Come sit for a spell

Times Staff Writer

A chaise beside the pool? How about a chaise in the pool? These days, the selection of submersible furniture is growing along with the popularity of the Baja step, that super-shallow part of the pool designed purely for lounging. People who first saw the feature at hotels such as the Hard Rock in Las Vegas or the Delano in Miami are requesting the same look at home -- plus furniture to go with it.

“For the past few years, designers and clients have asked me if our furnishings can go in the pool,” says James Sheftel, West Hollywood showroom manager for Summit, which specializes in handcrafted outdoor teak furniture. “I always wince, because pool water is corrosive. To put a wood product like teak in water just doesn’t seem like a good idea.”

So now Sheftel’s showroom also represents Float, whose Wave Lounger is part of a new line of sculptural outdoor furniture designed by architect Jeanne Scandura. The Wave is made of cast fiberglass-reinforced resin and finished with a marine-grade gel coat that’s pool-proof.

“People started realizing that it’s not comfortable to sit in shallow water without furniture,” Sheftel says, adding that clients also wanted a teak umbrella for a little in-pool shade. “So along came the stainless steel umbrellas. We actually have sold many of our stainless steel base/pole umbrellas for use in pools.”


More designs these days have metal frames that are rust-proof and synthetic finishes that can withstand chlorinated water. The beauty of these new pieces is that even if you don’t have a pool, the furniture looks great on patios and lawns. Here’s a sampling of pieces for the Baja step and beyond.