Designer profile – Justin Dibble
Pool design with vision
A great designer who knows exactly what you want out of your pool and outdoor area is essential to seeing your vision come to life. Whether this vision is a contemporary, streamlined style pool with minimalistic design, or an exotic pool area with plenty of leafy plants, a great designer will help you achieve this with minimum fuss.
We speak to Justin Dibble, director and principal designer at Fluid Design, about his passion for creating the perfect pool area for his clients.
Form and function
“Every great garden and pool area starts with a great design which can only be created by good listening,” says Justin. “A good design comes from listening to a person’s wishes and combining that with their personality and family needs, then using your skill with design by utilising the piece of land to create a pool and garden that they will love and enjoy for many years.”
Establishing exactly what the client wants is essential to the design process. Justin says he initially meets with the client and listens to them talk about the outdoor area in terms of aesthetics and practical use.
The size of the backyard, whether they have children, and if they like to entertain are all factors that influence what sort of pool and landscape design a client needs.
“A lot of our clients have young children, so we create nice wide entry steps and swim out areas which are great for kids,” Justin says.
In order to make the design process as close to the client’s vision as possible, Fluid Design utilises 3D technology to show exactly what the finished project will look like.
“We understand that most people find it hard to visualise their backyard from a 2D plan, so we create all our pools and gardens in 3D to make life easier for our clients,” Justin says. “The most important thing in design is to make certain your client understands what it is you are creating for them, and the only way you be sure of this is through using 3D technology.”
Justin, who names tropical Asian as his favourite style of outdoor/pool area, says he is always looking for new sources of inspiration.
“My bookshelf is full of books on luxury resorts and private residences from around the world,” he says. “I love being inspired by amazing architecture and ideas no matter the scale and using them on a smaller scale.”
Making the pool the focal point of the backyard is paramount to Justin’s design. He says the style most appealing to his clientele is the feeling of coming home to their own private mini resort, with a pool that is unique, fun and interesting.
Current pool and landscaping trends also come into play when Justin is drawing up a new design for a client. “Wet edge spillovers are always in if the site and budget allows,” he says. “Light colours for pool interiors give a really fresh inviting look, and greys are quite in for paving and tiling as people sway away from the usual cream colours.”
“The pool is just one room within a series of outdoor rooms created in the garden,” explains Justin. “Our designs are all about the interaction between inside and outside, along with each of the outdoor spaces within the garden.”
This outdoor room style of design has become highly sought after in recent years, with Australian families looking to join their indoor and outdoor areas and activities. Justin addresses this need to treat outdoor and indoor design as one through making sure the pool and landscape design reflects the style of the house, using materials such as natural stone, timber and glass to bring the luxury of the indoors outdoors.
Justin says he also like the idea of creating different ‘rooms’ within the outdoor area.
“As we like creating different rooms within a garden we like creating a pool that has different areas to enjoy also,” he says. “There are a few items we like to include in our pool designs, like floating stepping stones leading you to another area, a swim up bar and a floating island with a cool feature plant. A swim up bar would have to be my personal favourite as this really brings the feeling of a holiday resort into the backyard.”
Justin's budget-friendly tips“Of course you can have a nice pool and garden on a budget,” says Justin. “It's the fancy features that cost and tend to blow the budget. A simple rectangular pool will always be the most cost effective, as is a Pebblecrete interior.”
Other suggestions for cheaper but still visually appealing options include natural stone like Travertine for garden pathways, and a good selection of plants that make your backyard feel like your own oasis.