Exotic Backyard Escape
Tropical Pool House
"I know this may sound like a crazy combination, but my pool house is a very loose interpretation of Pawleys Island dock houses mixed with open-air cottages I've seen in Thailand," says interior designer Muffie Faith of Charleston, South Carolina. Any time the weather is nice (or even on rainy days), this mother of three teenagers heads to her getaway house behind the swimming pool. "It's the perfect place to curl up on the sofa and take a nap," Muffie says, but the family also enjoys sophisticated pool parties and casual teen get-togethers in the structure.
Many of the items in Muffie's pool house are vintage or one of a kind. Similar pieces and all fabrics are available through her store, Elizabeth Stuart Design; esdcharleston.com.
Inside, a vaulted ceiling with exposed cedar rafters provides a natural look. Muffie encourages a laid-back vibe with her design choices: a slate floor that can be hosed off, sturdy metal tables, a sectional sofa that can be rearranged as needed, and even a retractable clothesline for hanging wet bathing suits. Some evenings, Muffie pushes the regular furniture to the side and hauls in a large farmhouse table for dinner parties. "I like to create atmosphere with candles to make it a really magical place," says Muffie. "Everyone enjoys feeling special for the evening."
Green pillow fabric (on sectional): Groundworks' David Hicks Collection, Turkish Flower Green (GWF-2745.30); leejofa.com.
A custom mahogany bar with a slate countertop encourages entertaining, particularly because it's stocked with a mini-fridge and sink. Colorful lights and art add interest. "I bring paintings out from the main house," says Muffie. "I love adding an unexpected element."
The teak pool chairs are Muffie's favorites, even though they're 12 years old. "I always recommend buying quality teak furniture, because you want something that will weather well and not split," she advises. A vintage bar cart can be wheeled out for poolside entertaining.
Pillow fabrics (on chaises): Ziggurat in Charcoal (174480) and Trellis Knot in Ivory and Onyx (174222); fschumacher.com.
Muffie chose salvaged concrete lamps that won't blow over when it's windy. Splashes of pink and lavender add punch to the all-white outdoor upholstery.
Lilac pillow fabric (on sectional): Amaranta Collection, Lavanda (9208); harlequin.uk.com.
Louvered cypress doors surrounding the structure are just one feature that encourages "convertible living"—and they can even swing upward by way of a pulley system to allow in a breeze.
Ceiling fans: For a similar look, try The Islander; fanimation.com.