This is the time of year when people who don’t have pools suddenly realize the advantages of having one. Whether you are considering putting one in in time for next summer, or just want to fantasize about your dream pool during these last long days of summer, here’s a look at some of the top trends in pools:
The tanning ledge (known by many names, including Baja shelf, sun shelf, and wet deck) is a large shallow shelf about 6-18 inches deep. Tanning ledges were originally designed for younger kids to splash around in, but found another big fan base among adults who discovered they also make great lounging spots. Today’s tanning ledges can come equipped with bubblers, fountains, built-in umbrella holders and specially-made wet deck chaise lounges.
A beach entry is a slope from the edge of the pool that gradually gets deeper, mimicking the gentle slope of a sandy beach. It’s good for small children and toddlers who aren’t yet strong swimmers because it gives them a place for supervised play without the sudden drop-off of a tanning ledge. Beach entries also offer easy access for people with physical limitations and can accommodate wheelchair users.
As pools become just one part of an integrated outdoor environment, homeowners are incorporating fire features into the pool design. Waterfalls topped with fiery torches, fire bowls surrounded by moats and other mash-ups of the primal elements of fire and water create a dramatic look. Built-in fire pits and fireplaces echoing the pool design make the outside space more functional and feel more cohesive.
No longer is it just enough to have the one old-school light in the deep end, today’s newest pools use LED lighting effects to create “aquatic atmospheres.” Colored LED lights can turn the pool a vivid fuchsia for a teen sleepover, a cool blue for evening cocktails or a blood red for Halloween. Computerized light settings can take the pool through an array of looks throughout the night or turn water jets into a colorful water show. Other lighting ideas include: up-lighting around the pool to emphasize plants or interesting architectural features, lining the edge of the pool with fiber optic lighting to highlight the pool’s shape and lining paths with subtle lights for safety and a resort-like feel. The newest lighting is energy-efficient and can be controlled remotely via mobile device.
Negative edge pools
Negative edge pools (aka wet edge, knife edge, or perimeter overflow pools) are an offshoot of infinity pools but carry the “infinity” look around the perimeter of the pool. In negative edge pools, the waterline is even with the surface around the pool, creating a sleek and modern look.
Water features can add fun, drama or a more natural look to a pool. Homeowners who want a pool that blends in with the landscape choose pools designed to look like ponds or can add a series of small creek-like pools, spilling over into the main pool. For a dramatic look, there are waterfalls, bubblers, water jets, fountains and rain curtains. Small built-in water slides can turn a pool into a mini-water park for kids.
Home owners are also installing pools specifically designed for exercising. Lap pools, the long narrow pools the width of a lap lane, are not only good for convenient workouts, but work well in a small space and give a yard the refreshing cerulean glow of a pool. Exercise pools—small pools with a built-in resistance jet at one end of the pool that allow swimmers to swim against a current—are also a good bet for fitness fans with a small space.
Natural pools and salt water pools
Natural pools are a good choice for eco-friendly outdoor living. They are generally designed to fit in visually with the natural environment, are heated by the sun and use a natural filtering system to clean the water. The filtering is done with a connected regeneration pond filled with special vegetation that acts as a biological filter, eliminating the need for added chemicals. Salt water pools use salt to purify the water instead of chlorine. Salt water pools need less maintenance than chlorine pools and are gentler on skin, eyes, and hair.
Smart systems and energy-efficient equipment
Homeowners can choose from a host of new apps to control their pools remotely. Everything from lighting design to security cameras, pool and spa temperatures, and cleaning tools can be set, adjusted, and monitored with a mobile device. Homeowners also have more choices in energy-efficient equipment, including more efficient variable speed pumps, solar heating systems, pool covers and cleaning equipment.
If you’re shopping for a home with a pool in San Diego county, give me a call or do a custom home search on my website!