Residential pool design has come a long way. Aspirational features, typically seen in a resort setting, are what homeowners want. Cool built-ins, custom entries and water features generate the most excitement. So if you’re thinking of installing a pool or remodeling your existing one, here’s a look at some of the most sought-after features.
There used to be three ways to enter a pool: steps, ladders or “Cannon ball!” Times have changed. Do you like the feeling of wading into the ocean? A beach entry creates that experience with a gradual slope from the deck into the water. Because no steps are involved, it’s ideal for children, seniors and anyone with special needs. This natural transition does take some space to achieve, so it’s often used in combination with a multi-level transition in another area.
Also called a sun shelf or Baja bench, these large landings sit just below the surface, no more than 6 to 12 inches deep. Designed to accommodate lounge chairs, they provide a chic place to hang out and cool off without taking a full plunge. These shallow shelves give builders an opportunity to do something really dramatic with decorative tile or contrasting materials. Tanning ledges can span the entire end of the pool or be part of a multi-tiered entry that includes steps and ledges of varying dimensions.
Nothing creates impact like a vanishing-edge pool or spa, where the water blends into the background in one uninterrupted line of sight. Builders achieve this effect by eliminating the rear coping; the water spills into a catch pool on the other side. It’s a dramatic feature that effectively connects the pool with the environment and creates a stunning view. Any picturesque backdrop will do, from a body of water to lush landscaping. The vanishing edge can even face the home so that from inside it looks like a water feature.
There are myriad options for creating visual and sound effects using water. From exotic fountains to sheer waterfalls to spraying jets, water features add movement and drama to the setting. Depending on the pool design, there’s a complementary water feature. For example, fountain bubblers installed on a sun shelf add an element of fun for kids.
Custom built-ins turn your pool into a destination for conversing, lounging or enjoying a beverage. Built-in stools or benches, tables and swim-up bars say, “We like to have fun!” and they’re quite functional for entertaining. When planning your design, envision all the ways you’ll use the pool now and into the future.
Ordinary pools are really a thing of the past. All it takes is a little imagination and experienced pool builder to make your dreams come true.