Are you bored with your old pool design? If you're looking for something to make a pool really pop -- especially if you don't have to worry about kids splashing around in it -- you'll have to look a little farther out of the ordinary these days. But there are still ways to surprise and delight guests (and family) with an inventive and decadent pool addition. Talk to a pool builder about adding one of these five fun and elegant ways to spice up any aging pool.
Adding interesting shapes and curves to a pool is a good way to spruce it up, but placing a self-contained island in the middle of the water is even better. Depending on the size of the pool, a mid-pool island could be as simple as a rough circle of matching concrete a few feet in diameter and planted with colorful foliage in containers or a planter. Or it could be something large enough on which to place a lounge or two for post-swim relaxation. If you incorporate lush bushes and a tree (a sabal or cabbage palm, for example), you add a bit of shade for relaxation during the hotter parts of the day.
A bridge over a section of the pool adds an unexpected architectural element and is practical for larger or meandering pool designs. Made to be tall enough that swimmers can easily pass under them, pool bridges are made out of just about any material you want -- wood, stone, concrete, iron or glazed tile. Add some colorful LED lighting for ambiance at night and you have a romantic treasure any couple would love. You might even find your backyard wanted for weddings and evening events.
Pool grottoes have come a long way since they were first introduced decades ago. Modern grottoes -- faux caves usually with waterfall entrances off the pool side -- can be huge, multi-room affairs with walk-in entrances for convenience. A swim-up bar can lead to an entertainment space with comfy furniture and a big-screen television. Hide a hot tub in the cave-like rooms for relaxation under dimmed, recessed lighting. A pool grotto can be the man-cave you never thought you could really build.
A Fire Pit
Few elements give more of an interesting contrast to a water-filled pool than fire does. Rather than adding a fire pit to the side of the pool as many have already done, you can place the fire pit right inside the pool. How? Start with a sunken island placed in the pool and connected to dry land via concrete stepping stones. The island is placed down into the pool so that guests can relax on benches or stone seating areas and be eye level with the pool. A large fire pit in the center of the entertainment space finishes the look and makes for an unforgettable evening outdoors.
An Outdoor Kitchen
In the same way a fire pit can be placed in a sunken island inside the pool, an outdoor kitchen can be added as well. A bridge, sunken walkway or stepping stones connect the concrete-and-stone ringed kitchen with the pool sides. In the sunken kitchen haven, you can basically add any outdoor kitchen elements you desire and have room for: grill, counter tops, a mini-fridge and storage areas. A bar of flat tile or stone is added to the sides facing the pool so that swimmers can swim up to enjoy refreshment.
Whatever your budget or taste, you can find a way to really make your swimming pool unique and adventurous. Thanks to modern design and materials, you're really only limited by your imagination.