Adding a pool to your backyard used to be enough for summer fun. Your big decision was in-ground or above ground, chlorine or salt water. Maybe you pondered over a deck instead of a cement patio. That was then, this is now. The classic backyard has been kicked up a notch, or maybe a lot of notches. Let's take a look at some of the incredible things you can do to make your pool area go way beyond ordinary: 1. Waterfall - A waterfall has become one of the most popular features in any pool. It could a modern looking sheet of water falling subtly into the pool or a rustic rush of water crashing over rocks. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. As an added bonus, the sound of rushing water is soothing and helps block out traffic and neighbor sounds on a busy street. 2. Slide - Remember the pool slides from the old days? They were typically rickety add-on numbers that have mostly been outlawed today. Modern slides are studier, often incorporated into the overall design. You'll find brilliant engineering in these new designs. Sometimes the slides are even part of the landscape, often carved into the rock or cement structure. 3. Built-in Seating - Adding seating arrangements that are built into the structure is a great way to ensure that everyone will enjoy the pool. This design could be as simple as a bench around the perimeter or stools with a swim-up bar. Margarita anyone? 4. Built-In Shade - I'm sure you're out by the pool to enjoy the sunshine, but shade provided by a built in umbrella or canopy will be a welcome relief on a hot day. You and your guests may want to enjoy the pool from morning until night and the best way to do that is by having time away from the glare and heat of the sun. Parents of young children especially will appreciate some time out of the sun and under the shade you provide. 5. Diving Pool - Perhaps a deep diving pool is something you dream about. This sort of pool is definitely a luxury, but if you fancy yourself an Olympic class diver, this may be for you. Diving boards have improved in their design and looks over the years, but now pool designers are putting their talents into engineering the pool itself. Keep in mind that a diving board installed in a standard pool, even with a deep end, will not make your homeowner's insurance company happy. 6. Zero Entry - Parents with small children like this feature. Also called a beach entry, tanning ledge, or sun shelf, the traditional steps are skipped in favor of a shallow water area, starting at just a few inches deep, where you walk in, similar to a beach. You can even set up lawn chairs if you wish in the shallow end for a great way to beat the summer heat. 7. Misting Systems - Designed to cool the surrounding air temperatures, misting systems are a great feature to have on hot days and essential for an over-the-top pool. Picture standing next to a waterfall. Even non-swimmers can appreciate this feature. 8. Fire Pots - A fun day at the pool shouldn't have to end when the sun goes down. A starry night is the perfect time to enjoy a poolside fire pot or other fire feature. A simple fire pit in the backyard is the standard issue, but a custom fire pot will create an extravagant setting for your backyard pool. Make your pool retreat stunning by mixing water and fire elements. 9. Bubblers - Once seen only in large public fountains or places like Disney, a bubbling feature is now considered a very desirable part of the backyard pool. Bubblers force water up a few feet into the air or across the surface of the pool for a fun, playful, and even romantic effect. 10. Hot Tub Jacuzzi - You'll find built-in designs or stand-alone designs available today in a wide range of styles and prices. If you think the old "oak barrel" style is your only option, it's time to look around. The hot tub has been reinvented for the backyard pool to look and feel like you're at a five star hotel. 11. Infinity edge - A vanishing edge pool and the optical illusion it creates is always a popular option in elaborate pool design. This is definitely a luxury item, but it is well worth investigating if your pool design is leaning toward extreme living. 12. Lighting - Just like landscape lighting, you realize what you were missing once itâ€™s installed. This design element goes far beyond the lighting inside and around your pool that is intended for safety. Today, pool lighting is available in a plethora of colors, and the underwater pool lighting you can choose now creates much more than just light; it creates atmosphere. Building a backyard oasis is about more than just having a neat hedge or a plush carpet of grass, or even about just a swimming pool. Your pool's features can help create the illusion of being at a plush resort on a tropical island, and all just a few feet from your door.
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