Public swimming pools have been around since Ancient Greece, but it wasn’t until the 1900s that backyard pools started to become more popular. In the decades since the first at-home pools, the design and features available have evolved significantly.
Here’s a look at some of the popular pool trends over the years:
After World War II, many families saw a boost in income due to both men and women working outside of the home. Additionally, soldiers had been trained to swim while serving, and swimming became a more popular pastime upon their return.
Backyard pools were typically rectangular, although there were some kidney-shaped pools as well. Diving boards were also very popular.
In 1956, contemporary architect John Lautner completed the Los Angeles home known as Silvertop, which included a vanishing-edge pool. Many experts consider this the first infinity pool in the United States. However, this design did not gain wide popularity until decades later because technology at the time made it very difficult to build and maintain.
Pool shapes shifted in the 1960s and 1970s and freeform designs became more popular. Kidney pools were among the most popular designs during these decades. Other families preferred lap pools and the popularity of Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz contributed to this trend.
Additionally, more and more homes added hot tubs and the first inground spas started to be built.
Artificial rock installations rose to popularity in the 70s and are still a prominent feature around many backyard pools. These designs allow a pool to blend into its environment and create a more natural look.
The 60s and 70s also brought advancements in pool building technology. Skimmers were introduced and improvements were made to gunite pools.
Natural-looking pools were all the rage in the 1980s. Pebble finishes and exposed aggregate were common, and many pool owners opted for a darker finish. Lagoon-style pools, which are still in-style today, were a new trend. At this point, technology had advanced enough for infinity-edge pools to be attainable for more homes.
In the 1990s, the focus shifted from purely aesthetics to pool functionality and safety. Many families installed safety covers, fences, and alarms to protect their kids from accessing the pool without supervision.
Additionally, pool depth preferences began to change. In the past, diving boards and pools with 8 foot deep ends were the norm. Starting in the 90s and continuing until today, the shallow end has gotten more attention. This is where most members of the family can swim comfortably, so depths over 6 feet are usually only added if the pool owner wants a diving board.
2000s – Today
When building a pool today, you have far more options than would have been available in the early years of backyard pool building. You can add water features, an automated cleaning system, and include elements around the pool for outdoor living. Your custom pool can be as unique as you are and in addition to looking great, you can ensure it is as easy as possible to maintain.
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Pools by Design is the only member of the Master Pools Guild in Southern Arizona. We can help you create the pool of your dreams.