Luxury in the pool: waterproof furniture

  • At the Roger and Kelsey Shideler home in above Cloverdale, pool furniture is placed strategically on the landing of their partial infinity pool that offers a view of the valley floor and mountains , Wednesday July 3, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

The push to bring all the comforts of indoor living outside has reached a watery new frontier.

Now that we have turned our patios into living rooms complete with carpets and lamps, upgraded our loungers into plush outdoor beds, created al fresco dining pavilions with kitchens and chandeliers and even built working showers and bathtubs into our landscapes, it was inevitable that there would be yet another space in need of furnishing. The swimming pool.

This is not about inflatable floats, but real furniture sitting permanently in the pool. No need to leave the water for a snack. No more sizzling deckside, then diving in to cool down. This new and growing niche in the outdoor living market is making it easy to stay wet for hours.

Now you can buy chairs, end tables, picnic tables, small swim-up bars, stools and even umbrellas that can stay in the pool. That means you can picnic in the pool with friends and family, shaded by an umbrella, while your feet dangle in the water.

Aaron Fogleman, operations manager and buyer for Sonoma Backyard in Rohnert Park, said in-pool furniture is one of the newest things in outdoor furnishings. The trend is fueled in part by the growing popularity of so-called beach-entry pools. Eliminating the top step, the beach entry starts shallow and then slopes into deeper water.

These shallow entry pools enable people to sit and relax in just a few inches of water rather than standing or hanging onto the edge. And it's so much more comfortable to sit or recline on something.

These durable furnishings are made out of a marine grade, high-density polyethylene material.

"They're making this furniture out of the same thing they've been making boat and marine things for years," said Fogleman. "It's 100 percent made in the U.S. And it's 100 percent post-consumer waste (recycled plastic bottles and containers), so it's really green."

Most contemporary outdoor furnishing is a coated metal. Even plastic Adirondack chairs have a coated or painted metal frame. Leave that material in the water and over time it will start peeling or corroding.

This marine-grade material is not subject to fading, staining, mildew, cracking, peeling or warping, Fogleman added, and comes with a 20-year warranty. So you could leave it in the pool year-round.

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