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Goode incorporates a shallow shelf for sleek in-pool lounge chairs

Featured Article

Pooled Resources

Outdoor Living at its Finest with Cantrell and Goode Pools

Article by Jeannie Tabor

Photography by Sarah Bell, Sélavie Photography

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

What could be better than having a beautiful, refreshing pool to enjoy in your backyard this summer? How about a complete recreation space to live in year-round. According to local pool builder Jack Cantrell of Cantrell Pools, "In the past, most pools were simply a part of the backyard; recently, the pool has become the focal point around which the yard is designed. Given that shift, we are seeing more clients incorporate detached outdoor living spaces, fire pits, creative lighting and landscaping, pool heaters and water features." 

Demand for pools and outdoor recreation spaces has skyrocketed over the last couple of years. As travel slowed down and people were working from home, they had more time to spend considering how to make their space more attractive and enjoyable. Eric Goode of Memphis’ Eric Goode Pools adds, "Over the last few years, people are spending more time in their backyards, around their pools, grilling out, having backyard parties with friends and family. We want to not only give them something absolutely gorgeous to look at but completely functional and fun for everyone, including pizza ovens, putting greens, and sport courts. We strive to make the most of the backyard space for our clients."

Along with the overall growth, exciting trends in pool building are enhancing the design and usability of backyard pools—for example, the trend toward incorporating turf within your backyard scheme. Jack says “turf has many benefits, such as drainage and keeping maintenance low. We have done many projects where turf is used for the entire yard, an area surrounding the pool, and as an accent between pavers, adding an attractive design element.” Eric recently built the first perimeter vanishing-grass edge pool in Tennessee, providing a stunning contrast of green and blue with less concrete around the pool and grass all the way up to the coping.

Eric discusses how much clients love his in-floor cleaning system, which eliminates the need for the common automatic or robotic pool sweeps that can often leave hoses or cords in the way, spray you in the face, and disrupt the overall beauty of your pool.

According to both local pool builders, the quality of the design is essential to an overall successful pool building experience. Collaboration with trusted landscape architects, designers and general contractors for separate structures such as living spaces and kitchens is key.

A Passion Project

As we embarked on our photo shoot for this article, Eric asked if Sarah and I wanted to see another pool that was right around the corner. As we walked into the backyard to photograph the pool, Eric began telling us a story of sorrow and incredible generosity.

Tragedy struck a young Memphis family in 2014 when they learned that two of their three daughters tested positive for Batten disease, a rare inherited neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no cure. Their middle daughter passed away in 2016 at the age of 6, followed by their youngest in 2019 at the age of 7. Thankfully, their oldest daughter had tested negative for the disease and was a healthy 10-year-old at the time of the second funeral.

While attending that funeral, Eric Goode had a notion that this family deserved to have a place of rest and relaxation as they processed their grief. In his role as past president and board member of APSP, Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, Eric sprang into action. He reached out to all area pool professionals with a plea to join him in providing a backyard oasis for this family free of charge. In a matter of minutes, all equipment necessary to complete the project had been donated and the passion project was in full swing. 

The pool is serene with beautiful blue pebble-shaped flooring. The grass, bushes and hardscape surrounding the pool were also donated by generous local landscapers and contractors.

Working with them to complete the project, Eric commented, “This family’s strength and resilience shown in the most difficult time is awe-inspiring.” And, thanks to Eric’s inspiration and to the generosity of our wonderful city, a blue-pebbled pool will be enjoyed for years to come.

  • A relaxing retreat by Cantrell with water feature
  • Goode incorporates a shallow shelf for sleek in-pool lounge chairs
  • Goode's design incorporates an outdoor kitchen complete with pizza oven
  • Chairs surrounding fire pit bubbling hot tub in the background
  • An outside kitchen and living area by Cantrell
  • A refreshing pool surrounded by a lush lawn