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After making hundreds and hundreds of decisions over the past two years, one of the last big decisions I have to make is what the pool color will be. I never really thought about the fact that the color of the lining of a pool is something that needs to be selected, although of course I observed that some pools are light, some are dark, some are greenish, some blue, some gray, some black.
There are many factors that determine how a pool appears after it is finished – some are from the environment (the amount of sun or shade a pool receives, whether it is a sunny or cloudy day, the reflections from the structures and the sky above the pool, the amount of debris that might end up in the pool because of leaves and such); some are from the design of the pool (decking, coping, the material itself and the color of the material used on the bottom of the pool). Regional preferences also come into play. For example, my landscape architect told me that most of his Atlanta clients are currently liking darker pools - Pebbletec seems to be the surface of preference (a pebble surface that both protects the pool and determines its color), and Tahoe Blue or Black Pearl are the most popular colors among his clientele. In other areas of the country, light pools with white bottoms (giving the pool a very light blue look) are more the norm.
Given that pools are on my mind, the August 2011 issue of Architectural Digest was a great read. The theme of the magazine was summer getaways, so there were quite a few pools to look at and think about. Many of the pools were simple in shape and style, which is my preference. We are doing a very simple rectangular pool.
The colors of the pools in the magazine covered the full spectrum, from a light blue pool from a house in Florida, to a dark pool in Belgium. There was an infinity edge pool in St. Barts whose color was clearly selected to match the deeper colors of the Caribbean waters as closely as possible (image above). Source.
Although I appreciate the sophistication and moodiness of this pool in its environment, it is not a look that I want for my own pool. Source.
Instead, I tend to like the happier, bluer colors – like the color of the pool that belongs to Hank Azaria. I wonder if this is a plaster bottom pool, and if it is white or light gray? This might be a bit lighter than what I am going for, but the color is really beautiful. Source.
This pool, with landscape design by LandPlus, has a pretty light color to it. Alec from LandPlus told me that the pool bottom it is a white Pebblesheen, a material similar to Pebbletec but made with smaller pebbles (with the result being a smoother pool bottom). Alas, Pebblesheen is more expensive than Pebbletec.
When I initially saved this picture, via Martha Stewart Living, I saved it for the beautiful environment, but now I am appreciating the picture anew because of the pretty blue color of the water. It was probably photoshopped, though!
My sister’s pool, photographed in the shade of the morning, has a medium gray plaster bottom. We are seriously thinking about doing a simple gray plaster surface to the pool, because of the smoothness and because we like the old world mottled look that is often characteristic of a gray plaster pool.
This pool, with landscape architecture by Howard Design Studio, looks like a great balance between blue and green. Source.
When looking through the pictures in my files, I come back to this picture again and again – perhaps it is because it is so similar to our general design, with the outdoor room sharing a wall with the garage, and the simple rectangular pool is aligned with the centerpoint of the fireplace. I also love the look of the bluestone combined with the crisp blue of the water. The designer involved in the project, Carter Kay, told me that the bottom of the pool is gray, so I am assuming it is a simple medium gray plaster. It is almost impossible to judge a pool color from an image, especially one that has been in a magazine (as the colors have probably been tweaked), but I like what I see in this image!
Another pool that captures my eye is this pool from Atlanta landscape architect Richard Anderson’s portolio (http://www.richardandersonla.com). I wonder what material and color the bottom of this pool is – it’s a beautiful, natural looking blue, not too dark, not too light . Given that this does not appear to be a magazine photo, the color is probably fairly true to real life. Source.
I must make the decision this week. Readers, if you have any pictures you could send me that look like the colors in these pools – and you know the color and/or materials – I would love to see them! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, seeing a pool in person is probably the best way to get the feel for a color and surface material, but none of the pools I have seen have really struck a chord with me. Any recommendations, lessons learned, or tips would be wonderful.
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