Got a pool on the brain these days? You aren’t alone. Now is a great time to think about finally adding that pool to your outdoor living space. We are happy to project manage your pool and work with a pool company locally to keep this process headache free. Here are some cutting edge pool features you might want to consider for your project.

Tanning Ledges

These are the shallow structures with seating that you see these a lot at hotels. Their other names include sun shelves, wet decks, Baja benches, and more.

In basic terms they are almost like a big top step, with enough room for lounge chairs. Generally they run four to 18 inches deep and five to eight feet wide. Sometimes the top step actually doubles as a tanning ledge depending on space. They come in all shapes and sizes; round, square, rectangular, or curved.

They help make your backyard even more social and are a spot to relax and stay cool. They are also great for families with small children because they just have a few inches of water. You can even get a pole sleeve built in for an umbrella to shade the area.


Decorative built in pool water features are always a plus. There are many options out there that, some of which include deck jets, cascade waterfalls, and spray fountains.

These can be added to the tanning ledge above and more. Many people do more than one and incorporate LED pool lights with them. Enjoy bright, changing colors while in the pool or while sitting fireside at night.

They create peaceful ambiance and movement and are generally a more budget friendly option.


A grotto is a specific style of rock waterfall made with a large flat stone cantilevered over the pool’s surface. The water gushes down across this piece of cantilevered rock, resulting in a cascade to the pool surface below.

Not only is a grotto serene and beautiful, there is a cozy niche or cave in there. Catch some shade and hide from the kids here or vice versa. 

Grottos can be small or large, simple or complex and completely tailored to your structure’s size and budget.

Some grottos include a underwater bench for taking a break from the sunshine. Large, chic ones may include a spa, LED lights, or a sound system.

Swim Up Bars

We again are most familiarized with these from resort pools, but swim-up bars are exactly what you are thinking of and they have gone mainstream in residential settings.

They are great for kids but also entertaining and throwing drool worthy neighborhood parties. It creates a conversation spot and nice transition area from inside to outside the pool.

It generally consists of two elements: a countertop installed on top of the pool’s perimeter bond beam and a set of barstools built within the shallow area of the pool floor.

Depending on your budget, add a shade structure, pergola or canopy over it.


Last but not least another option is a spillway waterfall.

A spillway is one of the more relaxing pool water elements homeowners like to add to their pool project. An example of installation is one built on slate pillars around the pool, with copper agave sculptures atop the pillars.

This can go a step further when this is a waterfall or bridge area between two pool levels; usually between a spa and the pool. It adds a nice transition point and of course the beautiful sound of falling water.

Add value to your home and some oomph to your lifestyle and you’ll never look back. More info on how we can help here.