The “dog days” of summer are starting early this year with June 2010 ranking as the hottest month of June on record in Metropolitan Washington, DC. So, what better way to beat the heat than to spend time kicking back by the pool with family and friends? Diving boards and chicken fights are water draws of the past. Now, more families are transforming their backyards into resort-like havens, creating amped-up pools that are sure to be the talk of the neighborhood. Not only can residential swimming pools blend in to be aesthetically seamless with a backyard’s landscape, but incorporating innovative materials and amenities in the design can create a great environment for entertaining, or for lounging with the family in your personal five-star resort. Here are a few of our favorite products and trends, sure to make any pool the coolest in town.
Smart Pool Design
- Live on the Edge: Boost your pool’s WOW factor by adding a negative edge, which creates the illusion of water flowing over a practically invisible wall. Especially appealing when located over elevated ground that drops off, negative edges will leave swimmers impressed and scratching their heads asking, “But how?!” Also referred to as infinity or zero-edge pools, this dazzling visual effect tricks the eye to think the water is extending over the horizon. The hidden secret lies in a water collection reservoir below the negative edge that is not easily seen by swimmers in or around the pool.
- Surround Yourself with Chic Comfort: Special heat and slip-resistant walkway materials are becoming more popular with families set on creating a pool environment that is safe, comfortable and attractive. When creating their dream pool landscapes, BOWA is also seeing more families opt for unique-looking textures like those offered by Pebble Tec. The days of white, generic pools are out, with homeowners now requesting darker, more dramatic color palates and using natural materials to craft a pool backdrop that compliments the backyard’s landscape.
- Feel the Pull: While many families with pools enjoy the opportunity to entertain in a laid back setting, others utilize the water as an excellent opportunity for weightless, therapeutic exercising. With a Badu SwimJet System from Speck Pumps, you can take advantage of water therapy to improve circulation and tone muscles without putting stress on the joints. Manipulating the water force with this jet-propulsion system elevates the intensity of the workout, transforming traditional laps into a completely new experience.
Extras that Impress
- Let it Flow: Adding a special water element to your pool or spa will give guests something to talk about and generate the feeling of lounging somewhere much more remote than your own backyard. Polaris water features, such as a unique waterfall or WaterStars multi-tier fountain, can be customized to take your pool to the next level aesthetically, serve as the perfect backyard focal point, and act as built-in entertainment for younger swimmers. Channel the famous Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas with Jandy’s Laminar Jets, as clear arcs of water silently add seven feet of drama and optional color to your pool or spa.
- Set the Mood: Mesmerize after-hours swimmers or outdoor party attendees with a wide spectrum of colors with the world’s first (and brightest!) underwater halogen light system that is capable of changing color continuously or locking in on the shade of your choice. Whatever the desired mood may be-romantic, laid back, lively-Pentair’s halogen lighting delivers a radiant, synchronized underwater display.
- Chill Out: You can move your outdoor lounge area inside the pool to maximize comfort and stay cool. By adding a raised “beach area” with shallow water, typically 12 feet by 5 feet in the center of the pool, friends and family members can relax in special chairs and seek shade under a built-in umbrella, all while dipping their toes in the refreshing water.
Easy, Breezy Pool Maintenance
- Heat with Efficiency: For the “green-minded” swimmer, brands such as Hayward, Pentair and Aqua Comfort bring energy efficiency from the home to the pool with natural and propane gas heaters and heat pumps that you can feel good about. Despite a nationwide rise in electric rates, Aqua Comfort’s off-peak heating strategy allows their environmentally-friendly heat pumps to help offset inflated prices and operate at 27 percent better efficiency than a decade ago.
- Clean Without the Fuss: Automated cleaning systems, such as the pressure system offered by Polaris, are innovations that ensure your swimming pool looks and stays fresh with the ultimate cleaning performance. By reducing pool maintenance to a minimum, you’ll have more time to enjoy the peaceful outdoors with family and friends. Even debris collecting in tight corners or on steps can’t hide from the constant suction and intelligence of Polaris’ robotic pool cleaner.
- Be Pure: Ensure swimmers’ comfort with the most advanced non-salt, non-chemical water purification system available from ECOsmarte. Similar to swimming in fresh bottled water, the system creates a pool environment that removes the swimmer from the unpleasantness of chlorine and salt.
- Say Bye to Bugs: Forget lathering on harsh bug spray or lighting foul-smelling candles that claim to repel pests but often fail. Innovative mosquito misting systems emit biodegradable, chemical-free insect repellent that transforms the entire backyard into a mosquito-free zone.
- Take Total Control: Orchestrate all aspects of your pool while lounging on a chaise or even while floating on the water with a Jandy automated control system. The interface system manages your pool’s temperature, jets, lighting, and circulation on one customizable, easy to handle screen.