9 Swimmingly Perfect Pool Design Trends of 2021

Outdoor Additions
Swimming Pools
Outdoor and Gardening
By Contractors.com Team May 24, 2021

One of the most exciting parts of owning a pool is getting to design it yourself. There is something comforting and even nostalgic about even the often typical designs and styles of public pools. But the thrill that comes with designing one for yourself and your loved ones is unmatched. 

As with any type of design, whether interior, exterior, or landscape, pool design is not static. It changes throughout the years and new trends are regularly brought into the spotlight. Knowing these design trends and how to implement them into your own private pool can help you create a pool that is modern, unique, and matches your personal stylistic preferences.

Transparent Siding

Unique Pool Designs That'll Catch the Eye of Your Guests

Unique Pool Designs That'll Catch the Eye of Your Guests

Above-ground pools are typically a more cost-effective alternative to inground ones. They are easier to install, are far more forgiving when it comes to mandatory paperwork and permits, and don’t require as much professional assistance to build. But don’t let that fool you into thinking they are in any way kitsch or overdone. Above ground pools are just as timeless and elegant as their inground counterparts

According to Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn Austin, an outdoor construction company, there has been a higher demand for above ground pools with transparent siding this year. “These pools are quite striking as you can see through the entirety of the pool. If you have very clear sides it can almost look like the water is just floating above the ground.” This effect can also be achieved with other types of pools, such as the overflow or zero edge designs, which are normally inground. 

2021 Pool Design Trends

2021 Pool Design Trends

Transparent siding also gives above ground pools a sleek and minimalist vibe. Dan also shares that pools with transparent siding are also relatively simple to install (by professionals, of course), however, may come with a higher material cost. You can find a professional pool installer in a few clicks to consult on how you can get one installed in your backyard as well.

Poolside Home Theaters

Poolside Recreation Ideas Fun for Everyone

Poolside Recreation Ideas Fun for Everyone

All the way back in 2012, the Hot Tub Cinema pop-up event made its debut and it combined two very pleasant experiences into one. As the name suggests, guests of this event could watch a movie from a hot tub inside a big showroom. While this event is not as active anymore, the combination of relaxing in a tub or pool while watching a movie is still just as attractive — especially from the comfort of your backyard.

According to Asher Weinstein of Next Projection LLC and 4KProjects.com, “Since the pandemic started we’ve been seeing an increase in poolside home theaters.” Their e-commerce website specializes in 4K projection and home theater services and as was stated by Asher Weinstein, there is a growing demand for poolside cinema. With country-wide lockdowns still active, public pools and cinemas are two venues that are rarely open. As a result, homeowners are combining the two experiences into one in their own private residences. “People miss that big-screen experience. What better way than to watch it in or next to the pool?” 

Minimalistic Tones and Color Palettes

2021 Poolside Decor Trends for Cool Serenity

2021 Poolside Decor Trends for Cool Serenity

Photo by Belgard

Minimalist pool designs are a huge trend in 2021 that hardscapers like Joe Raboine, director of Residential Hardscapes with Belgard, are working with. With muted tones and color palettes to complement the basic, sleek geometry of the modern hardscape, pool designers are able to achieve a more serene atmosphere. “Color can be used as a way to express balance and a sense of calm and comfort. Neutral tones are currently a top choice among homeowners across the country.”

Styles Dominating This Year's Pool Design Trends

Styles Dominating This Year's Pool Design Trends

In 2020, the landscaping and hardscaping sectors saw a major rise as country-wide lockdowns required people to stay at home as much as possible. According to Raboine: “Outdoor renovations were on the rise in 2020, with outdoor professional design seeing a 58% increase in project leads starting last June.” According to a recent survey, 51% of homeowners reported that having additional outdoor space has become more important to them over the last year. Consequently, there is a greater demand for professional landscapers and hardscapers as people substituted their usual backyard recreation for outdoor living. This has made way for a rise in neutral tones and minimalist color palettes, both because they’re easy to adapt to an existing setting and because of their timeless beauty.

Geometric Patterns

Sleek Lines for Swimming Pool Elegance

Sleek Lines for Swimming Pool Elegance

To complement the minimalistic vibes, Joe Raboine also notes the prevalence of geometric patterns as another trendy pool design idea. “Modular, geometric patterns fit with the overall minimalistic approach to home design that has increased in recent years.” Minimal geometric design as a whole has been quite popular in recent years and naturally, it also found its way into our outdoor living spaces in countless sleek pool landscaping ideas.

Trendy Geometric Designs for Your Pool Landscaping

Trendy Geometric Designs for Your Pool Landscaping

These luxurious pools serve as an example of how to combine the straight lines and edges of the pool itself with the pool’s tiling to create the effect that Joe Raboine is referring to. Minimalist design uses few curves and soft edges, opting for straight lines and corners instead. It also makes the best of these shapes to create a sleek design that may not be as complex as more classical designs, but gorgeous in its order and uniformity. “With clean lines and simple formats, geometric patterns create an uncluttered aesthetic, which can be used to emphasize furniture. In addition, it can be used to add a unique spin to pool tile design, both around the pool deck and within the pool itself. Pool designs in geometric shapes also give the outdoor space and overall home a contemporary feel.”

Modular Pools

The Most Flexible Pool Types for Any Backyard

The Most Flexible Pool Types for Any Backyard

Among the many trendy pool designs, the modular pool is one of the easiest to install. Traditional swimming pool designs are often divided based on their construction. There are inground pools, which as their name suggests are built into the landscape of your backyard. Modular pools, on the other hand, are built above ground allowing for easier installation. According to Joe, “this flexibility allows for endless design patterns with a smoother installation, meaning the space is ready in a shorter time frame for homeowners.”

With professional help, homeowners have been installing more and more stylish modular pools, as well as added features like pool houses, without any hassle.

Pool Heating and Cooling Systems

Elements of Pool Elegance and Comfort

Elements of Pool Elegance and Comfort

Photo by Belgard

Comfort is an integral element of modern design. While installing pool heating and cooling has become quite a trend, this feature goes far beyond fashion. With every new development in hardscaping technology, there is a greater strive for comfort and convenience. Pool systems for heating and cooling are the perfect example of this trend.

As Joe Raboine puts it, “heating and cooling elements are crucial to ensure comfortability and usage of the space year-round, including fire pits integrated into the pool design or around pool decks for an added contrast, as is the installation of lighting.

LED Lighting for Pools

Pool Landscaping Essentials for Fun and Modernity

Pool Landscaping Essentials for Fun and Modernity

Lighting is the overlooked key to harmonious design everywhere and has been an equally crucial feature of pool design as well. With LED lighting gaining a reputation as a great stylistic choice for both interiors and landscapes, more and more homeowners are finding creative ways of integrating it into their pool designs. There are the standard LED strips that you can attach to the edges of the pool, but there are other ways to incorporate color into the pool’s design as well. Joe says, “LED lighting is a fun, customizable option for pool lighting, allowing for color changes. Water features like laminar jets, spillways, and formal fountains are popular integrations at the pool or around the deck.”

Pool Lighting Ideas

Pool Lighting Ideas

Photo by Belgard

Pool lighting goes beyond mere stylistic or design decisions. Joe reminds us that “lighting provides aesthetic benefits, but is also crucial as a safety measure”. Homeowners are looking for ways of combining style and safety precautions by putting lighting in areas with a high risk for tripping and falling. So, not only do they create a beautiful atmosphere but also allow for carefree evening and nighttime swims.

Zero Edge, Infinity Pools

The Pool Design Never Going Out of Style

The Pool Design Never Going Out of Style

The infinity, zero edge, or vanishing pool is quite trendy nowadays as it’s made its way from exotic resort venues to residential spaces. A beloved and unique swimming pool design (no matter how popular it’s become) the overflow pool de-emphasizes the line between the pool itself and the hardscaping around it. The infinity pool allows your gaze to follow the water flowing over one edge of the pool and into a little basin below, in turn emphasizing the views beyond your pool.

Besides connecting the overarching design into the horizon, Joe Raboine points out another beloved feature of the infinity pool, and that is the sound of the falling water. The gentle trickling of water paired with the gorgeous vista makes for a satisfying optical illusion, one that has caught the eye of homeowners across the country.

Sun Shelves

The Design Element that Will Turn Your Pool Into an Exotic Retreat

The Design Element that Will Turn Your Pool Into an Exotic Retreat

While pools normally come with enough surrounding space to house all the requisite sun loungers and tables, pool sun shelves have become a popular addition to pool lounge paraphernalia this year. These are shallow basins where the bottom of the pool is close to the surface of the water, allowing you to sit in the water and enjoy the sun, without having to keep yourself afloat. 

Why Sun Shelfs Are One of the Most Popular Pool Trends of the Year

Why Sun Shelfs Are One of the Most Popular Pool Trends of the Year

Joe Raboine has noticed that “homeowners are also looking for sun shelf areas with sunken lounge chairs and shallow spaces that can be used for relaxing.” It is a simple, yet very versatile addition that diversifies the pool experience. You will still have plenty of room to swim in and once you get tired, you can imagine being at the beach; able to wade in the water and sit back at the same time.

Custom-designed pools are a great way to not only increase your home’s property value, but are the perfect way to personalize your backyard and landscape. New design trends are evolving as we speak. Keep yourself posted on the newest ones to notice when one of them stands out to speak to your home, its landscape, and your personal tastes. You never know when you’re going to be in the mood for your next home improvement project.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team