2022 Pool Trends (San Diego Edition)

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A quarter of the way into 2022 and we are ready to discuss pool trends for San Diego County.  Let’s take a look...

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Niche Pools
In 2022,  we have seen a mix of old and new pool trends in terms of design.  On one hand, modern pool designs – like rectangular pools or geometric pools are still very popular.  However, unique pool designs are making a big comeback.

These include niche pools like infinity-edged pools, spool pools, lap pools, and pools with unique features such as swim-up bars or grottos.


Zapata Pool

Pools for the Entire Family (Pets Too!)
Another interesting trend we are seeing is more pool designs for kids.  Both existing and new pool owners are adding waterslides, jumping rocks, splash fountains, and shade sails to their finished pool selections.  Thus, making their pools kid-friendly for their kids and future grandchildren to come.

Owners who want to enhance their pool's safety are adding features like fences, retractable pool covers, Baja shelves, and automated security systems controlled from their phones.

Another trend in this category is grandparents, especially as they age and struggle with depth perception, balance, and stability. Trim tile is very important because it gives people a clear marker for where the step or bench is.  Pool owners are adding handles or rails for getting into and out of a pool. Also, the size of that first step is getting bigger to help with this.

Tanning Ledge + Ledge Loungers - We also see dog owners asking for a larger first step or even making the Baja shelf the first step.  Ledge Lounger makes two different full-sized loungers.  One is relatively flat/close to the ground for Baja Shelves close to the top of the water.  They also make one with a raised base that works well with deeper Baja Shelves.  But the Baja shelf is key for the elderly, kids, and pet owners.


Built-in Bench seating

Pool Finishes

Built-in Bench Seating – whether you’re taking geometric or free form, bench seating in various areas of the pool is a great way to encourage connection while in the pool. Visiting, talking, or just enjoying a friendly kiss can be enhanced by bench seating, especially when located near the spa or near the Baja Shelf, or even near a fire pit or TV. The goal is to connect and strengthen families and friends. We’re seeing more bench seating.

Bar Stools in Pool

Barstools - Barstools allow the versatility of 360-degree viewing (while seated, you can rotate to be facing any direction)

Stacked Spa Spillway

Stacked Spa Spillways - Stacked spillways simulate a staircase of stone that allows the water to fall into the swimming pool. Made from travertine or flagstone, the position of the rocks creates a babbling brook sound or falling water.

Umbrella Sleeves

Umbrella Sleeves – not just in the Baja. We can add them to the bench seats or to the deck. I’m not sure I’d put them in the coping just because I’d hate to weaken the coping by drilling. But we see them in the bench seating and in the deck in different strategic areas for maximum use and maximum shade.

Mudd skulls in pool grotto

Grotto Fun - Make your grotto your own.  Because many grottos are using artificial/faux rock, they can get creative with the mud and put in some friendly skulls and then add gems to make them look like they are pirate treasure. I saw the finished pics and they had red and green and diamond-looking gems strategically placed in each skull. People can put native American symbols on the grotto to give it some sort of backstory. I joked with one customer to put some alien-looking text on the exterior of their grotto that translates into, “No Crying in our pool. Kids who cry in our pool are cursed to wet the bed until they're 20” or something ridiculous like that. Of course, since it’s written in a made-up language, the family can make up whatever they want for their grotto. If you’re into Star Wars use the Rebel Alliance symbol for one side and the Evil Empire on the other. Get creative.


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Technology Upgrades (Hard wired vs Wireless)

Another unique feature we expect to see more of this year is advanced automated pool lighting and sound systems.

Speakers – not just blue tooth. Sometimes blue tooth just doesn’t pack the same punch as having a system with wires. We have pool owners who have put large bass/subwoofers in the middle of their raised planter next to the pool for maximum sound enjoyment. When the ground is all open, that is the time to run the speaker wire out to where you want speakers.

Lighting - Low voltage, deck, and plant lighting. Color LED. Again, use deck lights to mark the first step into the pool, the first step into the jacuzzi, a transition or walkway area, or just to highlight different angles or corners of the pool and spa. Proper plant lighting makes such a huge difference in the finished or polished product. And again, when the ground is open, that’s the best time to add wires underground.

Outdoor Living Spaces
In 2022 we expect to see outdoor living spaces take center stage. If you already have a pool, this is an opportunity to enhance your yard or outdoor spaces. With more people working remotely, nice weather means even more time in outdoor living spaces than ever before.

Common outdoor living upticks include sunken firepits, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, and bocce ball courts.

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Pool Materials
For those building or renovating their pools in 2022, materials will be a hot topic. Many people are opting for “greener” pool materials, such as natural stone, composites, and acrylics. While these materials can be a bit more expensive, they come with a wealth of benefits like durability and low maintenance. In addition, many pool builders are now using reclaimed or recycled materials in their pool build. So if you’re looking to go eco-friendly – or just want an interesting pool design – keep your eyes peeled for pool material trends!


The pool industry is constantly evolving, which means pool designs in 2022 will be no different. In fact, we believe pool trends for the next few years include more expansive outdoor spaces, pools designed for children, niche pools, eco-friendly building materials, and hard-wired technology. Keep an eye out for these trends and more as we move into 2023!

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