Ispiri Reimagines a Poolhouse in Stillwater

When the Magee family moved from the Philadelphia area to Liberty on the Lake in Stillwater, they set about getting to know their neighbors. Their in-ground pool was a draw during those first few summer months, particularly for their son’s newfound friends. But when it was time for snacks or a bathroom break, swimmers had to run through the unfinished lower level and ascend to the formal main floor. It was time to make the lower level as welcoming as the cool blue water it overlooks.

The 16-foot window seat is as deep as a twin bed, making it the perfect place to nap. (Jon Huelskamp)

“We moved in July 2010 and knew right away that we wanted to finish the space,” explains Suzanne Magee. “It’s such a great space and really light, with an entire side of windows that overlook the pool.”

(Jon Huelskamp)

She had a strong vision for the look and function, and turned to Ispiri to handle the project from architecture through construction and interior design. Among her requests: a 16-by-3 foot window seat overlooking the pool. Today, the generous banquette has become the spot where guests gather to lounge—just as Magee imagined. She also requested a functional kitchenette, which includes a full-size refrigerator and a dishwasher. The veined, gray soapstone island makes for a handy spot for laying out provisions for a crowd or ingredients for a cookout on the nearby grill.


Veined, gray soapstone countertops and a nautical theme unify the lower-level spaces. (Jon Huelskamp)

Because pool season is short, the family also wanted room for their son to play inside. The new recreation room makes space for a foosball table and movie projector. They also wanted to accommodate visiting relatives with a guest bedroom and a three-quarter bath, which serves overnighters and pool parties alike. The distinctive nautical theme was inspired by a photograph taken by a high- school friend and the family’s summer trips to the shore.

Today, everyone gathers in the lower level in all seasons. Magee says they’re drawn by the wide-open spaces, though the stone fireplace—not to mention that pool—can’t hurt.

Designer & Builder: Ispiri

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