Bahamian Beauty


The vision for this outdoor living space was to design a pool around a sunken seating area so those within it feel surrounded by water. One look and there’s no doubt the vision became a stunning reality, which exceeded expectations of the homeowner as well as those who designed and built it.

It began as an idea floating around the heads of Bobby Gross and David Lesser, owners of Windstar Homes in Tampa, Fla. ( The two held onto the idea for years, waiting for the perfect opportunity to implement it.

“I could not hardly wait for the opportunity for us to do this,” Gross says. “A lot of people have great ideas, but an inability to execute them. We have found that we’re successful with our ideas and push the limits to execute them.”

Driving the pool’s design was the infinity edge experience, but the sunken living room is its true allure. “The owner was on board with it. He loved it. He knew it would be a one-of-a-kind type of pool, but didn’t completely understand the illusion it would create,” Gross explains.

The impact of the illusion is best explained through the eyes of David Lesser, who recalls the day the home was delivered to its owners. “They came down with their family. I was on the back of the property looking back up at the home. I remember Bobby was in the sunken seating area with the client’s father-in-law. Looking at them over the water’s surface completely clothed and dry was a gratifying illusion. It was unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s one thing experiencing it looking out at the ocean, but seeing it from the other side was almost as unbelievable.

Beauty Secrets

Rain water drainage was a key consideration for the sunken seating space. In-wall lighting and a stone floor create a much more dramatic atmosphere than sitting on a pool deck, Gross says. Code issues did not factor into the design and construction of the sunken space.

A hot tub spa sits on the beach side of the pool, where water spills into what’s called a shallows area, Lesser explains (see photo above left). “It’s 40-ft. by 8 ft. front to back, and within that shallows area sits the hot tub.”

Sitting in the Caribbean, this neo-Mediterranean waterfront home boasts incredible views of the ocean. The owners provided Windstar Homes with direction, but were uncertain how to implement them. “They allowed us to do what we do best, which was to create a floor plan that offered a level of livability, drama, dramatic sight lines but also a comfort level that is almost unassuming. The home has plenty of dramatic features but it’s very comfortable,” Gross adds.

“We had full creative license on this project,” Lesser says. “That’s when excellence can be achieved. It’s why this home is successful.”

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