10.4 million.

That’s the number of private swimming pools currently being enjoyed in back yards around the United States.

As you can see, having a pool isn’t uncommon in this country. And with so many around, it becomes harder to differentiate one from the other. Enter custom pools! You get to design and create a pool that’ll stand out amongst your neighbors.

However, you might need a bit of design inspiration to get started.

Planning a dreamy new pool for your backyard? Looking for something a bit different, but short on ‘swim-spiration’?

Keep reading for 12 in-ground pool design ideas.

12 In-Ground Pool Design Ideas

Here are some creative ideas to make your new custom pool truly unique.

1. Build an Island

Why not design your pool with an island?

There’s an aesthetic and practical purpose to a platform like this. As a feature of the pool, it breaks up designs with simple shapes. You get to sit, stand, and rest on it too.

Islands make less sense for a lap pool though. After all, you don’t want to be banging into and/or constantly swerving around an island as you do your lengths!

2. Have a Recessed Seating Area

Do you love to entertain guests in your home?

They’ll go wild for a pool with a recessed seating area.

It’s hard to beat being surrounded by water, sat upon comfortable seating and enjoying the company of good friends. There’s an element of luxury that comes with cheating the water and remaining dry.

Likewise, that ability for people to enter the pool without getting wet is an added bonus. They can enjoy the pool and join in with the party, all while staying dry.

3. Change the Shape

Great design challenges the status quo.

Every man and his dog has a rectangular, circular, or slightly curved pool.

Why not get creative with the shape of yours? Play with the style. Have geometric shapes or abstract forms. Be symmetrical, or asymmetrical. And so on.

4. Multiple Levels

Who says your pool has to stay on one level?

You could have 2, 3, or 4 levels, all with waterfalls cascading down from one to the other. This adds an interesting aesthetic to your pool and is the perfect way to leverage sloping areas of your yard.

Multilevel pools mean there’s less need to flatten the ground first. You simply stack them

5. Indoor to Outdoor

Swimming pools are usually confined to either an indoor or outdoor space.

You could decide to break the mold and create a pool that transitions from one to the other. Partially covered, you get the best of both worlds. Swim seamlessly from inside to outside, and back again, without the need to get out and walk.

Your pool will have a striking aesthetic, be truly unique, and allow you to swim indoors or outdoors depending on your mood.

6. Have a Waterfall

Waterfalls are an attractive, eye-catching feature of any pool.

You could have one side of your pool bordered entirely by a stone-wall and waterfall. There’s a lovely sensory element to these features. The sound of falling water combines with visual appeal. Standing beneath the water heightens the sensory experience as well. 

7. Plan the Outside First

You could even design the landscape prior to the pool.

Decide on the aesthetic of your yard, then adapt the pool accordingly. Having a decking area, plants, and trees, a spa, or a bar area will all affect the layout of the pool itself. Likewise, want seating areas, stairways, sun loungers, and so on? 

Planning the position of each element, then designing the pool around them, can create interesting compositions, shapes, and spaces.

8. To Infinity and Beyond

Infinity pools are undoubtedly stunning.

The lines are blurred between the pool and outside world. The water flows over the sides to make it seem like there’s no boundary. The pool seems to blend into the ether; as if you’re swimming into the horizon.

Why not incorporate this beautiful visual effect into your pool too? Here are some examples of insane infinity pools to give you some ideas for your own!

9. Don’t Forget the Features

The pool itself is one thing. But you should think about the features too.

A solid design incorporates multiple elements to bring it all together. We’ve already mentioned a few. Waterfalls and islands are two features that go well in any swimming pool.

You could also think about waterspouts, LED lighting, and seating areas in and around the poolside.

Lighting helps bring the pool alive at night. The poolside takes on a completely different vibe when the sun goes down. It’s the time for parties, entertainment, and late-night dips in clear, turquoise waters.

10. Make it Family-Friendly

Swimming pools are best enjoyed with friends and family.

Try to think about what they might want in your design. Your kids might have particular ideas! Slides, jumping boards, and poolside games could all be worth considering.

Now, you might not get as much luxury as you were after, but it’ll definitely be fun for all the family.

11. Have Underwater Seats

Underwater seating is another pool feature to think about.

It adds another element to the experience.

Imagine hot summer days spent sat part-submerged in the water, relaxing and soaking at the same time. Situate the seating in logical places though. You want them out of the way so they won’t obstruct your swimming.

12. Get a Spa

Why not combine your pool with a spa?

When you’re tired of swimming there’s nothing quite like a spa to soak in. Try building it adjacent to the pool, or on another level, or in an entirely different place.

Time to Get Designing

There you have it: 12 in-ground pool design ideas to spark some inspiration.

Millions of Americans have pools in their backyard. Creating a custom pool gives you the ultimate freedom to design something different to everyone else! You can make it your own, with unique style, features and aesthetic.

Hopefully, the ideas above have provided some inspiration on how to get started.

Did you like this piece? Got an outdoor project you want help with? Contact us today to see how we can help!