Check out this pool house that's perfect for relaxing and entertaining.
Poolside Escape

If Goldilocks had had the good fortune of being lost in Louisville, Kentucky, she may have been able to avoid her bear encounter altogether. We found a pool house with a combination of small space and abundant amenities that makes it the perfect example of "just right."

Minibar, Maxi-Function
Boasting a modest 400 square feet, Donna Outlaw's pool house manages to fit in everything needed for poolside pleasures. Besides the requisite bath, the building features a wet bar that's great for entertaining. Donna uses a small glass-front beverage refrigerator and ice-maker to keep thirsty bathers near the fun and out of the main house. A small Mexican copper sink is tucked into a countertop made of the same wood as the cabinetry. "I could have used granite or metal, but I wanted the warmth of wood," says Donna. "Plus, I don't do dishes out there. So with a good sealer, the wood countertop works just fine and was much less expensive." Smart!

A Little Luxury
A large sofa, covered in washable cotton canvas and embellished with brush fringe, fits perfectly in the cozy sitting area. The wall-to-wall sea grass rug is a budget-friendly, hardworking flooring choice. "The sea grass works great, and I did the whole pool house for less than $500, including installation," says Donna. "Plus, it looks as good as it did seven years ago when I bought it."

Donna also incorporates features that she had considered using elsewhere. "I wanted an outdoor fireplace, but by putting it under the porch, we can use the fireplace and the pool house in any weather year-round even if we aren't really using the pool," she concludes. With a pool house this great, we think it's a wonder anyone ever ventures into the pool at all.

"Poolside Escape" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living.