makes it possible to capture the precious views of the Pacific horizon as well as the unique Emerald green inlet below that defines Laguna Beach. The waterscape that Reed created flows perfectly with the luxury home’s exterior landscape, but equally as important, the infinity glass mosaic pool and spa only serves to enhance the architectural plans and designs of the luxury home implemented by The Morris Design Group.

“I’m responsible for the interior design and the overall architecture of the house,” said Morris. “Jimmy takes care of the pool piece. He’s one of the top custom pool and spa designers. He’s so devoted to his craft, and he always pays close attention to the architecture of the home. That’s how he develops his ideas. His designs are tasteful and elegant, but he never overdoes it. Jimmy designs all of his pools and spas to be the jewel of the property. This one is more like the crown jewel.”

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