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Swimming pools are back!

Over the years we have created many swimming pools both in the UK and overseas and they are becoming very popular in the UK again after a long run of hot summers. Dan recently answered some questions for Homes & Gardens magazine on this very subject.

A bright blue pool is fine for summer, but what do I do in the winter?

One of the best pools I’ve seen was in the US where the owner had used a very dark inky blue tile to line the pool. This gave great reflections, particularly from lighting at nighttime but it also gave the pool an unusual lake-like quality when not in use. The colour was set off by the winter snow as well as looking good in the summer. So my advice is not to go with the usual bright blue and consider a colour that will add a new dimension to the garden.

Will an infinity pool or a lap pool work in my garden?

Infinity pools work best where there is a good level change that opens up onto a distant view. Many of the pools we design have a great coastal view and lend themselves naturally to an infinity pool. But in the absence of that distance I would always opt for something that focuses on the space and away from surrounding distractions such as other houses.

Lap pools are a good investment for serious swimmers and look great in a contemporary space where they can double up as sleek reflective strips of water. But you need at least 15m for a decent length. If you have limited space consider a counter-current pool – great for city bachelor pads or roof gardens! Remember that only one person can use it at a time for swimming but they double up as spas for evening entertaining.

How can I integrate the pool with my garden design?

The biggest mistake we see is when pools are located where they divide the garden. If you have a large garden then create a separate space for the pool. Give the area around it structure – maybe through planted beds and, even better, its own boundary wall that will also make it more secure and safe. A separate garden space can also mean giving a different planting theme to the pool area. But if the garden is small and chic then make the pool the focus of your space and entertainment, add some glamour from lights and exotic planting and invite some friends over!

What plants should I use near them?

As with any garden plants integrate the elements and this is especially true for a pool. Be careful if you decide to go with a jungley, foliage look using lots of palms etc if you’re in the city. Plants need to take some reference from the garden’s location as well as the pool.