Drake’s Luxury Pool and more stars with fancy pools

Drake moves away from the usual hip-hop swagger about money, cars, and women and focuses on a more specific point of pride in his song “Summer Sixteen,” released in January: his pool. With its sprawling rock caves, luxe wet bar, and lighted waterfalls, the rapper’s backyard lagoon — which is part of the $7.7 million Hidden Hills estate he bought in 2012 — is featured in the verse, “Now I have a bigger pool.” as Ye”.

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Drake and Kanye West, who has since ripped up his pool and is reportedly in the process of replacing it with a giant lake-style oasis, aren’t alone in their obsession. “I’m seeing more and more people wanting to create incredible-looking pools,” says interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who worked on the Cher and The Osbournes homes. “Gone are the days of the white, plain pool.” Instead, he says, homeowners are opting for bespoke features like Italian mosaic tile floors, Baja tanning shelves, lighted torches rising from the water, underwater sound systems, fiber optic lighting, ornate fountains and water slides.

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Pools can start at around $50,000 but often exceed $1 million and take years to complete. Super-mansion architect Richard Landry (who has built homes for Mark Wahlberg and Rod Stewart) has spent years working on an aquatic masterpiece for a client that “starts with a beach entrance and a lazy river that takes you to the end of the beach Property where you have an infinity pool with a swim up bar.”

A $1 million oasis style pool in the same style as Drake’s built in Hidden Hills in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of The Altman Brothers

However, when homeowners operate with restrictions, they are not due to environmental concerns. “I wish I could tell you yes,” says real estate agent Josh Altman of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing when asked if California’s drought is causing Los Angeles residents to cut back on projects. “In a town where pool parties are so important, nobody cares.”

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When Hollywood CEO John McIlwee and film producer Bill Damaschke decided to add a pool to the Garcia House, a famous rainbow-shaped Hollywood Hills residence designed by architect John Lautner, they hired Marmol Radziner. “In LA, there’s an added value to a home that’s specific to a pool,” says McIlwee. Their design took nearly two years and “a ton of money,” but it was well worth the price. “Even if it costs a bit more than you’re willing to spend, you get your money back at the end of the day,” says Altman, who notes that the lack of a pool killed a potential sale.

Drake's Luxury Pool and more stars

The current owners of Garcia House were commissioned to design their pool in a form that complemented the house’s unique architecture.
Richard Powers

Property value aside, the best pool on the block has a certain cachet that can’t always be quantified. “It’s a good boast when you’re spending that much money and you want to show off,” says Altman. “Here, size matters.”

This story originally appeared in the March 12 issue of Billboard.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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