10 Pool Design Trends

Swimming pools grace backyards around the world, providing places to cool off on hot days, hang out on party nights, and get in great non-resistance workouts at any time. Over the years, their once standard-issue rectangular shapes have evolved into elaborate, variegated oases. With new materials and construction innovations popping up every year, it's an exciting time in pool design. Here are some trends that have been taking off lately.

1. Sustainable Materials

The drive toward sustainable materials has impacted the pool market with the introduction of tiles made from recycled glass, stone, and even shells. Creative designers are using elements like these to create colorful, high-impact mosaic designs requiring little maintenance. To go even more natural, some pool owners are opting for clay or gravel over more traditional construction elements like concrete or fiberglass.

2. Energy Savings

Pools are expensive to filter and heat, so it’s no surprise homeowners are focusing on high-efficiency pool pumps as the first line of defense against outrageous power bills. New pumps can provide energy savings as high as 30-65%. Most of these pumps increase efficiency by offering variable speeds, so the system isn’t pumping at max capacity all the time.

3. Lighting

Pool designs have long included some kind of safety lighting, but the new trend is to incorporate lighting for flair. LED lighting is popular in pool design for the same reason it’s all the rage in homes—it’s ultra-efficient. Plus, you can create mood with different colors. They are available in just about every size, shape, and style you can imagine. What has really changed, though, is the amount of lighting featured outside the pool. Soft lighting around steps is critical for nighttime safety, but including uplights around landscaping and highlighting pathways just brings a cool, welcoming vibe.

A stylish backyard pool lit from inside

4. Water Features

Water features have been increasingly hot for a while now. These days, they seem to be a central part of almost every pool design. From fountains to showers to sprays, water features are getting steadily more elaborate and more common.

5. Natural Accents

As we mentioned, a pool is no longer just a pool, it’s an oasis, and current trends bring in design elements from nature to hammer this point home. Flagstones, boulders, palm trees, native plants, and gravel flower beds are just a few ways to glow up your pool with the majesty of the great outdoors.

6. Infinity

Once reserved for upper echelon resorts, infinity pools are now en vogue for any yard that can host them. If you have an overlook, infinity pools create an unobstructed flow between you and your view.

7. Stairs Instead of Ladders

Ladders are old school. Modern trends lean towards a graceful and gradual introduction to the water via stairways that flow with the pool design.

A set of stairs leads down into a pool.

8. Hot Tubs

Rather than maintaining a separate hot tub, many pool owners are carving out some space to snuggle the hot water closer to the cold. This increases efficiency and convenience, and streamlines the burden on electrical and cleaning systems.

9. Entertainment Space

More than ever, pools are now the center of an entertaining space. Comprehensive designs take into account the surrounding area, creating opportunities for grilling, lounging, lawn games, relaxation, and partying of all kinds.

10. Built-in Features

Current pool design trends include built-in features such as seats around the edges, water-slides, and even bar stools for the swim-up bar.

Hopefully some of these trends gave you some new ideas. Even a little touch here and there can help you take your pool area from a basic design to an inspiring natural paradise.