Modern Pool Design


Pools have taken on many sizes, shapes and colors over the years. Since ancient times, cultures have used pools for bathing, exercise and recreation. Today's hotels, resorts and apartment complexes use pools to enhance guest and tenant experiences, but it's important that they choose the right contemporary pool designs to set themselves apart from the competition. That's where you come in. 

As an architect or engineer, your job is to create a luxury pool design that your clients will love. Many guests even come to a hotel or resort expecting to find luxury modern pools. Craft your own modern pool design ideas that will excite your clients and help you land more pool construction jobs. 

What Is Modern Swimming Pool Design?

A modern inground pool has an aesthetic of its own that is appealing to look at and invites swimmers to enjoy its shimmering waters. Modern inground pool designs look different than the designs from decades and centuries past. 

Many contemporary pool designs use straight lines and minimalistic features, but that's just the starting point. Read on to discover all the possibilities of modern luxury swimming pool design. 

Consider Different Pool Types

First, you should understand the various pool types you can use when creating a modern pool design. Here are five pool types that work well for a design with modern character. 

Classic Pools

Classic pool designs often include arches, clean lines and 90-degree angles. These features give off a Mediterranean aesthetic that can lead the viewer's eye toward various focal points around the pool. Many people enjoy combining the classic pool type with Roman or Grecian decorations for a modern-day historical appearance. 

The classic pool type is a wonderful choice when designing modern-style pools because of its simplicity and familiarity. Whether your client wants modern pool designs and landscaping or to install a pool in a tight area, the classic pool style will look fantastic every time. 

Freeform Pools

A freeform pool is one that uses irregularly rounded, curved edges to create a pool shape that is unlike any other. They've grown in popularity in recent years thanks to the tailored approach needed to design them. Because of the unique shapes they can take, freeform pools are perfect for expanding the square footage of the pool around existing architecture and other obstacles on the property. 

Freeform pools are impressive to behold, making them appealing to hotels and resorts that want to give guests an exciting, unique pool experience. They're also a great choice in a modern pool design when your client wants the pool to be the focal point of their outdoor entertainment experience or has limited open space to work with. 

Infinity Pools

Infinity pools, also called vanishing edge pools and negative edge pools, have at least one side where water continuously flows into the catch basin below. The design of an infinity pool creates a striking visual effect that looks as if the pool is not completely enclosed, letting the water flow out and onward. Swimmers will have the unique experience of feeling like they could keep swimming past the boundaries of the pool, as the vanishing edge draws their eyes toward the horizon instead of the pool's edge. 

Many modern pool designs for hotels and resorts use infinity pools. Their stunning appearance is one that guests may not see too often, giving them a swimming pool experience they'll remember forever. 

the design of an infinity pool creates a striking visual effect

Indoor Pools

An indoor pool, as the name implies, exists within an enclosed structure. This structure can either be a part of the main building, or it can be in its own dedicated indoor pool building. Indoor pools are ideal for hotels and resorts in climates where the weather gets cold, snowy or rainy at certain points of the year. Guests can enjoy the pool all year long. 

You can create a contemporary pool design using an indoor pool because indoor pools work with many of the most popular modern swimming pool features that hotels and resorts are looking for. The only limiting factors of an indoor pool are the size of the indoor space that will contain it and any safety regulations you'll need to follow in your design. 

Fitness Pools

Fitness pools, or lap pools, are ideal for athletes practicing the sport of swimming. But they are also perfect for regular swimming activities like cooling off on a hot day or getting exercise. They often include swimming lanes with distance markers and rope guides so swimmers can measure their progress. Fitness pools can work with many different pool designs and luxury pool features to achieve the modern aesthetic your client is looking for. 

Determine the Pool Shape You Want

After choosing your pool type, it's time to consider its shape. There are many modern pool shapes to choose from, and if the circumstances permit it, you can get as creative as you want. Here are some of the main pool shapes that can inspire your modern pool design:

  • Rectangular pools: This is the classic pool shape. It features two pairs of equal-length sides, one pair being longer and the other pair being shorter. By adjusting the lengths of the sides, you can achieve a unique modern pool shape that can accommodate many or a few swimmers. If you design the pool to have all four sides of equal lengths, then the pool becomes a square, which can provide a unique look in a variety of modern pool landscape settings. 
  • Geometric pools: Geometric pools use straight lines of various sizes and quantities to create unique shapes. Give the pool six sides to create a hexagon, eight sides to create an octagon, and so forth. You can also give the pool variety by making one end of the pool have a certain number of sides and the other end of the pool have a different number of sides. Although uncommon, you can even design a triangular-shaped pool. The options are endless when designing a modern pool. 
  • Curved pools: Curved pools forego straight lines to achieve a more rounded shape. These circular pools are great for a modern pool design, as they achieve a sense of elegance and contemporary appeal. You have many options when making curved pools, including a fully circular pool or one that curves in different directions to achieve a desired shape. 
  • "L" or "T" shaped pools: An "L" or "T" shaped pool gives swimmers a unique experience while also looking modern. Shaped pools make swimmers feel like there are different areas to swim in and offer a more customized experience. You can also design different shallow and deep ends of the pool depending on where they are located in the "L" or "T." 
  • Combination or custom-shaped pools: Combination pools use the various shapes listed above, combining them in any way that suits your modern design. You can combine rounded sides with straight sides or create geometric shapes branching off the end of an "L." The possibilities are almost limitless — all you have to do is design it. 
  • Natural pool shapes: Natural pool shapes are designed to look like they are a part of the natural environment. While these are often popular in residential backyards, some hotels and resorts may want to accent their swimming areas by creating a more natural appearance. 

    different pool shapes

Make a List of Desired Swimming Pool Features

After deciding on your pool's type and shape, the next thing to do is choose some modern pool features that will set the pool apart. These are the items, accessories and decorations that will exist in and around the pool to give it its unique character. Here are some modern swimming pool features to consider:


One way to boost the modern appeal of a swimming pool design is to add a waterfall. Modern pool designs with waterfalls are impressive to look at and provide a new way to enjoy the water. The waterfall keeps the water moving, which keeps swimmers feeling cooler in warmer weather. The sound is also pleasant, providing relaxing white noise for anyone lounging poolside. 

Pool designs with waterfalls often include some natural-looking elements like rocks or boulders. The waterfall itself invokes feelings of the natural world, making the inclusion of other natural features a good choice. But there are so many ways you can incorporate a waterfall in your modern pool design, so experiment with what works for your client. 


Bubblers, or pool gushers, are small jets on the floor of the shallow end of a pool. They shoot streams of water through the shallow water and up into the air. Oftentimes, you can adjust the intensity of the stream to make it as intense or subtle as desired. The water also makes a bubbly sound which can be enjoyable for children and adults alike. 

Bubblers are like mini fountains for a pool. They can be an excellent feature to add to your modern pool design thanks to the variety and uniqueness they add to the finished product. 


Scuppers offer elegant beauty to a modern pool design while also providing some necessary functionality. Scuppers are spouts or slots on a raised ledge that pour water into your pool from another area. Scuppers can be especially helpful if your pool design includes a spa, as it ensures the water is getting the circulation it needs to stay clean and balanced. 

Scuppers also help control the water's flow to maintain optimal water levels. They look awesome and can be as flashy or minimalistic as you want them to be. Their customization options make them a great feature to include in your modern swimming pool design. 

Rain Curtains

A rain curtain, or rain sheet, is a pool feature that has water run off its surface into the pool or a dedicated catchbasin. They can be mounted on an overhang, a pergola roof or on a nearby wall. A freestanding rain curtain can provide the visual characteristic needed to turn a regular pool area into an outdoor oasis. Plus, they provide a pleasant sound to the pool area, which hotel or resort guests or apartment tenants are sure to enjoy. 

Fire Bowls

Fire bowls can give any modern pool design a more dramatic appearance. Also called fire pots, fire bowls are modern pool features that use fuel to burn a flame in a contained area. They provide a subtle warmth to the air around them and give off a pleasant light, which is perfect for hotels and resorts that allow night swimming. But even during the day, fire bowls look cool and provide a satisfying contrast to the pool's water features. 

fire bowls provide a subtle warmth to the air around them

Spas and Hot Tubs

Spas and hot tubs provide an area where guests can enjoy warmer water to relax and unwind. A modern pool design can include an attached or detached hot tub area, depending on the preferences of your client. There are many unique ways you can accent the hot tub, utilizing different shapes, colors and features to set it apart from or blend it in with the rest of the pool area. 


Lighting is vital in modern pool designs, as it can give light to swimmers after the sun goes down while accenting different features throughout the pool area. Use spotlights to showcase a nearby rain current, waterfall or scupper. Light up the pool water in unique ways, letting every guest know that they're looking at a truly modern pool. 

Determine the Pool Color

The last element of your modern swimming pool design is the color scheme. The colors present in a pool area will evoke different emotional responses in viewers, from bold, contrasting color schemes to more neutral, monochromatic ones. It all depends on your client's preference. Here are some of the areas of pool design where color is important:

  • Pool coping: Pool coping is the concrete, brick or stone pieces that go around the perimeter of the pool on its edge between the deck and shell. Pool coping helps maintain the pool's structure and ensures water does not build up near the pool's exterior. When looking for modern pool coping ideas, be open to trying unique materials and colors that can elevate the pool's aesthetic. 
  • Pool lining or tiles: The pool lining separates the pool's shell from the water. The lining can consist of different materials, and one of the most popular modern pool solutions is to install tile rather than opt for the traditional vinyl pool lining. The color of the pool lining and tiles is essential as it will give the entire pool its characteristic color through crystal clear water. 
  • Pool grates: Pool grates are inlaid in the area around the pool past the pool coping. They serve the purpose of catching any overflowed water so water does not build up around the pool, which can be a hazard to guests. You can choose the color and design of the pool grates to provide a visual accent to the surrounding area. 

Contact Jonite for Stone Pool Grates

Pool grates are an essential part of modern pool design, ensuring the pool area stays safe and looks amazing. Jonite is your destination for reinforced stone decorative grates that will inspire your architectural mind to create the perfect modern pool design for your clients. We understand how every little detail can make a big difference in your project, and you can trust that our pool grates will add the perfect flare and function you're looking for. 

Contact us today to learn more about our pool grates and how we can enhance your next project!

contact Jonite for stone pool grates