Rustic Retreat

A cozy pool house is the ultimate place for all-season entertaining

By Melissa Mauzy
Photography by Anne Matheis
Florals provided by Mary Tuttle's Flowers


When a Town and Country couple purchased a teardown in 2005, they knew part of their rebuild would include an exquisite backyard landscape featuring a pool house for year-round entertaining. “We wanted a space where we could entertain outside of the home,” the homeowner explains. “Something intimate and cozy.”

Working with Dick Busch Architects, the couple dreamt up an inviting pool house. Busch was able to translate the homeowners’ folder of ideas into a bonus space featuring an open living room, bathroom, kitchen and indoor/outdoor serving area. Rustic with French and cowboy flair, the pool house is the gathering place for summer evenings around the pool and even chilly winter dinner parties.

Connected to the home by a covered walkway, the brick exterior seamlessly blends with the home. Inside the pool house, a reclaimed wood panel wall mixes with horns, hooves and hides. The homeowner wasn’t quite sure the direction the interior design of the space would take, but after acquiring cabinets from a home built in the 1800s, as well as salvaged barn siding found in Cuba, MO, the style began to take shape. “I knew I was looking for something old,” the homeowner says of the kitchen cabinetry.

The pool house kitchen is equipped with a refrigerator, dishwashers and a farmhouse sink, salvaged from the same home as the kitchen cabinetry. The custom concrete counters are stamped with deer-hoof prints for a unique, added touch. A small, sliding door can be lifted and closed to create a serving area to the outdoor pool patio. In the summer, the serving door is an easy way for the homeowners and guests to grab cold lemonade or a frosty beer.

In the main living area, the stone fireplace and reclaimed wood mantel sit below a massive bull’s head. At 6’ tall, the bull’s head wasn’t something the homeowner anticipated in the space. “Initially, I didn’t want any animal heads mounted in the pool house,” she says. “But when I saw the bull I knew it was the perfect fit for above the mantel. It is the best part of the room.” Other stylish furnishings include a cowhide sofa, antique coffee and end tables and a comfy leather chair embellished with a horn pattern on the sides and studded detailing.

Behind the fireplace seating area, an antique game table belonging to the husband’s grandmother and set in front of the reclaimed wood wall is a sweet spot for a quick game of Scrabble when you need to get out of the summer’s heat. To enhance the rustic feel of the pool house, reclaimed wood was used for the trim around doors and windows. Additionally, the window and door frames were hand-scraped to match the texture of the wood.

For additional seating, a beautiful, high-top table made of a vintage wine barrel from Napa Valley adds to the rustic, French charm. Two rustic, antler chandeliers light the main living area. The homeowner dressed each fixture by adding greenery, honeysuckle, hydrangea and hanging crystals for a whimsical, playful touch. French double doors open to the pool patio, making the room pleasant for year-round entertaining.

With summer in full swing, there is no doubt these Town and Country homeowners will be spending many weekends and evenings in their pool house.

Architect: Dick Busch Architects, 636-530-7787