Whether you favour a light, bright, family-style aesthetic, or a moody, opulent vibe for your pool, the interior surface will help you achieve it. Lucy Mackey speaks with Andriy Antonov, managing director of Quasar Pools, about choosing an interior to suit your desired overall theme.
“The interior of a pool is fundamental to the final aesthetic appearance of your outdoor design,” says Andriy Antonov, “because the interior of a pool determines how the pool water will look.” Along with the shape, the colour of the water is the biggest factor that influences the overall vibe of your pool, so it’s worth giving serious thought to what you’re trying to create. Some of the most popular themes in 2019 include moody and luxurious; family-friendly; ‘pond’ style; coastal; and Mediterranean elegance. Whether you favour pebblecrete or polished glass tiles, your choice of pool interior is key to achieving the look you seek.
If you’re after a relaxed, family-style pool, consider a light-coloured pebblecrete or paleblue ceramic tile. Pebblecrete, which is poured then blasted with a high-pressure hose to reveal the pebbles embedded in the concrete, has the bonus of providing grip for little feet. Select natural rocks or light-coloured pavers for coping to complete this friendly, welcoming aesthetic. If the design includes a shallow wading section for young children, you can demarcate it with a lighter pebblecrete finish, then use a quality ceramic tile for the rest of the pool.
For a particularly opulent, moody vibe, consider a fully tiled glass mosaic interior. “Glass mosaic tiles are my personal favourite,” Antonov says. “They incorporate style, luxury and substance, and create a smooth surface finish.” As for the colour, “darker shades of blue like royal navy best capture the ‘moody’ feel”. Or, you could consider a deep green for a unique look. When paired with submerged LED lights, these darker colours impart a luxurious feel to the pool. Use large square pavers such as bluestone for the surrounds to finish the look. A dark-coloured beadcrete finish would also be perfect for this aesthetic, with submerged LED lights to make the glass beads shine.
INSPIRED BY NATURE
A pond-like pool can be a beautiful addition to any backyard. For this look, Antonov suggests teal or aqua tiles to give the water a green hue. Alternatively, using a darker-coloured pebblecrete to mimic river stones would work well. Use natural rocks and plentiful greenery in the landscaping to further this aesthetic, keeping in mind that the reflection of green plants will contribute to the water’s colour.
To create a beach-style pool, sandy-coloured pebblecrete is the go-to option. If there are varying depths, or a swim-out section, surfacing the shallower areas with pebblecrete and the deeper areas with a light blue tile makes for a realistic look. Natural rocks are a good coping choice, but if the pool’s design allows, letting the pebblecrete interior continue into the pool surrounds uninterrupted expresses a very beachy vibe.
ON THE AGEAN SEA
For a luxurious pool inspired by the gorgeous waters of the Mediterranean, a small-format blue tile will help create uniformly vivid water. For a classical and elegant look, include large pale-coloured pavers, like limestone or travertine, in the pool surrounds. A decorative waterline tile would make a gorgeous addition to this look.
If your pool will see a lot of use at night, naturally that’s when you want it looking its best. As swimming in dark water can be unappealing, consider a light-coloured interior in this instance. “Sparkly, shiny, iridescent tiles paired with submerged lights make for a great combo,” Antonov suggests. “Multicoloured LED lights are quite popular and enhance the colour of the interior.”
Thanks to advances in pool-automation technology, modern systems will allow you to turn on and change the colour of your LED lights from a smartphone app. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, glowin- the-dark tiles can offer a fun accent, for example, around the waterline.
While the interior is the single largest factor that determines a pool’s water colour, other aspects can affect it to a lesser degree. One other factor is what the water will be reflecting. For example, the white render of your home’s exterior may make your pool lighter in colour, while water that reflects dark green overhanging foliage will take on a matching hue. In cases such as these, it’s worth investing in an interior that’s a shade darker or lighter than you think you’ll need.
Adding a feature wall is a good way to control what the water reflects.
Another factor to keep in mind is the location of the pool, specifically, whether it will sit predominantly in sun or shade. If your pool will be shaded for most of the day, Antonov recommends “choosing lighter tiles in order to avoid unwanted darkness”. If your pool enjoys a lot of sunlight, you can take advantage of the rays by choosing a surface with reflective qualities for bright, sparkling water. Pebblecrete, and ceramic and glass tiles can all be created with reflective properties. Or, for a particularly sparkly pool, a beadcrete surface is a stunning option.
If your pool lies near a river or ocean, a popular choice is to mirror the colour of the natural water source. This will prevent your pool from looking overly artificial by contrast.
Anyone who’s been diving knows that colours vanish the deeper you go. While home pools aren’t deep enough to begin losing colours from the spectrum, it is important to keep in mind that your pool floor might lie up to two metres under the water, and colours do begin to change at this depth. The shallower sections also require some extra thought. If your design incorporates a submerged bench or ledge, a popular choice is to highlight it with a lighter finish than the rest of the pool; select a ceramic or glass tile to ensure it remains a comfortable seat!
At the end of the day, simple is best for a pool interior; a well-considered palette comprising a handful of colours has a good chance at standing the test of time. “Use colours that work in harmony to balance each other out,” Antonov suggests. “Find a common theme that suits your personal aesthetic and stick with it.”
“The finish and colour of your pool will impact the way your entire outdoor living area will look,” Antonov says, because often, the pool is the single largest feature. His final word of advice is never to compromise on quality, because surfacing your pool is a big job with a big impact!
Images courtesy of Quasar Pools