A Party-Worthy Pool Area
Beautiful containers, contemporary artwork and a stunning pool cabana make this Atlanta yard a social spot.
Photo by Angela West
Friends and family think of interior designer Nancy Hooff’s Atlanta yard for events, big and small.
During Hooff’s 50th birthday party, as a bluegrass band played in her garden and guests milled around the pool and cabana, she saw a friend’s daughter open up the dining room’s French doors and gaze out onto the property. The daughter’s engagement party was later hosted in what Hooff calls her “little paradise.”
Working with landscape architect Deanna Pope Ozio of Pope-Ozio & Associates, Hooff fought off encroaching bamboo and years worth of hydrangeas and camellias to create a poolside oasis with a cabana, pond and dining terrace behind the Tudor-style home.
For years, part of the backyard lawn held a cement basketball court for her boys. In 2008, Hooff finally was able to add a new focal point—the long-awaited pool and a cozy cabana with a fireplace, stone floors and a vaulted wood ceiling designed by Atlanta architect Bill Litchfield. Hooff wanted a black gunite pool, but concerns about attracting snakes (she was told the pool's dark bottom would fool snakes into thinking it was a pond or lake) revised the plans into a hue that she describes as a dark Windex. Hooff, an arts supporter, added punches of color with contemporary sculptures, while Atlanta-based florist Pollen filled containers with foliage and flowers in red, orange and other favorite hues.
The garden often hosts baby showers and birthday parties, and informal get-togethers with Hooff, her husband and their sons. One son even hauled an inflatable movie screen into the backyard for his wife’s birthday and projected the 2014 World Cup matches.
“Now we fight over who is going to have parties,” says Hooff.