Haute Tubs

from Garden, Deck & Landscape
Hot tubs and spas can be easily tailored to your backyard’s needs. Use these examples to get ideas for your own outdoor spa.

Stylish Simplicity

The clean lines of slate edging and the soft gray interior imbue this spa with the serene look of a reflecting pool. Placed in the far corner of the yard, the spa offers privacy and, by extension, total relaxation. A Craftsman-style wood screen, complete with decorative keyhole cutouts, defines the spa area and provides additional privacy. Potted plants in simple yet elegant pots add a touch of color.

Modern Mode

Step away from traditional square, round, or even free-form spas in favor of one that matches your garden style. Here, the keyhole-shape spa becomes a decorative addition to a contemporary stone patio. Unadorned edging mimics the home’s clean lines helping this landscape feature blend into the design. A vine-covered fence and a stately magnolia tree (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Majestic Beauty’) provide soft contrast against the cool stone, as well as establish privacy from neighbors.

Backyard Resort

Everything about this courtyard, from the palm trees to the hardscaping, gives guests the sense that they’ve been transported to a Mediterranean resort. Terra-cotta-color tiles radiate like rays of sunshine from the in-ground spa. The edgeless circle design emphasizes the clean look, and blue decorative tiles are reminiscent of a Mediterranean water feature. Stucco walls and clay roof tiles maintain the natural color palette while a door splashed with blue brings watery hues to the earth tones.

Take It All In
If you’re fortunate enough to have beautiful surroundings, leave yourself clear sight lines to enjoy it. In the shade of a graceful, vine-covered pergola, this spa sits comfortably between stately columns that offer intimacy without isolation. From the spa, the garden arbor and a backdrop of textural trees and shrubs spread out in a vista that’s lush and private. Potted impatiens add a spot of color. Weathered but well-cared-for, the dark wood of the spa and the deck contrast beautifully with the tightly clipped hedge and dense lawn.

Destination Spa
Relaxation and contemplation are just the beginning. Spas can be the hub of entertainment if you site your spa where guests have easy access to waterside seating, mingling, or dining. Here, a covered patio opens to a courtyard where the hot tub is an eye-catching focal point. Its free-form shape implies a pretty water feature when the spa is not in use. Bench-high edging topped with a wide surface of smooth brick-shape tile creates plenty of comfortable seating.

Small-Space Spa

No room for a pool? An attractive spa can create the pleasing look of a pool where space is at a premium. This charming hot tub nestles between two buildings, creating a cozy place to relax. Extra-wide, smooth edging doubles as a step for easy access and as a low bench for seating. Tall trees and shrubs softly contrast with the stucco walls to add privacy. Where soil is scarce, use pots of plants to expand the garden. Here, a small grassy area gives the sense of a larger space.

A Tub Full Of Style
Design your hot tub to blend into your landscape style, so the atmosphere is as pleasant as the warm water. You’ll find it easy to soak away the stress of the day if you keep these elements in mind.

Privacy. It’s easiest to relax when you feel a sense of security and privacy. For small gardens, nearby fences and walls are the most obvious ways to maintain privacy. In larger gardens, consider creating an outdoor room with the hot tub as the focus. Encircle the spa with trees, shrubs, vine-covered fences, tall potted plants, and structural elements for pretty privacy.

Lighting. A dip in the hot tub happens most often when the sun dips down for the night. Set the mood and keep it safe with appropriate lighting. Uplighting, rope lighting, dimmers, and fiber-optic lighting all allow you to see without the blinding glare of a floodlight. Check with an electrician when installing lighting around a water feature.

View. Though most spas are shrouded in privacy, consider your view from the water. Of course, the idyllic view of a mountain vista or a city skyline is best preserved with a clear line of sight. In more ordinary settings, decorate your outdoor room with pots of colorful annuals and perennials to disguise less appealing vistas. Interesting textures and colors from vines, shrubs, and trees can be a pleasing backdrop. A vine-covered pergola shades a spa from upstairs neighbors, but if you like looking at the stars, a roofless screen of vines may be your preference.

Amenities. A convenient towel rack and comfortable seating are just a couple of details that can heighten your spa experience. If your deck is rough or slippery, a throw rug can make for a safer spa entry and exit. Leave fine crystal and breakable glass inside, and opt for serving drinks and snacks in the newer fashionable acrylic and plastic tableware.

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