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great space: Pooling Your Resources

Backyard bungalow offers and escape from the summer heat.

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The brick pool house is a natural extension of the pool area. Stately columns support its extended roof. Large ceiling fans provide cool breezes on sunny days. When it was first built, the pool house consisted of a living area, bathroom and storage space. Recently, the family renovated the storage area, converting it to a cozy bedroom.

Sliding glass doors open to the living area, letting the sun pour in. The pastel green and pink color scheme flows from window treatments and pillows to chair cushions and furniture coverings. The focal point of the living area is the floor-to-ceiling cement stone gas fireplace, which is outfitted with the family’s large color television.

“We love the fireplace. It allows us to use the pool house year round,” Sliwinski says. “It has a blower, but you don’t need it to heat up the building. In the winter, we come here to watch movies and play pinball.”

Across from the fireplace, in the corner, sits a full-size No Good Gofers pinball machine. Close by is a small dinette set, similar to the table and chairs one would see in an ice-cream shop. The back of the room houses a sink, refrigerator and microwave. A large ceiling fan cools the area, especially on days when the doors stay open for the true poolside experience.

The renovated bedroom sports flowered curtains and window treatments. Shelves hold family mementos. A sea-blue checked overstuffed chair and ottoman serve as a quiet retreat for reading.

Framing the pool and pool house are Tony Sliwinski’s flower gardens — his passion. On one side, blue hydrangeas with shades of purple bloom. On another, are rows of red begonias. The gardens are rounded out with pink roses, day lilies, white peonies and jasmine.

The Sliwinskis are sought-after party hosts. Outdoor entertaining has taken on a new meaning. “Our friends hint that they want to come over,” Jamie Sliwinski says and laughs. “We have lots of cookouts. We have three children and so we have lots of kid’s pool parties. It’s the perfect sleepover.”

The pool house also serves as a guest house. “It’s an escape,” Sliwinski says. “You feel like you are in a resort when you go to the pool house because it’s not your home. It’s relaxing to just go out there and sit.” HS

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