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Backyard Transformation: Residential Pool Trends to Create an Oasis Beyond Your Back Door

Swimming Pool Design

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that your home should be your sanctuary. Adding a pool comes with countless benefits including backyard entertainment, opportunities for low-impact exercise workouts, potentially increased property value and enhanced ambience. With backyard pools growing increasingly popular, we’ve gathered the latest residential pool trends to add to your pool build list.

1. Smart Lighting

It’s no secret that lighting is the perfect way to enhance design, and smart pool lighting is no different. Thanks to innovative pool technology, you can adjust your lighting depending on the mood, setting and the time of day. Choose from white or single-color LED lights or opt for stunning multicolor lighting systems like Jandy® WaterColors Nicheless LED Lights. Advanced automation capabilities enable you to control your lighting from the palm of your hand using a smartphone app when connected to an automation system. With pool lighting this simple and stress-free, why not amp up the wow factor for your guests with colorful lightshows in a range of mesmerizing colors?

Jandy LED pool Lighting

2. Pool and Spa Combos

Who doesn’t love warming up in a heated spa after a dip in the pool? Or going for a soaking on a chilly fall evening and indulging in a soothing jet massage? Make this your daily reality by building a pool and spa combination with a permanent spa adjacent to your pool. Unlike less-durable hot tubs, spas are permanent constructions made out of durable materials like concrete (gunite), just like in-ground pools. Energy-efficient heaters like the Jandy® JXi™ Pool & Spa Heater with cost-saving Integrated Bypass technology help ensure that heating your pool and spa water doesn’t break the bank.

Backyard pool and spa combo

3. Fire and Water Features

Visually, combining fire and water is certainly captivating — making it one of the top pool design trends this year. You can go as dramatic as you’d like. From fire pits for cozy nights outdoors to cascading water bowls that add an extra splash to your pool, there are countless options to suit your taste. If you already own a pool and just want to spice things up, certain features can even be added without a full retrofit (ask your pool builder for more information). Plus, many fire and water elements, such as those offered by Grand Effects®, can connect to your pool automation system for easy app control from your phone.

Exciting fire and water features for your pool

4. Energy Efficiency

Let’s be honest: Maintaining a pool can be costly. In the past, making eco-friendly choices could severely limit your design and equipment options also. This is no longer the case today, with many pool products now designed to improve pool efficiency. When exploring pool design ideas, consider incorporating high-efficiency equipment like Jandy’s Versa Plumb® System, a fully integrated pool system which helps conserve energy and lower operating costs. Pool automation systems also give you more control over your energy output by automatically adjusting the pump’s speed, the pool/spa temperature, and the pump’s operation time to run during off-peak hours (whenever possible).

Energy-efficient pool operation

5. Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools have become increasingly popular over the years. Their benefits include not having to manually add chlorine, and pool water that is gentler on the skin and eyes. Simply put, these pools use a salt chlorinator to sanitize pool water instead of traditional pools that use chlorine in liquid or tablet form. The ability to minimize unpleasant odors from pool chemicals alone is enough to see why so many people are opting for saltwater pools.

Saltwater pool

6. Waterfalls

If you’re looking for more tranquility in your life, then pool waterfalls are an excellent option. A versatile water feature, waterfalls offer entertainment for all ages, from water play for the kids to a relaxing hydro massage for adults. The Jandy Sheer Descent® Cascade Waterfall, for example, delivers a clear arc of water elegantly into the pool, adding a soothing ambiance to your backyard. Adjust its water effects to suit your mood, from a silent, glassy sheet of water to a rushing mountain waterfall.

Waterfall features for Swimming pools

7. Automatic Pool Covers

Pool covers used to be bulky and detract from the aesthetics of a beautifully designed custom pool, but automated pool covers today offer safety and functionality while still preserving the beauty of your pool design. More pool owners are opting for automated pool covers like Cover-Pools’ T4™ Automated Pool Cover for their ability to keep children and pets safe, conserve energy, and keep debris out of the pool. With a seamless design that disappears when retracted, they’re a wise investment.

Automatic pool cover for your pool

8. Smaller Pools

If you don’t have space for a large pool, just as much fun can be had in a smaller pool! Even for homeowners who have more space to work with, smaller pools leave room for other backyard features to complete and complement the pool area, such as an outdoor kitchen, gazebo or bar. This is definitely one pool trend not to be ignored.

Small Pools for Small Spaces

Residential Pool Trends: Something for Everyone

No matter your taste, budget or lifestyle, at least one of these pool trends is likely to strike a chord. Even better, why not combine two or more trends for the ultimate at-home retreat?

About This Blog

Includes all the latest information, tips, and expert advice from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. on owning the healthiest, safest, most enjoyable pool possible.


Zodiac is a leading global manufacturer of differentiated pool and spa products. With our rich heritage of innovation excellence, we develop some of the world's leading products that afford our customers a better life.


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