What is it about Rock stars and swimming pools?
When Boomer Block started cleaning pools as a high school senior in 1984, he wasn’t dreaming of stardom. It was just a job… until he started paying attention to plumbing, pool repair, the hardscape surround, and eventually site placement. Before too long, Boomer Block had chops that far surpassed what was required of a pool cleaner. So he started drawing and designing them.
Unlike a pool company that designs pools, Rock Star Design Studio is a pool design team that builds pools. If you’re looking for something over the top, a design that breaks all the rules (as any self respecting rock star must), then make your way to the bright blue house where old glory waves.
“Not Your Neighbor’s Pool”
Keeping with this tagline, Rock Star Pools’ design studio reveals a brave new way to look at your backyard; one you won’t find at large pool builders’ showrooms. Off-the-chain memorable design that’s perfectly geared to your lifestyle (the bigger the better) is what you get with this boutique, uber personalized, pool design service.
So the design process goes like this: Block comes out to your home and surveys your property. His eyeballs are sharp as a highflying eagle’s — he’s been known to estimate accurate measurements from 50 yards away down to the half-foot. He visualizes options for your wish list and then heads back to the studio to draw.
Yes, draw. There’s no computer on Block’s desk. He uses an architect’s table in a sundrenched room filled with art supplies and Bill Stidham portraits. While hand sketching details and painting with old-school Copic markers sets his apart from the ubiquitous soul less computer aided pool designs, it’s the imagination behind the designs that stun you speechless.
Block didn’t go searching for the rock star life; it eventually found him. As the years went by, he quietly became the go-to designer for high-end pools. Pools that look like fantasy on paper, let alone real life, yet there they are: multi tiered pools that spill over Hill Country cliffs, lazy rivers, grottos over which water cascades, underground tunnels from which you swim up to your own private sauna, doggie pools, bridges and deep cave-like spots.
But that’s just the pool. “It’s the rest of the stuff that makes for a great outdoor space,” Block says.
No Limits to Creativity As You Design Your Dream
When you think of pool design, think outside the pool. There’s a whole lot more going on in Rock Star designs. In fact, that’s what makes Block’s designs special; it’s the “everything else” you get when he imagines what your yard could be.
Besides a pool, I suggested an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit or two, some raise garden beds, a skateboard half pipe and a chicken coop. “You can have it all, as long as you have the space,” he assured me.
So how much space, exactly? The average Boomer Block design, if there is such a thing, doesn’t fit in a standard neighborhood tract lot in town. Well, like all rock stars, he prefers at least an acre to play with and a $300K carte blanche.
Now, before you blanche, Block assures me that, while Rock Star Studios personally builds just a handful of special pool designs each year, he designs hundreds. He will draw you a dream.
The Nuts and Bolts
So here’s how it works. He comes out, envisions the scene, and draws it up on graph paper. After any necessary revisions, and if you decide to move ahead, they provide the mechanical, electrical and plumbing schematics, equipment required, etc. Block paints a color plan, writes up specs and even points you to contractors you can hire. If it’s the right pool, you can talk about having the Rock Star team build it.
Among his clientele is Rick Beaubouef, of Easy Pools, a consumer advocate and swimming pool trade professional serving on several swimming pool regulatory boards. When he needed a design for his personal pool, Block was his choice.
Although the specs and codes are important, Block says, “The best money spent on a pool is in the design.”
Meet the Team
When I visited the colorful studio, Block’s team members Nikki and Brooke made me feel right at home as a client was just leaving. The gentleman unrolled his plans to show what Block had designed for him, including a grotto jutting from a hillside, a large natural pool with a lap pool invisibly designed into its form, and even a separate, but attached doggie pool with it’s own ”shoreline” entrance and filtration system for dirty doggie feet.
Inside the bright blue house-made-studio are neat piles of books and sketches, pool drawings on the walls, picture of finished pools, artwork and shabby-glam rock and roll furniture, rolled up drawings in corners, and plenty of painted green and blue jewels – the pools — framed on the walls. The creative team behind this structured visual feast clearly enjoys people, music and art, and each other.
They blast music (of course), take walks, and dream about the next project. They turn down when clients visit, and you’re more than welcome any time. Nikki, the operations manager, can be reached at 512-614-1000.
I asked Boomer Block if there was any pool he wouldn’t design and he immediately answered, “a kidney bean shaped pool with a circular spa at one end.” (Now you know why he says, “Not your neighbor’s pool”). When I asked him to describe his ideal client, you can probably guess they include Austin’s rich and famous. ”Rock stars… because they’re the most fun to work with.”