Feb 5, 2015, 11:31:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV


High-End Pool Trends Making Waves with Homeowners

By Leah Maki in Distinctive Properties as a part of Russel Post Sothesby’s Realty International Realty 

Years ago, most pools were a basic rectangular or kidney shape with one main drain and one pool light.  Today, pools have been transformed into a personal paradise with dazzling tiles, artistic shapes, and reflective values, designed to complement the architecture and orientation of the home.



 “Pools can create a central point of interest within the overall landscape of a home and whether building from the ground up or renovating an existing pool, a pool can easily increase the value of your home,” states Claude Kershner, owner of Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape, Ocean Reef's leading custom pools construction and maintenance company.

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Luxury pools are more than just a place to take a dip, today pools are built with the intention of creating an outdoor living space to relax and enjoy.  They include music, lights, outdoor kitchens, living areas andshade structures both in and around the pool.  Patio surfaces are made to seamlessly blend with pool materials for a comprehensive design aesthetic.

 Additionally, luxury pools are now tech savvy and cleaner. Pools no longer have just one pump, they often include three to four filters for cleaner water and variable speed pumps are now much quieter and more efficient.  Salt water chlorine generators in pools have also been on the rise as they use more mild chlorine levels and electronic control systems are now available to turn on and program all of the pool components remotely via the Internet. 

Reflective Value

The reflective value of water is what makes a view so breathtaking, reflecting the sky, landscape, palm trees or water beyond. Because of this reflective value, pools ultimately become the focal point within the living spaces of a home.

“The most popular trend in pool design is water transient, water overflows and elevated water that changes the line of site and doubles the view by repeating the view on the surface of the pool,” said Brian Van Bower, president of Aquatic Consultants, an internationally recognized leader in pool design and outdoor living areas based in Miami.

The reflective value can be enhanced by an infinity edge – creating the illusion of dripping off the sides and flowing into infinity. Elevated pool levels also add to its reflective value when the pool level is equal to the surrounding deck or patio. In addition, darker surfaces inside the pool will increase the pool’s reflective value. 

“A pool needs to be level with the home. In custom designs, we will raise it up and position it so that you see it when you enter a home,” states Claude.

Luxury Pool Features

A luxury pool is enhanced through the addition of a spa, waterfall, fire element and shallow lounge areas. “Spas can easilybe added to an existing pool and can update the entire look of your outdoor patio,” states Claude. “The placement of a spa is carefully chosen as often spas will act as a social gathering place for your outdoor living space.”

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Cascading water is as visually stunning as it is soothing and doubles as sound shield for your pool area.  This can be created through the addition of fountains or waterfalls.  Waterfalls are often incorporated into the design of a spa so that water spills over from the spa to the pool for a waterfall effect that also filters and purifies the water.

Another big trend in luxury pool design is the addition of fire added as a solitary flame that sits on top of the water, a traditional fire pit or a planter filled with mini-inferno.   "One-third of all the pools I design incorporate a fire element," states Brian. "Fire elements are not only visually beautiful but also create ambiance and great reflection for your pool and spa."  Fire features are also functional providing light, heat and entertainment.

Adding a shallow lounging area is another big trend in luxury pool design similar to beach entries.  Shallow lounging areas are designed as a large shelf submersed in six to eight inches of water as a way for homeowners to utilize a pool beyond just swimming laps.  “People usually set up a couple of chaise lounges or chairs in the water, and because the water is so shallow, it heats up quickly,” says Brian. “We also include mountings for umbrellas so you can sit for a couple of hours without worrying about being overexposed to the sun.

High-End Materials

Elaborate designs, shimmering colors and an extensive array of possibilities greet homeowners hoping to turn their pools into jaw dropping creations.  Intricate glass tiles are the new go-to material for the interior of pools and spas and can transform a pool and spa into works of art.  Prices can range from $4-$40 per sq. ft. for the tile alone and are available in a seemingly infinite array of colors, textures and transparency. 

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Translucent tiles with texture are extremely durable and can retain their appearance and surface integrity. However, homeowners are drawn to glass for its aesthetic value more than its sustainability.  Three or more colors of glass tiles are often combined to create a custom color mosaic. When viewed underwater these colors blend to create an endless variety of hues.

"Glass tile has revolutionized the way builders finish pools and spas," states Claude. "The iridescent and translucent qualities of glass tiles are what homeowners are drawn to and ultimately love about their finished pool and spa."

The weather in the Florida Keys is perfect for outdoor living.  Backyards become the gathering place to relax, enjoy the views, take in a meal and entertain friends. Your personal paradise awaits you. Time to dive into a luxury pool.


Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape are the experts in luxury pools offering custom pool design, pool renovation, pool construction and pool maintenance to create the ultimate outdoor retreat.  Contact Reef Tropical to transform an outdoor space into your own personal paradise.  ReefTropical.com 305.367.2005

Aquatic Consultants Inc. is an internationally recognized leader in pool design and outdoor living areas based in Miami. They work with homeowners, architects, landscape architects and contractors to provide aesthetic and functional design with detailed plans. www.aquaticConsultantsinc.com  Brian@aquaticconsultantsinc.com 305.383.7266

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Topics: Pool & Spa Construction

Claude Kershner IV

Written by Claude Kershner IV

Owner & Operator Reef Tropical • Pool & Landscape

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