Whether you favour a light, bright, family-style aesthetic, or a moody, opulent vibe for your pool, the interior surface will help you achieve it. Lucy Mackey speaks with Cameron McKinlay, the director of Mineral Pools Qld, about choosing an interior to suit your desired theme.
Along with the shape, the colour of the water is the biggest factor that inﬂuences the overall vibe of your pool, so it’s worth giving serious thought to what you’re trying to create. “Choosing a pool interior is a major component of the pool as the colour of the water needs to aesthetically work with your outdoor design and landscape,”
McKinlay says. Some of the most popular themes in 2019 include moody and luxurious; family-friendly; ‘pond’ style; coastal; and Mediterranean elegance. Whether you favour pebblecrete or polished glass tiles, your choice of pool interior is key to finding the look you seek.
If you’re after a relaxed, family-style pool, McKinlay suggests opting for “blue water, with ease of maintenance in mind”. Quality ceramic tiles or pebblecrete are both good options. Pebblecrete, which is poured then blasted with a high-pressure hose to reveal the pebbles embedded in the concrete has the bonus of providing grip for little feet. Select natural rocks or lightcoloured pavers for coping to complete this friendly, welcoming aesthetic. If the design includes a shallow wading section for young children, you can demarcate it with a lighter pebblecrete finish, then use a ceramic tile for the rest of the pool.
For a particularly opulent, moody vibe, consider a fully tiled glass mosaic interior. McKinlay suggests selecting a black pebblecrete or a glass interior with a black background. Or, you could consider a deep green or navy for a unique look. Don’t be afraid of embracing darker colours, because when paired with submerged LED lights, they impart a luxurious feel to the pool.
Use large square pavers such as bluestone for the surrounds to finish the look. A dark-coloured beadcrete finish combined with submerged LED lights would also be perfect for this aesthetic, as it will allow the glass beads to shine.
For an especially formal, elegant look, consider “moving away from waterline tiles and choose porcelain tile coping with a 120mm drop-down face instead,” McKinlay says.
INSPIRED BY NATURE
A pond-like pool can be a beautiful addition to any backyard. Teal and aqua tones will help you achieve this. Alternatively, using a darker-coloured pebblecrete to mimic river stones would also work well. Use natural rocks and plentiful greenery in the landscaping to further this aesthetic, keeping in mind that the reﬂection of green plants will contribute to the water’s colour.
Deep colours, when paired with overhanging greenery, will bring to mind a secluded, shady forest pond.
To create a beach-style pool, blue water is a must, McKinlay says. He suggests using pebblecrete or glass tiles. If there are varying depths, or a swim-outsection, surfacing the shallower areas with pebblecrete and the deeper areas with a light-blue tile makes for a realistic look. Natural rocks are a good coping choice, but if the pool’s design allows, letting the pebblecrete interior continue into the pool surrounds uninterrupted expresses a very beachy vibe.
ON THE AGEAN SEA
For a luxurious pool inspired by the gorgeous waters of the Mediterranean, a small-format blue tile will help create uniformly vivid water. For a classically elegant look, include large pale-coloured pavers, like limestone or travertine, in the pool surrounds. A decorative waterline tile would make a gorgeous addition to this look.
If your pool will see a lot of use at night, naturally that’s when you want it looking its best. As swimming in dark water can be unappealing, consider a light-coloured interior in this instance.
And of course, lights are a must.“LED lights are fantastic,” McKinlay says. “They work best with pebblecrete or glass.” Pair shiny, iridescent tiles, with LED lights to bring out the sparkle for a beautiful night swimming experience. Thanks to advances in poolautomation technology, you can adjust your multicoloured lights from a poolside switch or a smartphone app to create just the look you’re after. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, glow-in-the-dark tiles can offer a fun accent, for example, around the waterline.
While the interior is the single largest factor that determines a pool’s water colour, other aspects can affect it to a lesser degree. One other factor is what the water will be reﬂecting. For example, the white render of your home’s exterior may make your pool lighter in colour, while water that reﬂects dark green overhanging foliage will take on a matching hue.
In cases such as these, it’s worth investing in an interior a shade darker or lighter than you think you’ll need. Adding a feature wall is a good way to control what the water reﬂects. Another factor to keep in mind is the location of the pool, specifically, whether it will sit predominantly in sun or shade. “Shade is hard to overcome due to the water colour being reliant on reﬂection,” McKinlay says. “Try to use a predominantly white base with a coloured bead.” If your pool enjoys a lot of sunlight, you can take advantage of the rays by choosing a surface with reﬂective qualities for bright, sparkling water. Pebblecrete, ceramic and glass tiles can all be created with reﬂective properties. Or, for a particularly sparkly pool, a beadcrete surface is a stunning option. If your pool lies near a river or ocean, a popular choice is to mirror the colour of the natural water source. This will prevent your pool from looking overly artificial by contrast.
Anyone who’s been diving knows that colours vanish the deeper you go. While home pools aren’t deep enough to begin losing colours from the spectrum, it is important to keep in mind that your pool ﬂoor might lie up to two metres under the water, and colours will appear darker at this depth. The shallower sections also require some extra thought. If your design incorporates a submerged bench or ledge, a popular choice is to highlight it with a lighter fInish than the rest of the pool; select a ceramic or glass tile to ensure it remains a comfortable seat! At the end of the day, simple is best for a pool interior; a well-considered palette comprising a handful of colours in quality materials has a good chance at standing the test of time. “Choose a quality product that will give you the look and feel that you’re after, and [it] will last as long as the pool,” McKinlay says.
Images courtesy of Mineral Pools Qld