Dive into These 8 Pool Design Trends to Look Forward to in 2018


Swimming pools are like everything else in life–they go in and out of style. Back in the 1950s and ’60s when residential pools first entered mainstream America, they weren’t designed or built in the same way they are today. They were usually finished with gunite, vinyl or fiberglass. They were often rectangular, but occasionally kidney-shaped. Do-it-yourself plastic-lined pools saturated the market, making the dream of pool ownership a reality for many middle-class Americans. Since becoming backyard staples, pools have evolved significantly, but some things remain the same.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most promising new pool trends of the year!

Aesthetic: Getting Back to Basics

It’s hard to attribute a single style or characteristic to the modern-day swimming pool, but they usually fall into two primary categories: naturalistic, meaning they look like they belong in nature and might feature lush landscaping and waterfalls, and architectural, meaning they’re built to complement or play against the architecture of the home. Here are some more of the hottest aesthetic trends in pools.

1. Organic Integration—Architecture pioneer Frank Lloyd Wright made waves in the middle of the last century with his “organic architecture,” or architecture that blends beautifully with nature. But today’s trendiest swimming pools don’t necessarily draw from the organic, earthy stuff around them. Instead, they take cues from the architectural style of the home and the region at large. For example, an ultra-modern home might feature a super-simplistic design, while a Mediterranean-style home might have hand-painted tile accents or stone water features.

2. Soft, Endless Edges—The infinity pool is definitely one of those trends that’s on its way up with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But this year, you can look forward to all-new innovations with regards to the infinity pool. For example, we’re seeing a lot of residential designs featuring multi-layered pools, with the higher layer featuring an infinity edge that feeds into the lower layer. Designers are also using the infinity edge to make a more dramatic statement, with tall, exposed pool walls creating a unique waterfall effect within the landscape.

3. Sun Ledges—You’ve probably seen pool sun ledges at hotels and resorts. These in-pool features are also referred to as “tanning ledges” or “lounging ledges” because they’re perfect for hanging out when you don’t want to get too wet. Such ledges usually don’t go deeper than a foot, so they’re also a good place to put your waterproof pool loungers so that you can cool down poolside without fully submersing yourself in the water.

4. Dark-Colored Surfaces—Have you noticed that the most luxurious, high-end pools seem to have traveled to the dark side? That’s because pool designers are giving formerly bright, blue pools a makeover with dark, brooding surfaces this year. The idea is to make the water look less artificial, which plays into the desire to make pools look more natural and well-integrated. Darker surfaces are also more efficient, since they’re more easily warmed up in sunlight.



Function: Automated and Energy Efficient

Energy efficiency is a huge trend across the board and in every industry, so it shouldn’t surprise you that it’s a major consideration for pool designers, too. Not too long ago, swimming pools were considered energy hogs and money-suckers, but they can now be run efficiently and affordably thanks to alternative energy and high-efficiency pool parts.

5. Automation Everywhere—There’s seemingly no facet of life that’s not being automated, and the swimming pool is certainly no exception. All kinds of pool maintenance jobs can be automated with new technology, from cleaning the pool with a robotic pool cleaner to automated pool pumps that you can control from anywhere. The great thing about these remote and robotic pool operating systems is that they help owners run their pools more efficiently, even when they’re not at home.

6. LED Lighting—You’ve probably already started to replace your home’s old, energy-sucking incandescent light bulbs with highly efficient LEDs, and now it’s the pool’s turn. Not only does LED pool lighting help curb your pool’s operation costs—LEDs are much more efficient because they last longer and run cooler than other kinds of lights—but they also allow you to customize the ambiance. Since LEDs come in so many unique color temperatures, you can tailor your pool’s lighting to your mood. Of course, every trend-driven pool of today needs a dimmer for tailored lighting.

7. Solar-Powered Parts—We’ve seen all kinds of solar-powered outdoor accessories break into the market in the past few years, but the pool industry has really taken advantage of it. Literally every single operation on your swimming pool—from the heating mechanism to the lighting to the cover—can be powered by the sun. These days, homeowners can count on 100 percent solar pools, which means much lower operating costs and a smaller carbon footprint.

8. Internet of Things Gadgets—The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase that refers to everyday gadgets—phones, watches and speakers are some of the best examples—that can be enhanced with internet connectivity. It comes as no surprise that swimming pool innovators are bringing this trend poolside, with smart IoT gadgets that can clean, test and monitor your swimming pool’s water right from your phone. As most pool owners know, maintaining the water quality is one of the most arduous tasks of pool ownership, and these cool tools help solve that problem.



As you can see, it’s the shape, material and cost of the pool that has changed with time. The pure joy of the swimming pool remains. Today’s designers are like the designers of yesteryear in that they still put a premium on enjoyment, but other factors—especially aesthetic and the efficiency of the design—carry the industry forward. Homeowners now prefer swimming pools, and hardscapes in general, that feel like they belong within their environment, whether that means the natural or architectural landscape around them. And, unsurprisingly, they’re willing to pay a premium for efficiency and lower maintenance. These priorities will surely continue to propel the industry forward in years to come.

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