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Swimming Pools make a comeback

For long the preserve of the wealthy and those with plenty of sunny days the swimming pool is starting to become the must have luxury for new garden owners. We’ve been designing pools into our overseas projects for many years but we have started to see a new demand for swimming pools in less traditional regions such as the UK. Environmentalists should also be pleased as the majority of our clients are opting for natural pools that use minimal or no chemicals and can have a very positive impact on wildlife values.

This new fashion for pools is partly a result of warmer temperatures as climate change allows a longer period of use but it’s also a function of experience. Many of our clients have experienced the luxury spa style on their travels and want to bring a little of that back home.

And its not just traditional swimming pools that are in demand. We are getting a lot of requests for professional style lap pools for the serious swimmer and where there’s little space counter-current pools are definitely a serious choice. Even where there is limited space its still possible to have some form of water and plunge pools and spas are a growing trend in city gardens.

Here are a few key questions that you need to ask when considering a pool.

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 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.

Should I consider a lap pool?

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 into my 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. If your 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 advice can you give me on plants?

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.

Wherever you live a swimming pool is a great investment that will give years of enjoyment for the whole family.