5 Pool Design Trends in 2023

The holidays are behind us, and 2023 is in full force. Before you know it, spring will fly by, and summer will be knocking at the door. If you’re looking to make your summers more relaxing and enjoyable, a pool is a perfect way to make this summer one long staycation. If you start soon, your summertime sanctuary could be ready before the pool season begins.

With that said, these top 5 pool design trends for 2023 will provide some valuable insight into the wealth of styles, materials, and features available as you begin planning your backyard oasis. They’re the perfect way to spark inspiration and help you decide what elements will transform your summers into the ultimate getaway, without ever leaving the comfort of your home.    

Trend #1:Natural Elements and Nature-Inspired Designs

Over the past decade, people have shifted to more natural elements in all areas of life. They prefer natural products that are cleaner and healthier than artificial and manmade products. In 2023, this trend will play a part in how pool areas and backyards are designed. Here are some ways you can expect this trend to take shape. 

Natural Materials

One of the ways homeowners can bring a touch of the great outdoors into their pool design is by choosing more natural materials. Adding wood and stone elements can give your pool a more organic feel. Stone waterfalls, fountains, and other water features can have a soothing effect.  

Related: Pools with Waterfalls and Slides: What You Need to Know

Using natural stone pavers and decorative pebbles is a great way to achieve this effect while still having plenty of variety in color, texture, finish, and style. Likewise, natural wood finishes have the same appeal and are a great way to add warmth. Unlike concrete, stainless steel, tile, or acrylic, natural elements can add a unique visual interest to the space.    

Bring the Destination to You

When building the ideal pool, many people choose to take inspiration from their favorite places around the world. If you love the idea of being on a tropical beach or oceanside resort, a beach entry pool with lounge chairs and cabana, a swim-up bar, and tropical plants can transport you there. If a tropical beach isn’t your dream destination, a natural pool design that looks like a lake or pond can make your suburban yard feel like a secluded area in the countryside.

Others might prefer a rainforest aesthetic with thick foliage, tranquil waterfalls, bold colors, and a rustic wooden bridge. No matter what parts of nature you choose to bring home, the addition is sure to make your pool space a tranquil reminder of your favorite outdoor destinations. 

Trend #2: Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

As time goes on, many people are becoming more aware of sustainable living and the different ways we can care for the earth. In 2023, people are striving to be more environmentally friendly and use green options when possible. Luckily, plenty of pool options are on the market to help homeowners reduce their carbon footprint.

When in Drought

Water is, of course, an essential element of any pool. Depending on the pool, the initial pool fill and ongoing maintenance can add up to a very large amount of water. For those looking to keep their water consumption to a minimum, there’s pool equipment that can collect rainwater, reduce water loss, and minimize backwashes to maintain the pool using the least amount of water possible. 

Water-saving solutions aren’t limited to the pool either. Poolside landscaping is expected to increasingly contain native, drought-tolerant plants. Replacing lawns around your pool with self-sustaining options that require less watering and no fertilizer is also growing in popularity.  

Relax and Recharge

Today’s options increasingly focus on renewable energy sources and energy-saving products and methods. For example, solar panels powered by the sun can run water features, outdoor lighting, and accessories in your pool and backyard design without raising your electric bill or the global temperature.

Thermal pool covers can be used to keep heat from escaping as quickly, which will cut down on the energy needed to maintain your pool’s desired temperature. Solar covers, on the other hand, heat your pool by absorbing the sun’s warmth. They’re often a more affordable option. Other environmentally-friendly features like LED lights in and around your pool can also reduce energy consumption. 

Trend #3: Maximizing Space and Impact

If your backyard is smaller than average, this next trend is for you. People are getting creative with smaller spaces, and they refuse to let a small backyard hold them back. Instead, they’re working with great pool designers to make the best use of their space and layout. 

Selecting the right pool design, pool size, and aesthetic elements to complement existing features and styles cause even small yards to make a big impact, transforming them into a cozy oasis just for you and your guests.

Be Wise with Size

Smaller yards require smaller pools. However, depending on the size and layout of the yard, one pool shape or location may provide advantages over others. For example, in a narrow yard with an existing garden or patio, an L-shaped pool right up against the yard’s border could make the best use of the space. A pool contractor and designer can thoroughly assess your yard and surroundings to maximize space and work around what’s already there.

Highlight and Harmonize

Integrating pool designs with your surroundings can help emphasize what you love about your yard and make a big impression, even on a small budget. For example, suppose you live in the mountains and have a fantastic backyard view. An infinity pool is an excellent choice to make the most of it.

An infinity pool will draw attention to the gorgeous backdrop and make the vista the focal point of your backyard design. This choice creates the effect of your pool stretching out endlessly, blending into the horizon. The perfect way to highlight this pool style is with a swim-up bar overlooking the edge.

Also, if your home is designed with a particular aesthetic, like farmhouse chic or countryside cottage, keeping the theme can create a cohesive look—you can harmonize elements using river rock and a waterfall. This will make the design look more intentional to pack a bigger punch.

On the other hand, if your home is modern and minimalist, consider a pool design with modern elements such as natural stone tiles or travertine, clean lines, and a hot tub that spills over into the pool. Whatever your surroundings, a great pool company can help you create a space that perfectly complements what you already have.

Trend #4: A Taste of Luxury Via Outdoor Living Spaces

The past few years have changed how people see their homes, including—or perhaps especially—their outdoor spaces. They realize that, rather than their homes just being a place they go after work, after spending time with friends and family, after relaxing and having fun, etc., home could be the ideal location to do all those things.

In 2023, these are a few great ways people use their pool areas and yard designs to create the kind of outdoor living spaces where they actually want to spend their time.

Create a Night Out at Home

The right design elements can make staying in just as much fun as a night out. Who needs expensive restaurants when you can cook in your outdoor kitchen and dine poolside? Ditch uncomfortable movie theater seats for an outdoor entertainment space with plush furniture, or watch your favorite movie from the pool. Music lovers can install a sound system. A backyard bar is a perfect place to unwind with a cold drink. The sky’s the limit when you have a beautifully designed pool with space around it just waiting to be brought to life.

A Walk in the Park

Plants have a lot of proven benefits, like stress relief, improved mood, and better air quality, and many pool owners are going all in with poolside gardens. Adding plants around your pool can enhance the aesthetic appeal and improve your overall well-being, helping to create a peaceful haven in your own backyard. 

Related: Creative and Useful Outdoor Living Space Ideas for Your Backyard Retreat

In addition, adding plants can make your yard more enjoyable. Plants can create privacy, separate areas, and provide shade. Fragrant flowers can add a touch of aromatherapy to your poolside experience, and if you like birdwatching or butterflies, the right flowers can attract them right to you. When you don’t have the time or ability to stroll through your local park, this is a great way to bring a touch of the park to you. 

Make Self-Care Your First Resort

For many people, going to a spa or resort is the ideal way to relax. However, it can be challenging to find the time, money, and energy to actually do that very often, if ever. With the right pool design, you can float around in the pool or relax and unwind in the hot tub, using water features to add relaxing sounds. Elevate the self-care vibe with an area for yoga or a Zen Garden for deep relaxation. A comfortable lounge area, cabana, and bar can recreate the appeal of a vacation resort. A sound system can add the perfect music for whatever vibe you’re going for.  

Trend #5: Design for How You Spend Your Time

These designs all have an overarching theme. They’re all focused on making pool spaces more enjoyable and functional to help people improve how they spend their time. Everyone has a million things going on, and the world moves quickly. That’s why in 2023, people are focusing on ways their backyards can bring their favorite things to them.

Customize your pool area to make it enjoyable for the things you plan to do there. If you like to be outside at night, interactive, color-changing LED lights can illuminate your yard to make the space usable at all hours. They can even accent your favorite design features.

Think about what you enjoy doing during the summer. Do you like roasting marshmallows for s’mores or reading next to a toasty fire? Consider installing a fireplace, fire pit, or fire bowl in the center of your lounge space.

Anything is possible! Add features and elements that fit your life and activities that help you do the things you love more often. The point is to make it your own and design a space that fits your hobbies and leisure time perfectly.  

The most significant trend in 2023 is acknowledging that nothing should be one-size-fits-all. In-style doesn’t have to be your style—go with whatever option fits your lifestyle and needs best.

Build Your Perfect Backyard Oasis

Regardless of what design trend you prefer, creating your ideal outdoor oasis can ensure that you get the most use out of your pool area and create beautiful memories for years to come. When you’re ready to start, work with a trustworthy pool builder to do the job right. At California Pools, we’ve made outdoor sanctuary dreams come true since 1952. We have the experience to help you design and create the perfect backyard retreat. Find a location near you to get a quote and start designing an oasis tailor-made for you.

Good times guaranteed.
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