Make summer 2018 your best one yet with these pool features. Image: Darren James Interiors

Whether your part of the world is cannonballing into summer or gingerly dipping its toe into warmer weather, there’s no denying that things are heating up. If you’re a pool owner, you’ve likely been waiting all year for the opportunity to lounge poolside. And if you really want to make the most of the coming season, there are a few pool features you might want to consider.

Pools have long been a backyard staple in warmer climates, but they’ve come a long way since gaining popularity after World War II. Your backyard oasis can be so much more than a big hole in the ground. If you’re ready to take your summer up a notch, check out these must-have pool features.

Keep warm during summer evenings poolside. Image: KB Custom Pools

A nearby heat source

There’s nothing quite like relaxing in your pool as the warm summer day slips into a balmy evening. The only problem? When it comes time to hop out of the pool, the chill evening air isn’t ideal. Why not ease that transition? Installing a fire pit near your pool’s edge essentially guarantees that your pool will get more use after the sun sets. You can set up seating nearby; it’s a great setting for slow evenings enjoyed with friends and family.

A Baja shelf gives you the flexibility to enjoy your pool without getting soaked. Image: Randy Angell Designs

A Baja shelf

Why is the Baja shelf one of 2018’s most popular pool features? It’s simple. This elevated portion of your pool gives you the opportunity to enjoy the water without the need to get your hair wet. A Baja shelf – also known as a sun shelf or a tanning shelf – is ideal when you want to relax in the water but still enjoy the sun’s warmth. (And it saves you the hassle of trying to get on a pool float without toppling over.)

Marry your landscaping and your pool design for a verdant feel. Image: Aremac Photography

Integrated landscaping

If you want to make your pool feel lush and tropical, throw away the preconceived notion that it has to be surrounded by stone or concrete. Bring your landscaping right up to your pool’s edge to blend the water with your yard’s growth. Marrying your landscaping and your pool design makes your pool feel like an integrated oasis.

Add to your yard’s look and soundscaping with a water feature. Image: Creative Environments

A water feature

We know, we know. There’s nothing particularly novel about adding more water to your existing water. But the power of a water feature shouldn’t be overlooked. There are a few things to consider when adding flowing water to your pool’s edge. First, it can help solidify your ambiance. Do you want your yard to feel modern and chic? A refined water spout like the one pictured lends itself to your look. Are you seeking a more organic feel? Water cascading down rocks into your pool will make your yard seem like an extension of nature.

Add more serenity to your oasis. Image: Andrea Calo

A water feature also gives you control over your yard’s noise levels. If you have a highway nearby, the sound of the water can provide much-needed white noise. There’s nothing like enjoying a day by the pool with the soothing sound of water as a soundtrack.

More inspiring pool features

Remember, the sky’s the limit with today’s pools. If you’re looking to create your perfect pool this summer, we’ve got 40 stunning pool designs lined up for you.

What’s your favorite pool feature for hot summer days? Let us know in the comments.