Pools offer a special place for homeowners to relax and entertain, which increased ten-fold as travel halted during the pandemic. Suddenly, people were faced with endless time at home and eventually found refuge in various home improvement projects, especially in their back yards, as a way to turn their homes into the ultimate personal oasis.
The most popular backyard addition? You guessed it: pools.
Loved by most and coveted by many, pools offer all the benefits of a resort or waterpark in the convenience of your very own back yard. And, with today’s customizable pool options, it really is possible to have it all.
We sat down with some of the top pool designers and landscape designers in the area and dove into some of today’s top pool trends. (We’re not judges, but we’d give them 10s across the board.)
RESORT-STYLE BACK YARDS
For many families, the fun of having a backyard pool is included in the experience around it. “Ninety-five percent of the requests that come are for the entire back yard, not just pools,” says Tim Wilson of The Clearwater Group in Columbus. “People are looking for pools, outdoor kitchens, bars—the whole set.” Pool-side fireplaces are another increasingly popular option that allows for a seamless transition from day to night with only a matter of steps across the grass.
Fiberglass pools are made of the same material often found in sinks, bathtubs, and other high-performance areas of the home. “Fiberglass swimming pools are the top request,” says Kevin Werbrich of Werbrich’s Landscaping in Cincinnati. “We’ve had these types of pools significantly more requested than concrete or liner pools.” It’s no wonder, seeing as fiberglass pools are delivered and installed as one final shell, rather than being first set with support bars and then covered with concrete or vinyl.
SHALLOW LEDGE POOLS
A shallow ledge, or a tanning ledge, is a small shelf of space located at a pool’s entrance that works double time for sunbathers and children alike. “Not only is it a nice place to have a couple of lounge chairs and hang out,” says John Remke of Klimat Master Pools in Cincinnati, “but it’s also a nice place for younger kids who can’t swim to still be included.”
INFINITY EDGE POOLS
Infinity edge pools are a modern-day optical illusion. These sleek, modern pools give the illusion that the water line is nonexistent and instead merges with the surrounding landscape or sky. The best infinity pools are those where the top of the water is at the same level as the edges surrounding the pool and leads out to beautiful scenery.
Today, water features might mean more than just the relaxing jets you lean against in a hot tub.
Waterfall: A forever classic, waterfalls add a focal point to the pool that is both beautiful to look at and relaxing to hear. They are typically made with rock formations to achieve a more natural effect.
Fountain: Grouped together in sets or alone, fountains are often used as decoration. Paired with LED lights or set at a pool entrance, these small additions take a pool from simple to serene in seconds.
Rain Curtain: A rain curtain acts as a narrow, wide sheet of water that falls directly into the pool. These can easily be mounted on a raised pool wall or a nearby pergola roof.
Cascades: Smaller than a rain curtain, a cascade forms a small arc of water in the pool which often descends from rock features or from the pool walls themselves.
Spillover Spa: A spillover spa can offer the best of both worlds, as it can serve as an eye-catching water feature while still doubling as a spa. There is a lot of flexibility in the spills, with options available to have one large spillway or a series of smaller ones.
SWIMMING ISN’T GOING OUT OF STYLE
While the pandemic certainly surged demand for pool installations, the number of new pools is not likely to level off any time soon. People are rejoining society and reuniting with friends and family against the perfect backdrop of their new pools.
A lot of people want pools for their kids, but a lot of people also just want pools for themselves,” says Chris Durbin of Buckeye Pools in Dayton. “The pandemic helped people figure out what made them happy, and a lot of them took the opportunity to capitalize on putting in pools and completing their back yards.”
Article by Sydne Santo
Article originally published in May 2022