When building a swimming pool, whether it’s in your home, a hotel, fitness centre, or spa – the look and feel always seems to end up the same. I am beginning to think that it really is a forgotten area of interior design.

Almost every pool area I have visited, and I’ve visited a lot because I love to swim, has made me feel the same way. Cold and uninspired.

Many pool areas use the same cold blue colours with no contrast, except maybe some white. They almost always use harsh angular shapes and corners in the room, and the overarching theme is always water. Having this theme does make sense in theory, as the pool is full of water after all, but as an Interior Designer I know that we can do more.

One idea could be that we take a completely different approach and design these areas based on the feelings they are supposed to promote. Many designers use t he pool as a focal point rather than considering the reason the pool is there. For example:

The spa pool

The pool area in a spa is supposed to promote feelings of relaxation and pampering. You could really get creative with the colour palette here. For example, pinks and purples are great relaxation colours. Also think about the materials used, rather than the standard tiles, why not incorporate some natural materials such as wood in surrounding areas to add some warmth?

Harsh shapes don’t promote relaxation, why not experiment with seating pods or curved cushioned areas?

The home swimming pool

This is your home so you can really go all out. Your pool area should express your overall style and taste. Like bold colours such as reds and oranges? Why not use them. Prefer a pebble floor rather than the traditional tile – let’s go for it!

What will your pool area be used for? Relaxing swims, family fun, as part of an entertainment space? How do you want to feel when you are in that space? These are all questions you should ask yourself. As an Interior Designer I find the answers to these questions really help me to visualise and bring to life just what look would suit your space.

The fitness pool

If people are coming to your pool to swim for fitness purposes, what can be done to make the area more motivational? Maybe stronger colours, what about greens to promote health, images of success on the walls. Maybe even a motivational area dedicated to great swimmers, past and present.

If people are there to get fit, no matter what their age or ability, they want to be inspired. Starting at the interior design level could really help the people who visit your swimming pool to succeed in reaching their fitness goals.

The hotel pool

The pool area at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Ireland, is a fantastic example of what I’m talking about when it comes to making more of pool areas. Not only have they moved away from the traditional blue, instead using orange which is complementary to the aqua colour of the water, but they have used softer shapes and natural materials for the seating areas surrounding the pool, much more inviting than cold tiled seating.

The space is warm and inviting, exactly what you want from your stay at a hotel. They’ve taken the feeling that runs throughout the rest of the hotel, and incorporated it into what traditionally can be a cold and uninviting space.

Cliff House Hotel pool

Cliff House Hotel pool seating

If you are building a new swimming pool, whether it’s in your home, a hotel, spa, or fitness centre I can help make your space different, inviting, and something that will be talked about. Give me a call on 07966 382094 or email design@audreywhelan.com so that we can discuss your project.