It's all about the outdoor parties this summer, and what better way to stay cool than with a pool? But a run-of-the-mill backyard swimming hole isn't going to cut it these days. Homeowners everywhere are jazzing up their pools with distinctive design choices, and we're here for the dramatic looks. Let's dive in (sorry).
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1. Black Pools
We're used to seeing bright blue pools, but this summer, it's all about creating a mysterious abyss. Black pools are all the rage, alongside dark colors like navy and forest green. These dramatic tones create a striking look in contemporary pools and a lake-like effect in naturalistic pools. Just make sure you're fully aware of safety issues before adopting this look.
2. Sun Shelves
Not a fan of breaking a sweat while you're tanning on a lounger? Take a cue from beach resorts and build a sun shelf in your pool. Here, you can enjoy the rays while slightly submerged in the cool water.
3. Sand Pools
If you don't live near the beach, you can bring the beach to you via a sand-bottomed pool. These natural-style pools can be grotto-like and surrounded by rocks, or they can feature a zero-depth entry for a true beachy vibe.
4. Stock Tank Pools
One of the most affordable types of backyard pools is the stock tank pool, made from large troughs typically used on farms. But don't let that visual dissuade you — they can be super beautiful if they're styled right. Learn how to set one up here.
5. Rain Curtains
Forget waterfalls — go for a rain curtain instead! Not only are they stunning to look at, but they also create a lovely sound. Pro tip: You can even install a rain curtain without a pool.
6. Painted Pools
Artist Alex Proba has made waves on Instagram with her fabulous underwater murals painted on the bottoms of pools. Take her lead and bring some bright colors into your yard via the blank canvas of your pool floor.
7. Cocktail Pools
Small backyard? No problem. Ask your contract to build a "cocktail pool," or a tiny pool that's perfect for taking a dip while sipping a cocktail. Sometimes they're also called "spools," a portmanteau of spa and pool, because they often have jets like a whirlpool.