Taming the wild outdoors with indoor comforts
It never hurts to have a refreshing oasis just steps from your back door. For me, a pool is just about the epitome of outdoor living. Laps in the morning, sunbathing in the afternoon, and an evening dip in the spa. I live in a townhome, so I can’t exactly have a pool, but if I could, I would splurge on one of the infinity styles, where the water just drops off the side. Yeah, that would be ideal.
To understand the latest and greatest in pool picks, I talked with Scott Thompson, executive vice president of Desjoyaux Pools. The French company opened its first American showroom last year and specializes in eco-friendly building practices. Here’s what he had to say about the hottest trends, something to think about for next year.
- Pool owners are steering clear of the deep end. More and more people are opting for “more of a wading pool” with a level depth of 5 feet. This way, they can play games and chase the kids around, Thompson says. That also means no diving board, which is an extra charge on one’s homeowner’s insurance anyway.
- A simple rectangle is still the prevailing shape.
- Desjoyaux is adding more interior stairs than exterior ones. This allows you to slowly enter the water and adjust to the water temperature.
- With the Jandy iAqualink system, you can control your pool remotely anywhere, anytime. Adjust the water temperature, switch on the robotic cleaner, even activate the waterfall, all with the touch of your smart phone. The system sells for around $2,000, Thompson says.
- At Desjoyaux, there are countless requests these days for spas and tanning ledges.
- Two-speed pumps, which allow for crosscurrent swimming, are all the rage. The streaming water is ideal for massage and exercise.
- Saltwater is supreme. “Ninety percent of our customers are buying saltwater systems,” Thompson says. Images of the sea come to mind, but this salt doesn’t taste or feel anything like its namesake. It’s softer on the skin and eyes, he says. Plus it doesn’t require owners to shock the water with chlorine, as sea salt is a powerful sterilizing agent when combined with electricity.
- For eco-friendly decks, customers are choosing permeable pavers that allow water to seep through. This keeps debris, dirt and bacteria from spilling into the pool.
- When it comes to games, volleyball and basketball still reign in the water. And any float with a drink holder is a top-seller, Thompson says with a laugh.
Regional Tip: Thompson says that the North likes vinyl liners, while the South, Midwest and West love gunite pools.