Soak Up the Summer Sun with these Hot Pool Trends

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    Client News

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    August 04, 2014

Soak Up the Summer Sun with these Hot Pool Trends

Client News

Convenient. Chic. Comfortable. Cool. From apps and lights to sun shelves and umbrella sleeves, this summer’s swimming pool trends run the gamut. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your existing pool or contemplating installing a brand new one to enhance your outdoor space, here are five tips from pool designer Aaron Blubaugh to consider while you plan. 

Remote Control
Automation is a huge trend in swimming pools. Nearly all new pools use some kind of electronic component and apps have been created to control almost every aspect of the pool: lights, lap currents, water features, even water temperature. With automation, you’re in charge and in a way that is unimaginably convenient. Turn on the waterfall without leaving the comfort of your chair around the fire pit. Had a long day? Start your spa heater as you leave work so it’s the perfect temperature when you get home. 

“Pools aren’t just for parties and the weekend; they’re for Monday through Friday as well,” said Blubaugh, owner ofLifescape Designs in southern California. “The best way I wind down after work is relaxing in my spa. Having the ability to watch our favorite TV show from the pool and spa is something that our whole family enjoys. Creating a gorgeous backyard escape makes the outdoors part of the quality time I get to spend with them. 

“It’s easier than ever to care for pools, too,” he said. “Whether you’re at the office or out of town on vacation, you can manage your pool, features and energy usage from wherever you are.” 

Save Energy and Look Good Doing It
Variable speed pumps help conserve energy in the pool area; the pump runs at a low RPM during the filter cycle throughout the day, and it revs up to the desired RPM while you’re using the pool features. Blubaugh, who has been in the outdoor living and pool design industries for 20 years in Florida and California, says the timers that were new technology just a few years ago are now antiquated by comparison.

Pool lighting is changing, too, in options and efficiencies. While most new pools have a color wheel, energy-saving LED lights have started to become more prevalent. With 14 color modes, these lights offer more color variety. Additionally, nicheless LEDs are low voltage, add lighting to shallow water – in past years, only deep water received lighting accents – and are suited to feature areas in new and remodeled pools. Offering lighting accents to water features, bench areas, and sun shelves that were not available before.

Diving Boards Go Off The Deep End
With an overall decline in diving boards, swimming pools have become more aesthetically pleasing. In place of the diving board, oversized natural boulders and faux rocks serve as a jumping platform for kids, yet assure the pool still melts into the landscape, which is a wish list item for people installing new pools today. 

Length and Landscape
Blubaugh says some of his customers want to convert their outdated rectangular pools to freeform or lagoon shape, and still others seek new, rustic rectangular pools that work with the ebb and flow of the backyard. It’s all a personal preference, he said. 

One commonality in pool landscape design is making sure the pool deck choice marries style with performance. 

“We’re seeing lot of people look to tumbled pavers to give their pool a more natural look that integrates it into the setting without sacrificing performance,” said Ken O’Neill, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Belgard Hardscapes

Earth conscious? No problem. O’Neill says permeable pavers, available in the look of stone, brick and concrete, are installed in a special manner that directs splashed pool water back into natural underground reservoirs. 

Sun and Shade Worshippers Unite! 
On the one hand, you’ve got the sun shelf trend. These shelves, sometimes called baja shelves, are replacing stairs and beach entries. Set at a water depth of about one foot, an average-sized pool can offer an 80 square foot shelf area that can accommodate a small group of chairs and sun bathers. On the other hand, people also are installing umbrella sleeves – a hole perfectly sized for the umbrella pole – on the shelf’s floor or elsewhere around the pool’s edging; before you know it, you’re paddling out of the heat and into a soothing bit of shade. 

“The sun shelf with built-in umbrella sleeves is the perfect solution for families with small children,” Blubaugh said. “The kids can splash in the pool under the careful eye of their parents while everyone is protected from the sun.”

The best part of these trends? The opportunities for customization will transform your backyard into an outdoor oasis that’s suited to your needs. Sure, you may become the magnet house on your block where all your friends want to hang out, but you’ll also create a gorgeous retreat from the everyday where you can relax with your family any day of the week.
About Belgard® Hardscapes
Belgard® Hardscapes, part of Oldcastle® Architectural, offers a complete collection of paver and wall products for outdoor living spaces, walkways, driveways, parking areas and retaining walls. Available in a range of styles, premium Belgard products have been found in America’s finest homes and award-winning commercial and retail properties since 1995. The complete collection of Belgard Hardscapes carries the Good Housekeeping Seal, in addition to a transferable lifetime warranty. For more information or a complimentary Idea Book, visit or call 1-877-Belgard (235-4273). Find more inspiring outdoor space ideas at

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