Top 12 Inspirational Swimming Pool Ideas for 2020/2021

We understand that no two swimming pool surrounds are the same. From colour, shape and size to finish and tiles, it’s our job to capture the individuality and bespoke result you’re looking for and bring your unique swimming pool surround directly to your spa, hotel or garden.  

Creating a stunning swimming pool is simple if you have the know-how. At Cranbourne Stone, our team has over 16 years’ experience selecting the highest-quality stone, providing bespoke cutting, professional on-site fitting and exquisite finishes to suit each and every swimming pool project.

If you’re planning your very own swimming pool surround and are looking for some inspiration, we’ve got the latest insights on what to look out for in swimming pool surround designs for the current 2020/2021 season. 

Here, we take a look at this season’s top 12 most exciting design ideas to capture your imagination as you create the swimming pool of your dreams. 

1. Make Your Pool Pop with Colour 

Your choice of tile can change the overall ambience of your swimming pool. Sure setting, lighting and weather play a large part in how the water in your swimming pool looks. But adding a splash of colour by using tiles has a huge influence too.

If you want to create the tranquil turquoise colours of the Mediterranean, a white, cream or sandy coloured tile is best. Waterford Cream Porcelain or Awbridge Cream Porcelain are great choices if you’re looking to create the blues of the Aegean Sea.

If you’re wanting to produce a modern and chic surround, we’d recommend light grey or pale blue coloured tiles like Lonato Grey Porcelain, Fossil Grey Limestone or Houghton Grey Porcelain. Or if it’s sleek and sophisticated styling you’re after, blue, green and black shades look spectacular. Natural stones like Galway Grey Porcelain, Satin Black Porcelain and the impressive Caulfield Green Porcelain, which is speckled with lighter and darker tones of green, produce stunning surrounds.

2. Don’t be Square, be Creative 

The shape of a swimming pool can make or break a design. To really let the creative juices run free, think free-form pools.

Swimming pools conjure up rectangular shapes and straight lines, but they don’t have to be! Our bespoke swimming pool services can create any shape you can think of. Whether it’s a curvaceous circle or a kidney bean-shaped design, we can frame your pool perfectly thanks to our extensive range of beautiful natural stone. We produce and stock the largest range of swimming pool surrounds in the UK so whatever your style or taste, we’re here to help you create the pool you’ve always been dreaming of.

With facilities including 5-axis CNC milling and waterjet machinery to cut and shape materials, designs can be brought to life. Our team has extensive experience in producing handcrafted swimming pool copings, steps and deck level grilles, all in-house, making the possibilities of pool design endless.

3. Sought-After Surrounds at Any Size

Even if you are limited in space, you can still enjoy a dip.

Splash or plunge pools are very popular right now. Why not elevate your hot tub aspirations to a plunge pool and be the envy of family and friends with a permanent garden addition? They’re the perfect way to enjoy the water in the open air and cool off from the summer sun.

Regardless of its size, your plunge pool deserves the same design considerations as a larger pool. So consider its location, its surrounding areas and its nearby buildings. Aim to complement or contrast these by making your plunge pool fit seamlessly with its surroundings, or stand out as a feature of the space. 

Using lighter coloured paving, such as the contemporary Awbridge Cream Porcelain to create the illusion of a larger space. You can also incorporate matching 10mm pool lining or 20mm grips in the same colours to produce a seamless finish.

4. Creating a Seamless Finish 

Talking about producing a seamless finish, perfecting your swimming pool surround by giving it that extra touch of luxury, has, and always will be in demand when designing a swimming pool. 

Choosing a natural stone that can feature throughout your swimming pool surround design, from the surround itself to its pool copings, pool lining, and patio areas is important when seeking to achieve this look. We can supply a range of natural stone colours, finishes and textures to make your pool area both unique and special. 

Why not go that one step further and bring the outside natural stone in? Use the same natural stone you select for your swimming pool surround as your flooring, before extending it to your indoor or outdoor pool area and patio. 

We recommend using the same supplier for your swimming pool surround and patio areas as there can be subtle differences in the colour and texture of all-natural stone products.

5. Cream is in!

A timeless and versatile colour choice when it comes to natural stone is cream. Using cream-coloured natural stone brings charming elegance to any pool design. It’s the perfect canvas to let the surrounding landscape shine. It can also easily partner with bolder colours if you’re looking for a contrasting pool lining, or you have furniture or art pieces that require a subtle backdrop.

For the height of design, use cream-coloured natural stone. It’s the easiest way to make a style statement and will always be in vogue. With a wide range of textures, colours and patterns, we have lots of natural stones to choose from, including Awbridge Cream, Portland Cream Porcelain, Sagras Cream Porcelain, Seminato Cream Porcelain and Waterford Cream.

6. Tiles and Creative Night Lighting

Swimming pools take on a completely different feel at night. With the right lighting, you can enjoy their beauty even when you’re not inclined to take a dip. 

The choice of tile you opt for has an impact on the ambience and appeal of your swimming pool at night. By using a light-coloured tile, coloured light can be reflected in your swimming pool and its surroundings to create an atmospheric and relaxing spot.  

Dark coloured tiles can absorb light, so you may need more night lighting to maximise safety around the pool area.

7. Large Format Over Mosaics 

The 2020/2021 season is all about large format tiles. If you’re striving for modern styling and a flawless finish, go for large format tiles over mosaic ones in your swimming pool. 

We’re seeing people move away from lining their pools with small mosaics. Instead, it’s the larger format porcelain tiles that are trending. 

Large format, 10mm porcelain tiles in the pool tank/lining and 20mm grip slip-resistant porcelain tiles are highly sought-after. Large format pool surround tiles, up to 600 x 300mm are ideal inside the pool to avoid pockets forming behind the wall and causing the interior tiles to loosen. They’re also the stylish choice right now and will stand the test of time.

Mosaic tiles can be fussy, whereas large formats produce a seamless finish. Choose mesmerising porcelain varieties like Waterford Cream, Caulfield Green or Houghton Grey, which all produce wonderful movement in the pool with their variations in print.

8. Porcelain 

When it comes to swimming pool design, safety is the most important consideration when choosing your swimming pool surrounds. Safety does not, however, mean you have to compromise on your aesthetics. Enter porcelain. With its highly sustainable and slip-resistant finish, porcelain tiles are perfect to transform an “ok” design into one of envy. In a  wide range of colours and finishes, porcelain can be used to fulfil any design aspiration and indoor or outdoor project. 

Porcelain tiles are ideal for wet areas, including your swimming pool copings and edging. Important tip: Check the tile’s R rating is above 10 as this ensures it has passed the safety standards for use in wet areas. 

9. Stone Selection to Suit Your Style

When designing a swimming pool, it’s important to consider its surroundings. Will it sit within the landscape of an ultra-modern property, or will it feature in a country abode? Choose your swimming pool design and the natural stone that complements its nearby features and overall style. 

If you’d like a more traditional design, opt for natural stone with vintage styling. Cotswold Sandstone is a great option. With its buff tones and rippled texture, it produces a wonderfully rustic and yet uplifting landscape; the perfect combination of luxury and traditional style. 

Cotswold Mint Sandstone is a wonderful slip-resistant option for modern outdoor projects. With its beautiful mint and beige tones, it’s the perfect natural stone for creating rustic charm for your contemporary swimming pool surrounds and terraces.  It’s named Cotswold Mint because of its warm golden and mint tones. Unlike the local Cotswold Stone, our Cotswold Mint Paving is hard-wearing and perfect for landscaping in the Cotswold Villages and more traditional-style homes.

Ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects too, Leckford Sandstone conveys elegance and charm with its buff tones. Its lightly sandblasted textured surface also provides added slip resistance.

If you want to create a very natural setting, consider incorporating wood porcelain. With the appearance of real wood, wood porcelain has added beneficial properties. Slip-resistant and maintenance-free, unlike wood it does not rot and does not need to be stained or treated to preserve its beauty. 

10. Achieving Elegance

If you’d like natural stone that works beautifully in all settings and landscapes and is also the perfect choice for interior projects, Waterford Cream or Awbridge Cream are our suggestions. They are both top sellers and it’s easy to see why. These cream-coloured porcelain stones remain a huge hit for a wide array of swimming pools surrounds, landscape and interior designs and styles.

Available in both Grip and Honed varieties, Waterford Cream can be incorporated effortlessly into any design thanks to its warm beige tones, creating a versatile and timeless finish. As part of our stunning Elegant range, which is new for 2020, Awbridge Cream is complete with speckles of white running throughout the stone, creating a wonderful contemporary look.

11. Why use Large Format Tiles?

Large format tiles make perfect paving that leads to your pool. If you’re designing an elegant and contemporary look, large format tiles will help craft the modern edge you’re striving to achieve. They also help give a sense of grandeur, as designs using larger tiles offer the feeling of increased size and space. 

Larger tiles draw the eye and give the visual appearance of a greater level of uniformity. Additionally, they have the advantage of reducing installation time so you can enjoy your finished project sooner.

Innovative and full-bodied Lapitec® sintered stone is ideal for any project requiring larger format slabs. It unites aesthetic design appeal and the superior mechanical and physical properties of porcelain with the elegance, workability, colours and typical finishes of natural stone.

With 15 different colours, seven different finishes, and a slip-resistance rating up to R13 on the fossil finishes, Lapitec®is the ideal solution for architecture and landscaping projects.

12. Swimming pool access 

The entrance to your swimming pool is not only there for practical purposes, it can be a unique feature of your pool too. Whether it’s a straight-edged rectangular design or a sweeping curvaceous shape, steps can make a huge impact on your finished design.

When creating swimming pool steps, it’s essential that these pass all safety protocols.  Therefore, the natural stone you use is crucial. Make sure it carries a slip-resistant R rating. 

Porcelain is the perfect choice for swimming pools because of its slip-resistant properties and its wide selection of styles. Using our waterjet and profiling machinery we can cut and profile the natural stone to match your exact requirements and create stunning bespoke pool steps. 

Feeling Inspired?

We hope this has given you lots of inspiration as you plan and design your swimming pool project. If you’d like even more inspiration, simply take a look at our gallery, case studies and news

You can also design your very own swimming pool, and of course, contact us if you have any questions or are looking for support on creating the swimming pool surround of your dreams.