The 14 Best Types of In-Ground Swimming Pools

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What if you could bask in the sun on your very own swan float in the pool whenever you felt like it? Or cannonball into the deep end after a particularly long day at the office? Having a swimming pool in your own backyard is an investment in your lifestyle, whether it laps you’re after or an at-home party venue. But before you even start the installation process, you’ll want to get to know all the different types of pools out there. From shape to material and surrounding deck area, learn all about the different types of in-ground pools here, both indoors and outdoors.

1

Infinity Pool

In-ground infinity swimming pools are great for modern spaces. The minimalist deck and sleek infinity pool design set the scene and allow our eyes to focus on the gorgeous, expansive vineyard view ahead. Opt for this kind of design if you’re drawn to the visual illusion of a never-ending edge.

2

Cocktail Pool

So what if your backyard doesn’t have enough space to build an Olympic-level swimming pool? This backyard designed by Arent & Pyke has it all: grill, sitting area, and a pool. Cocktail pools are shallow (usually around four feet deep) all the way across, so their actual size doesn’t matter much. They’re best for cooling off, relaxing, and entertaining in, says designer Jay Jeffers.

3

Solarium Swimming Pool

Beyond the romantic crawling vine-covered gazebo designed by April Powers, you’ll see the solarium covering the swimming pool. Enclosed by glass, the light can pour through without actually letting in as many harmful rays or rain. So, basically, it’s the perfect mix between an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool if you can’t decide on one. The 1930s property is a perfect backdrop for a solarium, too, as it echoes the Art Deco architecture of the public swimming pools popular during the era.

4

Natural Swimming Pool

Natural swimming pools (like this one designed by Rod Pleasants, president of McIver Morgan) and saltwater pools have become more and more popular, as their self-cleaning systems mean you get to go chemical-free. A natural pool features a self-cleaning area that filters out microorganisms, no chlorine needed.

Read more about natural pools here.

5

Round Swimming Pool

The soft edges of rounded swimming pools tend to fit in well with traditional architecture and design. This one in a GRT-designed home also features natural stone, making it feel even more serene and relaxing. An in-ground rectangular swimming may be a better option if you’re looking for a place to swim laps.

6

Indoor/Outdoor Swimming Pool

Maybe your backyard isn’t huge, but combine it with a den and you’ll double the size. This indoor to outdoor swimming pool is about as unique as it gets. Architecturally striking, this pool also offers up some practical perks. Now you can swim from indoors or outdoors depending on your mood or the season. The glass wall helps ease the transition.

7

Indoor Basement Pool

Now, this is a good use of basement space. In this home designed by Breegan Jane, the indoor swimming pool area feels sexy and stylish as well as serene thanks to the circadian rhythm light system that changes color and moderates the internal clock. It’s super long and linear, perfect for laps.

8

Swimming Pool With Wood Decking

Shape, water, and material aren’t the only things you need to consider when installing a pool. You also need to think about the surrounding deck. There are tons of options, from bluestone, to concrete, grass, and wood decking. Wood decking is great for a vibrant contrast against the water, though it does require maintenance.

9

Thermal Swimming Pool

If you happen to be near a natural spring, take advantage of it. Deplar Farm in Troll Peninsula, Iceland is designed with an impeccable sense of place, as showcased in this stunning indoor swimming area. The geothermal-heated pool is the ideal place to bask in while soaking in the otherworldly beauty of the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) while the sleek, modern design of the indoor swimming pool allows us to focus on the natural beauty stretching out in every direction.

10

Swimming Pool With a Baja Shelf

Pool floaties are cool and all, but have you heard of a Baja shelf? It’s a step that’s large enough in width to fit a few lounge chairs as showcased in this backyard oasis designed by Studio Life/Style. But they can also function as makeshift kiddie pools when the furniture is removed. As such, they’re great for families with small kids learning to swim.

Read more about Baja shelves here.

11

Irregularly-Shaped Pool

Instead of a traditional rectangular swimming pool, build yours around the landscaping design. So if you want space for palm trees and other lush plants or even just an adjacent fire pit, take that into consideration. The shift in shape is also a signifier of shallow water getting deeper, so it’s great if there are kids around.

12

Swimming Pool With a Slide

Make it kid-friendly. A sleek, modern swimming pool will age with the house as your kids grow up. But while they’re still young, build a water slide and play house structure. It’s the ultimate backdrop for making summer memories. Who needs a diving board when you can have a curly slide instead?

13

Swimming Pool With an Adjacent Spa

Build a custom spa into your pool for the best of both worlds (read: temperatures). Integrate it into the pool, or consider a raised adjacent spa to offset the shape of the regular swimming pool. Either way, it’s a more seamless transition than a freestanding tub both functionally and visually. This one designed by Marmol Radziner is integrated but separated by an interior wall for a nice balance.

14

Kidney-Shaped Swimming Pool

This kidney bean-shaped pool is a nod to architect Thomas Church’s midcentury masterpiece. The soft, organic silhouette makes it the perfect shape for a swimming pool channeling its natural surrounding environment.


Senior Editor
Hadley Mendelsohn is House Beautiful’s senior editor, and when she’s not busy obsessing over all things decor-related, you can find her scouring vintage stores, reading, or stumbling about because she probably lost her glasses again.

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