By Stephanie Cavanaugh
IT’S BLOODY hot out there, but at Architectural Digest it’s chill. I don’t always appreciate this magazine: It’s often too pretentious and insanely pricy. But the new, September, issue offers plenty of styling jelly beans and bubble gum, rooms full of color and joy—there’s even a steal in there.
Of course, most of the wares are over the top; a $36,295 Murano glass chandelier frosted with multicolored blown-glass baubles would be just the thing, wouldn’t it?
But then, the eye stops, seizing on an inflatable pool, of all things, with tufted sides patterned in black and white, surrounding a gamine face with a swish of black bang above enormous round black shades and a rosebud mouth. One would have to dress for this, of course, and nothing chintzy: a white ruffled bikini perhaps, so Bardot. A sleek black maillot.
An inflatable pool in Architectural Digest? And it’s $70? A mere mortal can actually do this! Although they appear to suggest you accessorize with a lipstick-red enameled-ceramic cocktail table from Ralph Pucci ($2,820, shown in black on the site). It’s the high-low business that makes the pool amusing. Darling.
Designed by Stacey Bendet,* founder of the whimsical fashion house Alice + Olivia, for Minnidip pools, it’s 5½ feet in diameter, large enough for the average-sized woman to wallow, and 21 inches deep—that should be enough to cover most bellies.
I visited the Minnidip website, and oh, what a gleeful place! There are crystal-clear pools and pink pools, striped pools, polka-dot pools, and fruit-patterned pools. A yellow-and-white-striped number would make one feel like an ice cube floating in a frosty glass of lemonade. (See below.)
There’s also a 7-foot-round pool if you want to entertain guests, and coordinating umbrellas if a bit of shade is in order.
For a touch of class, there are inflatable pools with—I kid you not—fountains in the center, one with hints of a Moroccan garden, its sides covered in an elaborate pattern in turquoise and white; just bring on the eunuchs. Another, they say, in a deep green boxwood pattern, for what they call a “chic midcentury hotel vibe.” Both are out of stock, of course.
Kids keep OUT! (Though there are kiddie pools, too, and some are even designed for doggie claws.)
But it’s the adult pools that are so captivating, so playful. Plunk one in a tiny yard, on a terrace, a deck. Surround it with potted palms, hibiscus, an orchid or two. Now pour yourself something chill. Here’s to surviving August, with a grin.
*Bendet’s eye-candy apartment in New York’s fabulous Dakota apartment house is featured in this issue of Architectural Digest. With no terrace, one does wonder where she puts the pool. The living room? It wouldn’t look out of place.