Project Spotlight: The Joshua Tree House Pool
Design + Images: Sara Combs and Rich Combs
Wanting to mimic the hues and shapes of the desert landscape, Sara Combs and Rich Combs, the duo behind The Joshua Tree House, chose our 6" Triangle tiles for their new swimming pool. See more of this dreamy oasis below and if you love their desert style, check out their Story, along with this Pinterest Board.
Had you always had a pool on the property or is this pool a new addition?
The pool is a brand new addition, but something we had dreamed of for a while. In previous summers we had cooled off with an 8’ round cowboy tub (a stock tank pool), but this year we decided to make our dream of a larger (and deeper) pool happen!
What was your inspiration behind the project?
Our inspiration for the pool was based on natural bodies of water—to achieve this look we gravitated towards soft organic shapes and natural colors. Our goal was for the pool to mimic the hues and shapes of the surrounding desert landscape, while still standing out as a surreal mirage in our dry landscape.
In terms of tile, what sort of look were you going for?
For the tile, we wanted to keep the palette neutral and in line with the surrounding sand and mountains. We were inspired by the contrast of the sky and mountains, and subtle textures that the desert offers when taking a closer look at the surrounding plants, rocks, and wildlife.
What made you decide on the 6" Triangles?
The 6” triangles that we chose mimic the contrast of the sky and mountain ranges that sit behind the pool (Joshua Tree National park and San Jacinto mountains), and were the perfect size for creating a tiled lip around the pool as well.
How about the color Sand Dune and Milky Way?
We loved that the Sand Dune glaze has a crackled finish and subtle aged quality in contrast to the modern shape of the triangles. We also loved the warmth of the Milky Way tiles, and the contrast they provide when placed next to Sand Dune. Our main goal was to design this pool as though it existed all along with the original house structure, and to blend in as a natural part of the landscape.
Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Milky Way
Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Sand Dune
What other materials did you use for the pool area?
When we were deciding on the interior material for the pool, we geeked out over the way the interior color affects the color of the pool water. We used sand colored mini pebbles on the pool floor gave us a natural blue-green color of water that we’re so in love with. It’s also super convenient in our desert environment—if any sand gets into the pool it blends right in.
For the surrounding pool decking, we chose a colonial cream flagstone with alabaster grout. The organic lines of flagstone really felt right for this project’s initial inspiration of natural bodies of water.
How was the installation process?
The installation of the 6” triangle tiles around the pool rim was so easy! It only took about an hour or so—honestly, we spent the most time just rearranging the tiles into every pattern possibility (there are so many!)
Any lessons learned about pools you'd like to share?
When choosing tiles for a pool rim, it works really well to choose a shape with a flat top and bottom. The pool rim should be about 6” tall, so choosing a 6” tile like we did makes the installation particularly easy. Also, make sure to consider the prolonged contact with water of all of the selected materials. For example for tile, make sure it’s sealed for pool use. The same goes for any material used on the surrounding decking—since we chose a flagstone, we’ve since sealed it with a penetrating sealer to prevent any water damage. Every year or so we’ll reseal the stone decking to prolong the life of the stone.
You've worked with our tile a few times now, on both your home and at The Assembly, any tile tips you'd like to share?
When choosing a tile, think about the functionality of the space it will be in before getting into colors and shapes.
Will the space you’re designing for have prolonged contact with water? Maybe it needs an extra sealant like our pool tiles.
Or is it on an entryway floor in a potentially rainy location? Then make sure to add an abrasive finish to the tile to add texture and grip. There are an incredible amount of combinations, but thinking through the function of the tile before getting too deep into the aesthetic tends to keep us both calm and focused through the design process.
Feeling these desert pool vibes? Order your color samples online now. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.