Creating the perfect pool and backyard environment can be challenging. There are seemingly millions of ideas out there, with thousands of websites promoting their suppliers, architects, or builders. And there are millions of ideas on Pinterest to cull through. We’ve saved you some time and effort, though, by doing the work for you, and just narrowing down the list to our top 10 favorite beautiful pool ideas.
Some of the most beautiful pool ideas are listed below, with basic information on how to think through your own take on the designs. But first, you’ll want to think through pool types, shapes, and materials, before you can design the perfect backyard.
Standard Pool Types Explained
As you start looking into the perfect pool for your home, consider types of pool ideas.
1. Standard Pools
The most popular, and therefore most common, pool type is the traditional rectangular shape. This is a great shape for a large, evenly laid out yard shape, as well as for anyone with kids or folks who plan to throw a lot of pool parties.
2. Infinity Pools
If you’re not entirely familiar with this popular design, infinity pools are the type that gives the illusion that the pool disappears into a waterfall over a cliff. The edges have a raised side on three of the four sides, with the fourth going “over the edge” in the direction most conducive to creating this illusion.
Infinity pools can have a single level or a tiered effect.
This type of pool is great for a more exotic design setting but can be great for lap pools, swimming pools for larger families, or for more sophisticated settings, based on the details of the landscaping around the pool.
3. Lap Pools
If you’ve ever seen a pool that was long and skinny, you’ve seen a lap pool. These are designed for those who want to swim laps for training or health reasons, rather than host pool parties. These are great for small, long yards.
4. Swim Spas or SPOOLS
This kind of pool is smaller than the standard swimming pools, but they’re larger than what most people would consider a “small” pool. They can be heated to a higher temperature than standard swimming pools and are used as an alternative to hot tubs or relaxing pools.
5. Plunge Pools
This particular pool design is perfect for small yards, and people who are more interested in cooling off and relaxing, rather than doing full-out swimming or hosting kids’ pool parties. They’re smaller, and just begin enough for a few people at a time to slide in for a cool-off.
6. Zero Entry Pools
This particular pool design is perfect for young kids and folks with mobility issues. The entry into the pool is a gradual gradient that lets you ease into the depths like you would entering the water at the beach or lake.
7. Indoor Pools
If you live in a colder climate, you’ll want to consider doing an indoor pool instead of an outdoor pool. You can find some incredible indoor décor and furniture to make your indoors feel like the outdoors, especially if you can do a glass design for the pool room.
8. Endless Pools
For those looking for major exercise benefits without as much space as a full lap pool, you can consider the endless or exercise pool option. These pools push water out against you, meaning you can swim “in place” for a strong exercise option. You won’t need to flip around constantly to keep the laps going.
9. Salt Water Pools
If you’re against chlorine and chemicals for keeping your pool water clean, consider a salt-water pool.
10. Above Ground Pools
For those on a tighter budget, above-ground pools are a great option that can still provide your family with the swimming, pool party, and luxury you’re looking for. With the right deck or landscaping designs, you can even make that above-ground pool feel like an in-ground.
11. Screened-IN Pools
If you live someplace where you meet a lot of biting bugs and crazy wildlife, you might want to consider a screened-in pool option, if you’re not into the full-on indoor pool idea. These pools are common in places like Florida and Louisiana where a lot of swampy creatures come around the yard on a regular basis.
Most Common Pool Shapes
One of the most important aspects of designing your pool and landscaping is the shape of the pool. Before you decide, be sure to check out pool shapes that intrigue you, and work with your base style.
The twelve most common pool shapes and designs include:
If you’re not totally sure which shape is which, do some google searches for “Lazy L pools” or “Half Moon pools,” or look through some photo galleries.
Most Common Pool Materials
You might not realize it, but the material that your pool is made of can significantly alter the landscaping, design, and atmosphere of your pool.
Fiberglass pool interiors are fast and easy to install and require much less maintenance over time. This pool interior also lasts a lot longer with less work than others. There are a wide variety of colors to choose from, ranging from things like natural sand and beachy tones to cooler colors like blue to add a brighter feel to the pool.
Fiberglass inserts are delivered in the pre-determined shape and size you’ve deemed for your pool.
Concrete has been the most popular pool interior until the more recent years. Basically, the hole is dug into the ground, and then the concrete is poured in. And, voila, your pool liner is ready to set. This particular interior is great for custom-shaped pools, like Free Form and Half Moon.
Vinyl liners come to your home in panels, which are installed one at a time to line the pool in the shape you’ve designated. The vinyl sits on a concrete foundation. Great things about vinyl liners are that they don’t crack, they don’t require repainting with waterproof paint – concrete requires this process every so often – and they’re great for custom-shaped pools. Vinyl liners are also one of the cheapest interiors for an inground pool.
For a unique twist on a pool liner, you can try the shipping container method. The pool is dug, and the shipping container is dropped into the hole. Or, if you’re looking for a unique aesthetic, you can use a shipping container as an above-ground pool instead.
Shipping containers are less expensive than concrete and fiberglass liners and tend to be efficient for heating purposes on the pool. You can find companies that specialize in building and installing shipping container pools.