Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Let yourself go when designing water fountains

April 25, 2004


When it comes to designing water fountains, says Heidi Robinson, homeowners shouldn't be afraid to let their imaginations go wild.

"The great thing that we realized is that you can use almost anything," Robinson, host of the DIY -- Do It Yourself Network show "Waterscapes," says of her experiences in building water fountains on the show. "You're only really limited by your own creativity."

One of her more innovative water fountains came about by using clay pots as the containers into, and out of, which water would spill. "The key is you have to make sure that you've made them watertight," she says of the red pottery containers. "Once you had actually made them into these container fountains, you were just drawn to them."

Although she stuck with clay pots on her show, Robinson has toyed with the idea of designing a fountain using different colored metals.

"I think copper would be beautiful to use," she says. "You could do a variety of different colored metals."

The key to coming up with the good idea for either an outdoor or indoor fountain is to know your home. "I think you can really look around your environment and find different sorts of containers that suit the theme of your home," she says.

"... That's something that people want to keep in mind -- looking around and seeing what sorts of themes you do have in your interior landscape, if you will, and then trying to come up with some accent pieces, some different containers that accent the themes going on in your own home."

In her own home, for example, Robinson has toyed with the idea of using kitchen implements to create a water fountain. "I think it would be fun to use like antique kitchen pots," she says.

Robinson, who is moving to a farm near Seattle, has already started thinking about different items to use in a water fountain outside the farmhouse.

"It would be fun to make a fountain out of the different containers you would find around the farm," she says. "You'd have a bathtub at the bottom, and then maybe an old bucket at the top and then one fills up the other and it spills down and you pump it out."

Robinson suggests that people who want new fountains for their homes should go to local home centers first and look for ideas.

When creating a pond to go along with your water fountain, think in terms of shapes, Robinson says. Symmetrical shapes will give a more contemporary feel whereas gentle, asymmetrical shapes will make the pond seem more natural. "It's sort of the same idea of having it blend into your landscape and go along with your theme," she says.

Another way to get ideas for a fountain is to use objects from nature. In one fountain designed on Robinson's show, bamboo featured prominently in the fountain.

"The bamboo actually hid the tubing, the water tubing," she says. "So what you get is this effect almost of having the water spill out of the bamboo."

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