1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Articles
  4.  | Set Yourself Free-Form

Set Yourself Free-Form

Stunning pools come in many different materials and shapes, but there are none as unique as the freeform pool. Uninhibited by the rectangular structure of a lap pool, freeform pools are the perfect design for already established surrounds. Sally O’Brien speaks with Ronny Barth, owner of Ideal Pools, to explore the benefits of creating a curvy oasis to blend in seamlessly with your home.

Images courtesy of Ideal Pools

With summers heating up it has never been more desirable to have your own poolside escape. These days the space available for a family-sized pool can be limited, with some homeowners facing the added difficulty of challenging backyards or outdoor spaces with smaller footprints, particularly in inner city dwellings. Freeform pools allow homeowners the option to create a bespoke pool that fits to their site’s restrictions. Available in an endless array of designs and shapes, freeform pools can take advantage of a sloping block, whilst offering the naturalistic curves and flowing lines of a lake or oasis for a beautiful ambience. Contemporary freeform designs tend to amplify these natural elements with waterfall features and rock landscaping to offer a truly relaxing escape, customised to the individual dimensions of your location.


There are many kinds of pool interior and coping materials with individual maintenance needs, but choosing the shape to best suit your backyard presents its own challenges. With the rise of minimalist designs, many pool shapes include straight lines and sleek finishes. This includes the common rectangular pool best suited for lap swimming and exercise, or the clean lines of an L-shaped pool that offers all the perks of the rectangular pool, but with an additional area for free movement without obstructing the back-and-forth of lap swimming. There are also pools with a more curved design, such as oval pools and circular pools, which drop the harsh lines of minimalist rectangular pools for a relaxing and natural aesthetic. These curves can be seen in other designs such as kidney pools and figure eight pools, which tap into the oasis style that many freeform pools exemplify.

Freeform pools offer show-stopping appeal as a relaxing, natural lagoon that is uniquely shaped for your abode. Ronny Barth recognises the flexibility of a freeform pool design. “A freeform pool can offer complete family entertainment with options to suit every age group,” Barth says. “The only limit is your own imagination.” The individualised shapes of freeform pools allows the pool owner to manoeuvre around fixed backyard obstacles with eye-catching curves and a truly customised shape, whilst still maximising swim space.


Ideal Pools specialises in freeform pools and all the fun features that can elevate your backyard to a resort-inspired haven. This includes trickling water features for an air of tranquillity, rock formations for lounging and caves for the ultimate quiet escape. “We are seeing an increase in freeform pools with waterfalls and caves and an increase with a half/half design of freeform and formal,” Barth says. This mix of freeform flowing lines and a more formal structure gives homeowners the opportunity to blend the contemporary clean lines of minimalism with more natural and calming elements for visual appeal. To emphasise the uniqueness of your freeform pools, Barth recommends incorporating more natural coping or features such as artificial rock and exotic stone – a mix of textures to add excitement to your poolside spectacle!

This natural-look coping can also provide more than a relaxing atmosphere to be admired by guests with many practical benefits. “There is an increase of pool designs incorporating our rock work as a retaining wall on one side of unlevelled blocks,” Barth explains. The interplay of curved designs and natural rock looks of the coping and landscaping provides an awe-inspiring ‘wow’ factor to an inner city pool. However, as with all pool designs, proper care and maintenance is imperative. To ensure your design remains on-trend for years to come, Barth recommends consistent pool maintenance including resealing your exotic stone coping and retaining walls. “Re-coating art rock coping every six to 12 months keeps it looking fresh and prevents fading,” Barth says.

Images courtesy of Ideal Pools
Images courtesy of Ideal Pools

One of the many perks of the natural look of a freeform pool surrounded by art rock coping is the opportunity to include a waterfall. Guaranteed to excite guests and encourage deep relaxation are water features, an opulent characteristic of any freeform pool design. “They blend together almost seamlessly – particularly if the pool also includes our art rock coping,” Barth says. The combination of freeform pools and rock landscaping gives pool design experts the chance to artfully include a waterfall feature for a slice of a natural lagoon in your home. If your family is a little more on the adventurous side, consider including a water slide in your design – a crowd pleaser for children and adults alike.

If you’re looking for another element to your luxurious oasis, consider creating a hidden alcove in your pool design with a perfectly moulded cave. This hidden escape could be disguised by large overhanging foliage or by a peaceful waterfall feature for an added sense of calm in a quiet retreat. “For caves we recommend a seating area so that you can sit underneath it,” Barth says. “For extra enjoyment you can put in an air seat.”


A beautiful freeform pool begins with a conceptual outline, Barth explains. “Ideal Pools will sit down with the client and discuss what type of look they are aiming for, then we will start designing the pool taking into account the yard and house.” The professional team measures the location to achieve the maximum pool footstep within the boundaries of an already established landscape. Freeform pools offer this opportunity to curve around the natural landscape and, once this design is established, contractors begin the excavation process. From there, the installation of the pool varies with the choice of pool structure material such as fibreglass, concrete or vinyl-lined surfaces.

A freeform pool blends effortlessly into lush landscaping, particularly if you include amazing elements of natural-look, art rock coping or water features to amplify the sense of relaxation. For a scenic pool to inspire tranquillity and awe, a personalised freeform pool is the idyllic oasis for your outdoor escape.

Images courtesy of Ideal Pools

Images courtesy of Ideal Pools