These award-winning designers are leading the next trend in pools: not designing an isolated body of water, but a complete experiential environment
surrounding it, including landscaping, hardscaping and outdoor living elements. Kurt Kraisinger of Kansas City and Jeromey Naugle of Phoenix have found individual success doing just that in their own markets, but their power to create world-class designs has elevated now that they have formed one company to take on premier projects, from stateside residences to international resorts. Their formation mirrors the imagery of streams from different regions of the country pooling together into a larger body, thus the name Tributary was born.

The integrated approach of landscape architecture and pool design marry the two philosophies for a seamless quality. “There’s a lot more interesting things going on besides the pool,” Kurt says. “We’re looking at our clients’ entire lifestyle and carrying that design aesthetic throughout the project.”
The three designers bring a specialty niche where none has existed before. Launched this summer, Tributary aims to reach affluent clients around the globe who understand that good design has value in both personal enjoyment as well as financial returns. They will also be able to reach underserved areas where a truly thoughtful and comprehensive approach to pool and environmental design may be lacking.

Before Tributary was even a trickle, Kurt and Jeromey practiced articulating their clients’ visions — sometimes without the client even able to describe it themselves — followed by precision construction. Each designer prides himself on never repeating a design. “I hate the word ‘custom’ because every project should tailor fit the client and site,” Jeromey says. “I make whatever I’m doing blend with the environment by finding areas of interest and then putting the pool inside that area.”

No matter the location, Tributary can succeed where single pool builders can’t — in their range of knowledge of soils, plants and materials from one coast to the other. Whether the climate is arid, wet or suffers freeze/thaw cycles, Tributary’s watershapers bring their region’s specialties to the drawing board, making for designs that function properly long past those typical of pool builders. Not only are they creative visionaries, they excel at quality control, considering grading, drainage and site perspectives.

“Our designs are engineered to last forever,” Jeromey says.

The men honed their craft through various paths, from university degrees to stints in the trenches. Kurt is a registered landscape architect, while Jeromey is self-taught.

“We are completely different in a lot of ways, but the chances are that one of us will know how to detail plans for a particular site and what to consider,” Kurt explains. “If we’re anything alike, it’s that our clients completely understand what we’re talking about and trust us.”
Kurt is as meticulous as he is creative. Jeromey is a passionate problem solver. With these multiple sets of well-trained eyes on each project, they’re elevating the standard of what’s possible.

In the ebb and flow of an industry dominated by similar designs and short-lived construction, Tributary stands to last. They’ve already been dominating with more than 50 years of combined knowledge and experience. As individuals, Kurt and Jeromey have enough strengths to carry themselves, but pooled together, they may be unstoppable.


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