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Pool Palooza!  

Nothing beats lounging in a cool pool on a warm, sunny, tropical day. And when it comes to creating an outdoor sanctuary, a private pool goes a long way in forming a stunning backyard retreat. Thanks to new technology and unique design trends, the traditional swimming pool is a thing of the past.

These top pool trends will not only change the way you relax, but add value to your home or rental property.

Multi-Level Getaways

For a resort-like feel, consider expanding your pool area to multiple levels . Small retaining walls can create subtle separations so that different areas of the pool can be used independently.

A stone patio can accommodate a larger group with tables and chairs, perfect for a cocktail party. The pool itself is a great place for families to play or for couples to relax in chairs overlooking the water. A smaller section for a whirlpool or fire pit creates a cosy and romantic sanctuary for watching the sunset.

In addition to offering multiple levels to enjoy the outdoors, a small-budget option is appearing in more homes. With space at a premium, smaller pools or splash pools provide a place to cool off and relax without the upkeep and costs of a larger installation.

System Automation

Nearly everything can be controlled from a smartphone today, and your home pool is no exception. Many owners are choosing to automate the systems in charge of caring for a pool so that no matter where in the world they are, they can adjust settings as needed on their private pool.

When used on rental property, system automation features could be regulated so that lights aren’t left on by guests, or a pool heater isn’t left running unnecessarily. Having the ability to control major energy sources will keep costs down and allow for a truly customisable experience.

Imagine adjusting a pool’s settings from an app so that when you got home from work, the spa jets were running and the deck lights were at just the right brightness. Your perfect sanctuary awaits with just a few taps on the smartphone.

Dark Surfaces, Mosaic tiling and LED Lighting

The white cement pool bottom is a thing of the past. Darker surfaces are making pools look and feel luxurious without adding a lot of cost. A darker pool surface retains some of the sun’s heat, making it cheaper to keep at a consistent temperature.

On the higher end of the budget, custom tiling  and artistic mosaics are making a splash in pool design. Dark blue tiles can make a pool feel like an expensive hotel, and a mosaic design in the shape of a turtle, fish or even decorative scrolls adds a touch of tropical fun to an already amazing place to call home.

If you’re wondering if a dark surface would make diving in intimidating, fear not. Another top trend for a really amazing private pool is advanced LED lighting. With new technology available, your pool can be lit with nearly any colour imaginable, and can even be timed to music and adjusted from a smartphone app. That dark tile surface won’t seem so deep when you have high-end LED lights illuminating the entire pool and deck area.

‘Staycation’ Extras

A great private pool is a tropical escape. That’s why so many architects and designers are making the pool area a place to spend plenty of time. In addition to multiple levels, staycation-type features are making pools the place to be.

A day at the pool isn’t complete without a cocktail, and swim-up bars are no longer exclusive to resorts. Even a small area to sit and enjoy your drink in the shade goes a long way to making home feel more like vacation every day.

If you’re working on a tan but want to stay cool, a shallow ledge where pool chairs can sit  partly in the water is one way many pool owners are choosing to get some sun and enjoy the water at the same time.

After a fun day of relaxing in the sun with your favourite rum drink, why not watch the sun set over the ocean? The infinity-edge pool  remains popular, and in a stunning place like the Caribbean, the blue horizon of your backyard pool extends into the deep blue of the sea, creating a relaxing effect. Many are placing standing ledges or benches near the infinity edge to invite guests to stay and relax a bit.

Tips for Success

  • Choose a good contractor. Make sure that the designer and/or contractor you choose to create your backyard oasis knows the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of building a pool in your area. Special zoning or building codes can affect where and how you build your pool.
  • Put safety first. If you have small children that will be using or near the pool, make sure it’s gated appropriately or can be covered to avoid any accidents.
  • Know your budget. Nobody likes to get the call from the architect or contractor saying that the installation will cost more than originally estimated. Choosing a quality contractor, designer, and installation team will minimise surprise costs and save you money.
  • The maintenance of a pool can be a lot of hard work, but smart choices in the beginning of your pool adventure will make upkeep easier in the long run.

Photography by Alexandre Julien

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a former St. Thomas resident and the editor of Virgin Islands Property & Yacht.
Sara Sherman

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