The great thing about inground pools, especially gunite ones, is that they can be custom designed to fit almost any shape and backyard. But the pool shell is just the beginning of the ways you can trick out your pool to make it the envy of the neighborhood. Overall, sustainable and low-maintenance design remains popular when it comes to outdoor design trends.
1. Geometric shapes. For a long time, organic shapes that mimicked nature ruled pool design. But the latest trends are for squares, rectangles and even circles. Think geometry and you’ll see the possibilities. Unlike the simple rectangular pool of the past, however, today’s geometric pools use multiple shapes to create architectural statements. As a bonus, the geometric shapes help you take full advantage of the space you have available.
2. Tanning shelves. Sometimes a tanning ledge, these are shallow shelves anywhere from 6 inches to 9 inches deep, where swimmers can lounge in warm shallow water. Think of them as mini beaches where you can lounge in and out of the water. The shelves have become so popular that manufactures are now making chairs specifically designed for tanning shelves.
3. Infinity edges. As the name implies, the infinity edge creates the illusion that your pool extends into infinity. The illusion is created by a wall that is flush with the water. A catch basin recirculates water that spills over the edge during swimming. These pools are also known as vanishing edges because the pool wall seems to vanish. Whatever you call these pools, the effect is stunning.
4. Wireless controls. Just as you can control your TV and your car wirelessly, now you can control your pool just the same using your smartphone or tablet. These systems allow you to do everything from turn on the lights to heat up the spa.
5. Energy-saving equipment. Today’s pool equipment isn’t just smart, it’s also super-efficient, meaning it can save you thousands in energy costs. There are even rebates from utilities and government to help defray the initial cost of installation. Whether it’s a variable speed drive pump or energy heater, these green machines are the future of pools.
6. Water features. Anyone who’s been to Las Vegas knows the power of water features. From the Bellagio fountains to the Venetian canals, water features create a resort feel. Smaller versions of these can be created in your own backyard that transform it into a mini-resort. Whether it’s natural-looking cascading waterfalls or architecturally designed fountains, water features take swimming pools to the next level.
7. High-end hardscapes. The deck and hardscape surrounding your pool set the stage for the pool itself. These days, homeowners are choosing luxurious hardscapes such as Italian travertine stone to set their pools apart. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a high-end look. Even simple pavers can make a statement if they’re installed with a design in mind.