LoHud Jounal News Jan Johnsen

Pools with personality

Written by DEBRA KEISER
For The Journal News/LoHud.com - June 28, 2013

Just like people, pools, too, have personality - if they're lucky. Landscape designer Jan Johnsen, who studied and worked in Japan and Hawaii, has designed many over the last 40 years, and she believes every one of them has its own persona.

"There is an innate personality to each site - something I call, 'the power of place.' It refers to the overall appearance and feeling of a place," she says. "My approach is to marry the site to the design so it makes sense on a visceral level."

Of course, Johnsen's plans also take into account the owner's vision and personal tastes, but the site's personality traits have to be considered.

"I look at the view, the native trees and shrubs, the geology, the orientation, the sun/ shade patterns and more," she says. For instance, if the site has tall mature trees, you don't clear cut; you blend them into the design. Working in concert with the site means that the finished layout will be more serene, she says. "I strive to create the feeling of calm."

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Johnsen Landscapes and Pools for Westchester and Fairfield County