When it comes to getting ready for summer, there’s nothing that says summer more than a pool. From planning to execution, the addition of a pool or pool/hot tub combo makes even the most mundane outside space into something special. When designing or renovating a home, creating spaces for enjoyable outdoor living is just as important as the interiors.
Designing a backyard space is as unique to the homeowner as it is to the space. Who will be using the space, adults, children, grandchildren, pets, how will it be used, family fun, entertaining, evenings, what is the property setting, architecture of the home, and style preferences all guide a comprehensive swimming pool and outdoor living design. When planning adding a pool and/or spa to your outdoor space, our experts point to some trends to make that space as enjoyable as possible.
Overall, Lisa of Cool Spring Pools says that homeowners simply want a retreat: “They want a fun and safe place in their own backyard to enjoy.” As 2020 draws to a close, the stress and uncertainty has created a renewed sense of home for many homeowners and creating a space that can be enjoyed is even more of a priority.
More specifically, designers are seeing trends in pool and spa design that help homeowners create that sense of retreat in any size space. Things such as tanning ledges, spas that spill over into the pool, infinity edges, specialized lighting, cocktail pools, and fire features are on the rise in 2021. Denise Simons points out, “Tanning ledges are wider than ever taking up to 10ft of the pool space allowing lounge chairs and furniture to be at the water level and optimize the pool experience.”
Our survey points to lounge areas being the #1 trend in pool design with 100% our experts weighing in. Fire and Functional Water features running a close second and soft lighting, a beach entry, and the integration of technology also make the list of important trends in pool design. Some other design trends this year are acrylic panels, tile inlay, LED lighting, swim-up bars, darker colors, and vanishing edges.
Our experts also point out that technology, as with most designs, is having an impact on pool and spa design. Lighting, pool and spa controls, and sound systems all work to elevate the design and offer homeowners lots of choices to customize their outdoor space. Rachel Allison of Allison Companies, Inc says, “Omni Logis by Haward allows homeowners to control nearly everything about their pool from an app on their phone,” and Denise Simons explains how sound systems are being integrated, “In-ground subwoofers allow the swimmer and soaker to absorb the full experience by hearing and feeling the music.” Lighting is also impacted with technology as lights can change colors, illuminate special features, and if desired, be timed to the music. “Technology elevates the design by allowing homeowners to easily customize their pool on a day-to-day basis by easily changing settings from an app on their phone,” says Allison.
Experts also remind homeowners that construction of a pool and spa can take 2-8 months depending on things like prep work and permits. Lisa of Cool Springs Pools says, “Patience is key, be prepared for delays especially during the pandemic.” Rachel Allison suggests starting in the Winter, or even a bit earlier, “Start planning anytime during the fall or winter. Do not wait until the spring or summer to start meeting with a builder or otherwise you might not be swimming in your pool until the following summer.”
Our experts also suggest, during the planning stages, that homeowners think about budget, heating, and functionality. How do you want to use the pool, what’s most important to you, and what kind of budget do you have that will allow you to get what you want. Greta May offers these questions to help homeowners think about what they want in a pool or spa space: “What do you enjoy about the pool? What will you use it for the most – exercise, parties, relaxing after a hard day, or just to attract the grandkids/kids?” Considering all of these things will help the planning process go as smoothly as possible.
Experts encourage homeowners to consider safety when designing their pool area. Pool alarms and fencing with a locking gate, and non-skid covers are standard and required in some areas. While you want the space to be fun for the whole family, safety is also a consideration when planning. Our experts suggest doing some research and know what safety measures are required in your area.
Here are some other design tips from our experts:
- Plan for easy access to a bathroom and changing to avoid trailing water through the whole house
- Plan for maintenance, insurance and privacy in the budget.
- Take the time to really consider how you live in your space and what you will use it for.
- Consider adding a heater for longer use during the year.
- Designing a space that fits your lifestyle and how you will use the pool or spa will bring long term results.
- Add stone accents, pavers vs concrete, Potted plants, will add depth and design interest to the space.
- Use a smooth but textured pool deck surround not a material that heats up in our hot sun
- Create a deep enough lounging area for chaise chairs and side tables and additional movement near the pool
- Incorporate a convenient location to stack clean towels
- Create a pool pump area well designed to allow access to the pool for maintenance (not through the home) and prevent too much noise.
- Get a cabana with a retractable shade cover for napping.
- Order early.
There are many ways to turn an outdoor space into a favorite place. With some planning and patience, homeowners can get their home ready for splashy fun and cozy evenings by the fire. With some planning and creativity, homeowners can create elegant backyards by combining innovative swimming pool and landscape design with the latest advancements in technology and safety.
There are a number of sources for pool and spa design in the Greater Nashville area including:
Allison Companies, Inc. Goodlettsville, TN 603-340-1759
Allison Pools & Outdoors Nashville, TN 615-859-5095
Cool Spring Pools Brentwood, TN 615-400-5170
Denise Simons Nashville, TN 615-708-0204
Jennifer Jones Designs, Inc Nashville, TN 615-354-8907
Realty Executives Knoxville, TN 865-661-4481