It may seem like there are endless pool shapes and designs. So many different kinds of pools are out there, ranging from the widely used ovals and rectangles to some truly unique and interesting designs.
How do you start choosing one that suits your needs?
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a design for your pool is the size of the space you have to work with. If you are attempting to maximize your area, or just looking to make a pool that looks great, you have to consider the area available.
While there are variations on each, essentially there are 7 basic pool shape designs. These 7 basic designs are used in various ways to maximize the space you have, and, depending on your resources, each design offers different benefits.
The most common pool design is the rectangle. It is classic for a reason as it is the most simple and most utilitarian. The rectangle is the best option for swimming laps.
The second most used design is the oval or round pool. The oval is in general a softer look, as its marking feature is its simple shape and rounded edges. This shape maximizes the space outside of the pool for accessories, such as slides, and diving boards. Because of its maximized space for equipment, it is ideal for families that enjoy water activities and sports.
The next shape is known as the ‘true-L.’ This pool is in the shape of an L, with a sharp 90 degree angle. This is a great design that uses the contour shape to divide a deeper end from the shallower end. This shape is perfect for fitting around structures or in corners, without impeding on space.
The next design is called the ‘lazy-L’ shape. This shape is known for its L shape, but has a softer degree in the bend. The softer curve is more appealing in general, and the shorter end of the L becomes like an entrance into the longer portion of the pool.
The next design is the kidney pool. This is a popular design because its soft lines give a more natural look. The more natural look works very well with landscaping elements. The kidney shaped pool can be identified by its general oval shape, but with an indentation on one side. Another strength of this pool is its ability to fit into various locations and into different sized spaces.
The figure eight is the next design. This shape is good because the separation between the two sides is pronounced and shallow and the deep ends are easily detectable. This is a great option for families who love landscaping as it mixes the advantages of the oval maximized space for equipment) with that of the kidney pool (good for landscaping opportunities).
The next designs are the Roman and Grecian pools. These are essentially modified rectangles. The Roman style pools have stylized rounded and ornate corners, while the Grecian have sharper corners, making the rectangle more like an octagon. These pools are good for giving an elegant and sophisticated design to your pool.
The last design is known as free form. This style is known for not adhering to other pool design styles, although they often use softer lines and more natural features. They often incorporate landscaping features although this is not necessary. This kind of pool is advantageous because it can use its unorthodox shape to fit a wider variety of spaces and it can be made to work within a great number of limitations.
There are basically three different pool materials available to choose from: vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass. Fiberglass is the least versatile as far as shape, although it is the fastest and easiest installation for only a moderate cost of between $79 and $109 per square foot.
Vinyl pools are the cheapest option, and have a great deal of versatility in regard to size. However they do cost more to maintain, and they have a much shorter lifespan compared to the other options. Vinyl pools cost around $58 to $89 per square foot.
Concrete pools are versatile, strong, low maintenance, and have a long lifespan; except they can be costly – between $71 to $103 per square foot. (Source: Freshhome)
Please see our definitive swimming pool guide for more ideas!
This is a classic example of a small figure eight pool, with a nice stone waterfall, and some potted plants, making a cool landscaped look. This whole pool area is fenced off by a brick wall.
This is an interesting take on the lazy L design. This pool as an extra small entrance area at the end of the longer end of the L design. The inside of the curve of the L is used well as a host for the seating area.
This is a good example of a Roman style pool. You can see the basic rectangular shape and the fancy rounded corners There is an extra round pool on the corner, adding to the visual appeal of this pool.
Source: Zillow Digs™
A basic round pool is good on space. It creates a nice round more natural look than more angular designs. The softer lines play better with the landscaping elements.
This is a kidney shaped pool, wrapped around a tree, showing the nice landscaping options that the kidney shape can provide your pool area.
This is a small circular pool, next to a larger figure eight style pool. The round pool is nice for a smaller side pool for children, as the larger pool may be deeper for adults.
This pool is a slight kidney shape pool in a nice brick patio area.
This is an example of a true L shaped pool, wrapped around a small eating area. The long part of the L is narrow and ling, allowing for lap swimming. the shape of this pool allows for to fit well on the edge of this property.
This is a small version of a kidney shaped pool, with a wonderful lighting scheme.
This is a classic rectangular designed pool. The yard uniquely frames it with a small putting green and carefully landscaped greenery.
Source: Zillow Digs™
This is a take on the L shaped design. The inside of the angle is rounded more than the outside of the curve. The short end of the L is thin, so it really only works as an entryway to the pool.
This is a small interestingly designed pool with angular shape. The pool is fully integrated into a stone patio that runs beneath the house.
This pool is an example of a freeform pool, made from a number of connected circles. uses rounded edges and a small stone waterfall to give hints of natural look to this concrete pool.
This is a true L shaped pool with a shallow short end. The L shaped pool here grants a nice area surrounded on multiple sides by water.
This is another great example of a true L shape pool. It surrounds a nice seating area on two sides.
An interesting version of the true L shaped pool. The far edge of the pool has an infinity edge, making the pool seemingly merge with the lake in the distance.
This is an oval, above ground pool. The oval shape is visually appealing, and with some landscaping, appears more organic.
This is a classic rectangular pool with an interesting and fun water feature fountain.
This lazy L design has a slight curve that wraps around the back area of this house.
This is an example of roman pool design, with a small intrusion on the far end, which houses some patio furniture, making a great seating area by this luxurious pool.
Source: Zillow Digs™
This is a great round pool, with an infinity edge. With a much smaller pool of to the side.
This is a long and thin rectangular pool. In the middle sits an interesting design feature, adding some visual appeal to an otherwise very simple design. The length of this pool makes it ideal for practicing distance swimming.
This is an unusual pool design. It would fit in the category of the free form pool design, but rather than the naturalistic rounded curves of many freeform shapes, it opts for harsher angular lines. It almost has a lightning bolt shape.
A very interesting U shaped pool with sharp angles. the shaped creates a small sitting area in the center, perfect from relaxing and being surrounded by the water on nearly all sides.
A rectangular pool with a small cutout for a hot tub area.
A long rectangle maximizes the area for seating on each side. Everyone can sit poolside when the poolsides are so long.
A classic kidney design, on a high up patio overlooking the ocean. This pool is a perfect use of the space available, creating a relaxing place over the spectacular scenery.
A beautiful Roman style pool with spectacular blue lighting. the lighting illuminates the pool making this pool even more visually appealing at night.
This is a curved rectangle with an infinity edge, surrounded by a wooden deck. This pool overlooks the water in the distance, and has seating on the far end. This is the perfect place to sit and relax by the water.
This small true L design with an infinity edge is a perfect personal pool for a couple or small family. Wrapped in a deck, and sounded by sandy ground, this pool a great place to take dip.
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