Pool Inspiration Ideas: Our Favorite Designs for 2021

January 17, 2021

Straight Line Pool Designs & Pool Inspiration

Our designers are always looking through magazines and combing the internet to stay up on current trends to get landscaping & pool inspiration for upcoming projects. We thought you’d love to know what types of pool designs are trending right now and which pools the top designers love. Explore modern pool designs to get inspiration for your pool project, or just enjoy the beautiful views.

Modern Pools

Modern pools feature clean lines and minimalist decor. They are all the rage right now and will give a sophisticated look to your yard. Because of their shape, a modern pool is a great option for the homeowner with less space to work with. Designers know how to combine the modern design elements with pops of color and interesting textures to soften the look.

Typical modern pools are rectangular and play on geometry. A homeowner can add furniture with funky silhouettes, and mid-century design elements make these pools fit for an upscale design magazine.

Liven up your modern pool design with elements like fire, a water feature, or both. A sunning shelf will add a place for guests to relax and kids to play in shallow water.

modern pool designs
modern pool designs
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Freeform Pools

Freeform pools can feature organic shapes and natural features such as boulders and waterfalls. The look can be created using a combination of concrete and real boulders. Homeowners can even incorporate grottos and natural waterfalls to create a lagoon setting.

Another cool trend is to create a beach feel with a sand entry. Finally, oceanfront property in Arizona. Ok, not really, but you’ll feel like you have your own private beach as you relax by this type of pool. Even if you don’t use sand, forgoing traditional steps and building a pool that gradually gets deeper or has shelf access to the water is a great alternative. By using white concrete or stone, you can get that beach look.

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As with any complex pool design, hiring an experienced designer is a must. With the complexities of pumping water and the intricate concrete work, you want a great designer and contractor to pull it all together.

Infinity Pools

Infinity pools have been popular in the hotel industry for a long time but are just taking off as a home pool design. In infinity pools, the water runs right to the edge of the pool, which creates the visual effect of water that keeps going forever. The water blends right into the skyline.

Infinity pools can also be referred to as negative edge pools. They are ideal for backyards with a view. An infinity pool is perfect for homes that back onto a canyon or have elevation changes. They are the pool to get if you are going for the resort look, and you have a big budget.

This pool requires a weir catch basin to catch the water at the bottom which can really drive the price up. You’ll also need a system to pump that water back into the pool, which increases installation costs as well as your monthly electric bill. The nice thing is this weir basin will help keep the pool clean.

You’ll want the right contractor for this type of pool as they are harder to install. Look for a designer and pool contractor that have experience with infinity pools.

If all that sounds like too much, you might consider a raised infinity hot tub where the hot tub water flows into the pool. Hire an experienced designer who can tell you all the pros and cons of infinity pools and can create the look you want with your budget in mind. Straight Line Landscape has experienced designers who can help you create the right look.

luxury pool designs in phoenix

Pool and Hot Tub Combination

Pools are perfect for lazy summer days, but during cool nights you’ll probably want a nice warm hot tub or spa where you can relax. Hot tubs can be round or square, attached to the pool, or stand alone. They can be jetted or not—it’s all up to you.

Raised hot tubs with water cascading into the pool can create a feature waterfall area with colored stone or glass tile.

If you want a healing experience, a therapeutic acrylic spa may be the right choice. A good designer, like those at Straight Line Landscape, can even build these spas into the landscaping.

pool and spa designs


Some homeowners are now forgoing traditional concrete pools and adding tile to the interior of their pool. Whether you choose to have your entire pool tiled or just the decking and backsplash, tiles add extra shimmer to the water and are a beautiful accent to any pool. Tiles can be more than decorative. They are more durable than concrete, and tiles added to the edge of steps, for example, can help people see where the steps are.

Mosaic tiles are a popular option. Whether you choose to have a multicolor mosaic or monochromatic tile, they can be a stunning addition to your pool area. Glass mosaics really shimmer in the sun and reflect the water beautifully. Mosaic tile can also be used to create an image such as the sun or a geometric design. Consider using mosaic tile to create a beautiful scene on the bottom of your pool.

geometric pool design with custom tiles

Glass tiles, in general, are an excellent choice for the pool. They shimmer beautifully and add elegance to the decor. Glass tiles come in all shapes and sizes from small square mosaic to glass subway tiles. If you want a unique showpiece, consider using glass tiles as they really draw the eye.

Stone tiles add a sophisticated elegance to your pool area. Stone never goes out of style and comes in a wide range of colors. Travertine is really popular and the natural color blends with most decor.

Some brick and porcelain tiles can also be used for pool surfaces. Depending on the style of your pool and yard, these could be good options. For the wood look in the Arizona climate, you might consider porcelain tile that looks like real wood.

Not all tile can be used in a swimming pool, so it’s important to find the right designer. She will give you tile options that fit the look you are going for, and each one will be pool friendly.

Slides and Diving Boards

For families with kids, a pool or diving board is a must. There is no better way to cannonball or dive into a pool than from a diving board. Diving board platforms can be concrete, metal, or even surrounded with stone veneer.

custom swimming pool designs

If you have the room and the budget, a water slide is a great choice for a backyard pool. You can choose a slide that’s bolted into the ground, or for real wow factor, build a water slide into your landscaping

custom pool ideas with slide

Around the Pool Seating and Sunning

When designing your pool area, it’s important to create space for relaxing poolside. You will want enough room for several people to lay, and some shade areas to escape the sun. You might even want dining and cooking space as well.

Pool shelves are a great option. Guests can cool off in the water but still relax. Children can play and splash in the shallow water. You can also have round seats built into the pool. It’s a fun way for guests to unwind.

Pool seating can be movable or built into to the decor. Whatever you choose for your pool area, a good designer will be able to help decide how much space you’ll need for your guests. Holly at Straight Line Landscaping can create the space you need.

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complete swimming pool design in AZ

Pool Lighting

Why spend a fortune on your backyard pool and landscaping and only really see it in the day? You don’t want your pool lit only by a few porch lights. The right lighting can showcase the best features of your pool and can create privacy if correctly done. Of course, you want your pool lighting to allow you and your guests to get around the yard safely as well.

Colored lights can add a festive feel or create a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. Use blue lights to give your space an almost out-of-this-world feeling. Multicolored lights make the party. You can even install adjustable lights and change their color based on the mood.

Fire and Water Features

Many people are creating an elemental experience in their home with the combination of fire and water. Build a fire feature right into your pool area for a space that will delight the senses. You can also integrate a fire pit or fireplace area in your pool landscape.

Your pool will have some water sound naturally as the water laps the pool edges. Add even more drama to that sound with a trickling fountain or a full waterfall. These can be integrated into the pool area, designed as a stand-alone feature, or built into a wall or other area of the landscaping.

Fences and Safety Precautions

No matter what kind of pool you choose, you’ll want to take time to consider the safety of the pool area. Most cities have strict laws for fencing off pool areas. Depending on city regulations you may even need to have a fence with self-closing gates and doors. There are also height requirements that must be followed.

Wrought iron or plexiglass fences are the most popular options. Plexiglass is an excellent choice if you don’t want the fence interfering with your sightlines at all. If you want the option of removing it for parties or just putting up the fence when the grandkids come over, you can choose a removable pool fence.

As with the other aspects of your pool design, a good designer will help you consider safety options for your pool area. The designer will also let you know what type of fencing the city will require.

At Straight Line Landscaping we get all the information about your family and who will be using your pool, and design a safety concept around your needs.

No matter what type of pool you have in mind, we can create the pool design and landscaping that you want. Our expert designers and pool contractors have the experience and knowledge to make your dreams a reality.

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  1. Darlene Couch

    on July 3, 2021

    Have home in an HOA area. Would like to update my current front yard


    on April 21, 2021

    we have an existing pool in our back yard that needs revamping and a spa added.

  3. Cedric & Loretta Williams

    on December 28, 2020

    We live in the 85023 zip of the Moon Valley area. Do you work this area?

  4. joshua weinholt

    on August 17, 2020

    Truly modern and innovative backyard landscaping ideas you have shared here. Thanks for sharing this informative and detailed article.

  5. Geoffrey Watts

    on June 26, 2020

    We have an existing pool and landscaping. We need to revamp and revitalize the back yard.

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