Waterworlds, Pt 1

In his 18 years of DBA Knibb Design, Sean has built a deep portfolio of pools. What distinguishes Sean’s work from mere pool building is the way in which he integrates their design into the garden and landscape; more than a hole with water, his pools are filled with poetry. The pool becomes an opportunity to bring grace and quiet to a space, a kind of visual yoga of discipline, energy, and peace.

Peruse Sean’s portfolio and you’ll see that diversity and eclecticism are key. He goes easily from the Modern to the pastoral, from East to West, from the sumptuous to the minimal. Sean has the experience and chops to take his work in whatever direction best serves the project and space at hand.


Above and below: The Bauhaus-like geometry of the pool deck features a series of long rectangles that merge with the softer edges of the garden. Above, the scene has the feeling of a giant concrete throw pillow with the garden providing the silken fringe. The design also integrates the language of a traditional Japanese garden—stone, water, long, clean lines, repetitions of rectangular forms, and layers to provide a balanced symmetry. Care was taken to configure a variety of views from different vantage points in the space.

As in all of Sean’s work, there are some surprises too: Below, note the small punctuations of color, the heroic pots and other Mediterranean touches, the playfulness in the planting choices, and the juxtaposition of different types of stone, as exemplified in the fireplace. Even when working within traditions, Sean’s style is anything but orthodox.



Below, a garden reminiscent of the French style with an update: A formal cabana and pergola with the opulence of continuous stone planes accented by a passionate earthy palette.


Below, the heritage look of an old Italian villa is enhanced with citrus, a limited palette, and the juxtaposition of both soft and bold textures to compliment the old world hardscape.


Below, clean modern lines meet a cozy garden-bordered hideaway and a cool-dip of paradise.