Ask ten pool professionals what the best design is and you’re liable to get ten different answers. And the thing is, none of them are wrong. From elegant cocktail pools to majestic infinity edge pools, gunite to fiberglass, rectangular to freeform, there’s plenty of room for disagreement and personal preference when it comes to swimming pools.
In other words, it doesn’t matter so much what the pros think – your own tastes and sense of style will ultimately dictate what design is most appealing to you.
Having said that, it’s undeniable that the best pool designs have a few fundamental qualities in common. Whatever you picture in your head when you imagine the perfect pool, it’s likely that the following words describe it. If not, you may want to reconsider your definition of “perfect.”
In all likelihood, you’ll spend a lot more time looking at your backyard pool than swimming in it. Therefore, it should be pleasing to the eye, possibly with aesthetic features like naturalistic waterfalls, decorative tile, and smart landscaping. Of course, there’s also something to be said for simplicity, especially since the sparkling blue water is beautiful all on its own.
There are two parts to this. One, a pool should fit the environment it’s in without seeming cramped or crowding out other backyard features. Two, a pool should be the right size for the activities you have planned for it. These days, the trend is toward smaller pools and versatile pool/spa combos (aka spools).
None of the other qualities matter much if the pool isn’t affordable, maintainable, functional, and safe. There are many angles to this, but it essentially boils down to whether it’s easy to actually use and enjoy the pool. Is the placement right? Are the entry points sufficient? Is it convenient to clean and balance? You get the idea.
The main reason people can’t agree on the best pool design is that they want different things out of a pool. If you like to swim, but also have kids who want to splash around, an L-shaped lap pool might be perfect. For someone who just wants to lounge and entertain, a rectangular pool with a Baja shelf might be just the thing. Bottom line, a pool should be tailored to the people who are using it most of the time.
A pool is a permanent fixture that will (if well-constructed) outlast many current fads. It may even outlast the current homeowners. Therefore, the perfect swimming pool isn’t tied to a narrow time period or personal tastes that are too specific. As a result, it doesn’t lose its luster until the physical materials begin to wear.
Of course, these probably aren’t the only qualities you’re looking for in a cool pool design. You might also want a pool that incorporates high-tech features, is energy efficient, or offers maximum privacy. The adjectives above are hard to argue with, but beyond that, the perfect pool is truly in the eye of the beholder.