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Swimming Pool and Spa Tips

"Whether you go for candlelit tranquility or kid-friendly splash zones, creating a comfortable and comforting atmosphere around your pool and spa means surefire stress relief is always close at hand."

Tips to Make the Most of Your Pool and Spa

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(ARA) - Get away from it all and relax -- without being frisked by airport security.

Whether you go for candlelit tranquility or kid-friendly splash zones, creating a comfortable and comforting atmosphere around your pool and spa means surefire stress relief is always close at hand.

The National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI) offers these ideas for escaping into your own backyard.

* Room for a view

Landscape for atmosphere and privacy. Hide a security fence with a living screen of shrubs or trees. An all-white garden really glows at night, and tropical plants can turn your backyard into an oasis. Or make the most of your growing space with a beautifully colorful potager-type garden of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

* Light it right

Highlight pleasing features in your yard and on your home. The right lighting can make your backyard magical. Consider uplighting on trees and architectural elements, pathway lighting in planters and to mark hazards, and mercury vapor lighting up high for a soft, moonlit effect. Also, there's dramatic fiberoptic lighting to outline the perimeter of your pool and spa.

* Convenience counts

Extend your living space to the outside with beverage centers, cooking stations, comfortable furniture, etc. Take cues from your indoor furnishings and décor when planning outdoor rooms.

* Beyond barbecue

Take the grill up a notch with a complete cooking station that includes not only a grill, but also a cook top, a prep area and lots of storage.

* Eat outside

Entertain with ease by stocking up on pretty, unbreakable (and dishwasher safe) acrylic glasses and plates.

* Made in the shade

If you don't have a naturally shady seating area near the pool, create it with something as simple as an umbrella-covered table or as elaborate (and romantic) as a tent with gauzy netting.

* Defining space

Consider a trellis or gazebo to enhance your outdoor space.

* Take a seat

Provide plenty of seating around your pool or spa to make entertaining easy. Combination benches and planter boxes offer seats and scenery.

* Music please

Wire your indoor stereo system so that you can enjoy your favorite tunes outside. Hide speakers inside man-made, but natural-looking hollow rocks. Some spas come complete with DVD, CD and video players, a pop-up television and a floating remote to access them all.

* Natural sounds

Water features such as fountains and waterfalls sound as good as they look.

* Built-in fun

When planning your pool or spa, consider installing swim-up bars and in-pool seating.

* Banish boredom

Make your pool kid-friendly with zero-depth beach entries, shallow places for little ones to play and perch and low-profile slides.

* Game time

Make the pool a place to play with volleyball nets, floating basketball goals, noodles, big floats and other pool toys. The choices are just about endless.

* Extend game time

Take this idea a little bit further and install a nearby play area made of concrete covered by a rubber mat. This can serve as anything from a mini basketball court to a putting green.

* Layers of protection

You'll enjoy your pool and spa all the more knowing it's as safe as you can make it. Install perimeter fencing with self-latching gates and alarm sensors on doors that lead to the outside. Automatic pool covers are horizontal fences. Motion sensors and alarms are available for your pool to alert you when someone goes into the water. Also, check your main drain cover to make sure it's not missing or broken.

* Carefree fun

Automate your pool and spa to make maintenance a snap. Better yet, rely upon an NSPI CSP Certified Service Professional to keep everything sparkling clean and working just fine.

The National Spa & Pool Institute is the industry organization representing more than 5,200 manufacturers, distributors, builders, retailers and service companies that share a commitment to fair business practices and a standard of excellence in health and safety. NSPI also conducts an industry certification program for pool builders and service professionals. For more information about swimming pools, contact (800) 323-3996 or visit NSPI online at www.nspi.org.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, contact Patty Hulbert, PR manager, National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI), (703) 838-0083 Ext. 162, phulbert@nspi.org.

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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