The Definitive List of the Most Popular Pool Designs in 2018


Infinity pools are without a doubt the last decade’s version of the super-popular kidney-shaped pool of the 1940s, proving that — like any other architectural element — pool design is as adaptive, evolving, and trend-driven as the houses where they live.

If you’re seeking unique pool design inspiration for your residential or commercial rebuild, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this list of this year’s most popular pool designs. One thing that’ll never go out of style is keeping your pool crystal-clear and hospitable for the whole family with pool water pH test kits and a conductivity meter.


  • Back to (Geometric) Basics — With the rise of mid-century design and all things minimalistic in architecture and style, it’s no surprise that pool designers are gravitating more towards classic, modern and simple pool shapes. For the better part of the 1990s and early 2000s, it was all about the super-curvy pool.

Now, designers are paring things down with simple rectangular and squared pools. This trend is also extended to the cantilevered pool craze, which is fast gaining traction among designers.

  • Energy Efficiency — Saving on energy costs — and creating a cleaner, healthier pool environment while you’re at it — is in, and there’s no sign that this trend will slow down anytime soon. Using high-tech, long-lasting LED lights, automatic covers, UV sanitation, and other energy efficient pool products is all the rage.

Another hot trend in this category is the variable speed pump. These pumps allow you to adjust water speed in much smaller increments when compared to standard pumps, which can seriously shave off energy consumption.

The best part about this trend is that it doesn’t rely on a whole-new build. You can easily implement some of these cool, high-tech pool accessories into your current design.



  • Architectural Pools — Architectural pools stand apart from standard pools in that they’re typically custom-built, usually by an architect. These pools are unique in that they take into account the relationship between the pool and its surroundings — especially the layout of the house and the physical landscape and limitations — and are usually designed at the same time the house itself is built. These pools are definitely the mark of the sophisticated home- or business-owner in today’s pool design world.

  • Lounge-Worthy Ledges — If you live in a hot climate, you know that everything’s better when you’re in the water. Built-in pool ledges are a popular way to make cooling down easier and more relaxing.

These elongated ledges usually sit about 2 to 5 inches under the pool water and feature spacious decks for lounging. Some pool designers have even implemented permanent pool loungers into the design for an instant place to chill. In-water furniture in general is making a major mark on this year’s pool design trends, with new companies dreaming up permanent and removable waterproof chairs and tables that turn the pool into an aquatic living room.

  • Multi-Level Patio Pools — Who doesn’t want to entertain and hang out in the pool without the need for a swimsuit? Multi-level pools combine the swimming pool with the patio, but often create distinctive spaces through the use of low retaining walls.

These separated areas are also popular in hotels, resorts, and residences where kids are likely to be joining the pool party, since they create a separate area that is safe for the little ones. Some designers are also extending the pool into traditional patios and lounge spaces for a seamless design that makes the pool part of the entire exterior landscape.

  • Dark-Toned Pool Surfaces — Pool water is no longer turquoise blue and turquoise blue only. On the contrary: some of the most sought-after pool designs feature dark-colored pool surfaces to create a deep, intriguing look.

Not only are these surfaces great for a certain aesthetic, they also play into the super-hot efficiency trend, since dark colors retain more of the sun’s heat. In other words, they take less energy to warm since they’re more likely to suck up sun rays and keep your pool nice and toasty.

  • Cantilevered Swimming Pools — Maybe you’ve seen viral images going around the web of gravity-defying, hanging pools, like the one at the InterContinental Festival City Hotel in Dubai. These pools are made possible through the use of cantilevers, or projecting beams fixed on one side to provide serious support in overhead environments. These pools elevate the pool structure — and, in some cases, the yard or landscape itself — to create a spectacularly sophisticated look.

  • Built-in Fountains and Water Features — While there are few things more relaxation-inducing than perfectly still, serene water, a little bit of movement in a pool goes a long way. Not only can moving water help encourage some extra fun, but it can also keep your pool well-circulated to prevent bacteria and algae growth.

High-style pool designers are working in all sorts of water features in and around the pool this year, with bubblers, fountains, waterfalls, and rain walls that bring soothing sound and movement to an otherwise still environment.

  • Swim-Up Bars — Swim-up bars are no longer just for the all-inclusive Caribbean resort! Pool designers have been finding all-new ways to include this watering hole within residential pools, too. These features are absolutely perfect for the pool-owner who loves to entertain!




To make it extra-enticing for your friends and family, finish off your swim-up bar with underwater stools for comfy lounging, and extend the bar into a “dry area” so it can be accessed even when you’re not swimming.

  • Automated Pools — Like energy efficiency, automated everything is hyper-relevant in today’s design world, so it’s no surprise that it extends to pool design. Automated systems allow owners to remotely control the heat, light, and cover of a swimming pool, which translates into convenience and energy efficiency at the same time.

So, what exactly does automation mean when it comes to the swimming pool? New mobile apps offering remote access from a tablet or smartphone allow users to control pool settings anywhere, anytime… even when they’re on vacation!

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