A Unique Outdoor Landscape- A pool built in an old Stone Barn Foundation.

A Unique Outdoor Landscape- A pool built in an old Stone Barn Foundation.

I am a designer.

Nothing boring ever happens.  Ever.

Well, one exception: Excel spread sheets.  B*O*R*I*N*G

However, in design, so many things are EXCITING !!!

I like to jump outside the box a little.


Our pool

When we moved into our home many moons ago, we had an old stone barn foundation literally sitting in our backyard space.

Old stone barn foundation = garbage pit.

AKA scary~ville.

The barn had burned down in the 1950’s and every single thing possible hand landed in that foundation since.  Old rusty bicycles, bottles, farm equipment, snakes ( holy mother of &*^…yes, snakes!).

I would rather bungy jump off the side of a mountain than see a snake.

I had two ideas for the space.

* A GARDEN:  I quickly gave up on that idea.  I envisioned myself pulling weeds for the rest of my life, and losing my wine glass in the overgrown weed festival.

* A POOL:  I envisioned myself with my family and friends, with a nice glass of wine at the poolside bar.

So, that is where it all began.  We had the entire foundation area excavated to the original floor level of the barn, and tried to salvage as much of the stone foundation as possible.

It was a family affair.  Actually, it was the work of our family and what felt like a small army.

With the dig, parts of the wall gave way and fell in…we saved all the stone so we could rebuild it.  Well, of course we(ME) had to also jump in front of large equipment to save interesting barn bits that I wanted to reclaim and put back into the walls.

Ge’ez, Louise there is always one NUT in every crowd who is willing to risk life and limb for a rusted piece of barn~funky~ness.



Who could resist such finds ?  I was looking for some funky character.  The world is full of boring pool spaces.

~ Sorry people with boring pool spaces ~

 I truly believe

You can make almost any space DIFFERENT AND EXCITING with some imagination and thinking outside the ordinary boring box of cookie cutter ideas.

Let’s all live a little (it’s really fun).

Now, I am not so bold as to think that everyone has a stone barn foundation hanging around in their backyard.

 But everyone DOES have access to things that are old, reclaimed, recycled….

I, like many of you, find inspiration all around me.  Travels, life, home, friends backyards, my own backyard!  I found this SINK in our field!  If someone tells me they left it here and they want it back, I have it covered!  They won’t recognize their own stuff.  Haha.  I covered it in mosaic (my kids mostly did this one, to tell you the truth)

I found a local artist who creates decorative “rusted flowers” (meant for a garden), and I asked my dear friends, Dan and Amy Duquette to create this pool shower head for me.

This weekend, is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  I am stuffed with turkey, and thrilled to be surrounded by my family.  So….I am off to bake ANOTHER APPLE PIE.

 Seriously, do all diets start on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving ?!!!

I bought these crazy stools in Bali and I plan on putting one or two at the pool bar.  I will need them to sit my big turkey butt in ! 🙂 AND I love a good conversational piece in design.

Like the tree house, it may take a few trillion posts to really share all the details of creating an outdoor funky space.

Until then…



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19 Responses

  1. Pingback: it’s a true story | the paris apartment

  2. Joy says:

    Love, love it!! It’s like your own personal retreat!! Happy Thanksgiving. BTW it’s Mother’s Day here……I’m laying out but not by a pool like that….I can dream…….

  3. Pingback: Living With Kids: Lynne Knowlton | Short Cut Blog

  4. Holy hell! I had no idea you had a tree house AND a pool! Now I’m definitley coming over! Trying to convince hubby we need a pool- you’re in a cold climate too- how often can you use it? I said we could freeze it in the winter & use as a hockey rink- therefore it’s a year-round investment!

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Haha Stefanie !
      Yes, the pool is the best thing we evhhha did. Otherwise, the trees are just not entertaining enough around here. LOL. The pool is open from May-Oct. It is soooo fantastic to have a place for the kids and our friends to come and hang out with us. In our case, it was a really great family choice. We skate on the pond in the winter. (our pool has a liner….yikes…it would probably rip with skates around).
      The best part of the investment was a poolside fireplace/wood stove. We sit there almost every night in the summer. Keeps things warm even as the summer cools off late season too. I would highly recommend it. Is that enough reasons to convince your hubby to go for a POOL ?! Ohhhh hells ya.

  5. Pingback: Home Sweet Home | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE

  6. Don’t know how I managed to stumble across your blog…that exact spot used to be a place of magic for me! Grew up pretending those old stone walls were princess castles, pioneer villages and endless other make-believe areas! You have done wonders with the property!

    • Lynne Knowlton says:

      Hey Kathleen !
      I just happened to look at this post again, and I thought I had replied to you…but I probably messed it up….and now I don’t see it here. Ooops. My bad.
      I just wanted to let you and your family know that the house was just featured in our homes magazine and treehugger.com ( for the treehouse that Chris built). Wooohoooo !!! Big love to all of you, Lynne and the gang.

  7. Sink…. Brilliant, shower head ….awesome. Totally believe your adage that we can all find inspiration if we just look. Would love to sip some vino around your pool with you, Ridgely, Jessica and whoever else wants to come to the #treehouse. xo Mo

  8. Dan says:

    Wow. Or WOW! Your blog rocks. It looks like may be the only guy to reply, and I’m okay with that. You and Mike have a beautiful place for sure. I’m taking advantage of this sick day to FINALLY check this out.

  9. You’re going to let me swim in the pool, use the shower and wash my hands in that amazing sink before I climb up to the Treehouse. Right??!!!

  10. Sam says:

    Oh Lynne it’s just ridiculous!!!! Just amazing! Holy crap you are one hell of a designer my friend! I am blown away! And now even more motivated to make it up to your house and never ever leave. Have baked apple crumble pie and cocktails ready girl! I’m on my way! 😉

    • Toronto is just around the corner for you , my friend….you are on…..apple crumble, tree house, swimming…but we may have to wait for the SNOW TO CLEAR for all that good fun for the girlzzz 🙂

  11. I’m not sure I would ever leave your property.. and amazing tree house and now you let us in on the POOL and POOL HOUSE?!?!?! WOW! speachless here. the mosaic sink is beautiful and I would love to take a shower under the flower. Let me know – screams “GIrls Weekend”!

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