Homes with swimming pools are hot this year, as they are most years. An essential component of the Southern California lifestyle, a sparkling, refreshing pool adds an element of luxury to any home. Pools are also the perfect amenity for family fun and entertaining friends. If you're short on time to get to the gym, jump into the pool and swim a few laps. Your pool also can add thousands to the value of your home, and it may increase the salability of your property, as most buyers list pools as one of their top amenities. So now that you know why you need a pool, let's take a look at some of this year's newest styles.

The Pool Found in Nature

One of the strongest trends today is toward a more naturalistic setting for pools. Beach or lagoon styles feature a slow, sloping walk-in entry, reminiscent of a real beach. Many homeowners actually choose to add sand, despite the potential for tracking it around. This gentle approach gives small children a safe place to play and makes it easier on older or injured knees and hips. It's also a perfect place to drop your lounge chair, and relax in that half-in/half-out way you can only otherwise do at the beach. Add some boulders and a rock waterfall for even more interest. Or, take the nature theme even further with a pool that's meant to mimic an old-style swimming hole. Some even use rocks and plants for filtration, creating an ecosystem that is truly friendly to the environment as well as your skin and hair.

The Ultra-Contemporary Edge Trend

At the opposite end of the spectrum, pool designers are using high-tech swimming environment design to create a new style of negative edge or infinity pools. Called knife-edge designs, these pools feature infinity edges on all sides. The technology raises the water level to the point that it's even with the deck surface, then drops it into a retention basin that runs around the perimeter. The retention basins fill to the level of the water, creating a smooth, mirror-like surface. This design appears to simply be a part of the environment, like an inlaid mirror on the deck, with no noticeable boundaries. These designs do double duty, in a way, serving also as a beautiful and calming water feature.

Unique Features and Design Elements

Whatever style you select, consider adding a tanning shelf, also known as a Baja step, to your pool. Designed to be less than a foot deep, these ledges are dedicated to the sun worshipper. You can customize yours with umbrella holes, a built-in reclining chaise or even an integrated table to hold your beverage. Pebble finishes are still popular, but quartz and glass are gaining quickly. Glass tile pools will likely be the biggest trend for the next decade, thanks to the resort-like quality they add. Spillways, stepping stones and overflow spas round out this year's biggest must-haves.

If you don't want the cost or hassle of adding a pool to your home, consider buying a home that's swim-ready. A new pool can reasonably cost between $25,000 and $100,000 today, or more. You will pay only a fraction of that cost in added value with an existing house. You can always do a simple remodel to add some of the features you prefer. The Edie Israel Team can help you find the perfect home, complete with all the amenities you demand. Contact us today to get started looking for Southern California homes with swimming pools!