If you want a dip in your backyard pool to feel like a visit to a real retreat, you may want to consider designing your pool with a Mediterranean vibe in mind. Natural colors and materials, plenty of plants, and simple geometry can come together to create a pool setting that will remind you of Tuscany or a small Greek village. While there are many different features to that will add to this unique look, here are five basic ones to start with.
Tan sandstone is common in the Mediterranean. While sandstone itself does not make for a very durable pool area, you can easily find concrete that is either formulated to look like sandstone or stained this color once it dries. You can have the entire pool area and pool bottom constructed from this material, or you can have your pool bottom constructed from natural stone for a more rustic appeal and just make the surrounding area with concrete.
Stones of Various Sizes
Even if you do not have your entire pool bottom constructed with stone (it can be hard to find a contractor who offers this intricate type of design), working some natural stones into the border of your pool is a good way to enhance the Mediterranean look. Try to find stones with more of a brown tint than a gray tint, as this is more typical of what is seen in Mediterranean landscaping. Vary the sizes of the rocks for the most natural appeal. Piling them in one corner of the pool area with some plants interspersed between them is a good idea, since it keeps the rocks out of the immediate vicinity of the water.
The Right Plants
Of course, plenty of green plants are essential for creating a Mediterranean vibe in your pool area, but they have to be the right plants. Plants common in Mediterranean gardening include lupine, rosemary, lavender and yarrow. Italian herbs like basil and oregano will also look right at home, and you can pick them to use in cooking. Purchase a few different plants, and display them in natural-looking terracotta pots near the pool's edge. Planting some of these plants in small garden beds surrounding the pool adds to the look, too. As an added bonus, many of these plants attract butterflies and hummingbirds, so you can expect some beautiful visitors to your pool.
The Mediterranean region is known for its fountains and baths. Thus, a simple fountain is essential in your pool design. You can make the fountain the center of attention by choosing a tall one that emerges from the center of the pool and is topped with an elegant statue. Or, you can choose a smaller, trickling fountain that's integrated into one side or corner of the pool. There are even fountains that double as a set of steps. The water trickles down them and into the pool, and you can also use them to get in and out of the pool. If you have a pool with a natural stone bottom, a fountain that consists of a stack of rocks in one corner of the pool would blend in nicely.
If you're going to be using your pool when it's dark out, the right lighting is essential. You generally see yellow-toned lighting in Mediterranean-style resorts. This is because the yellow color makes the whole space feel more subdued and natural, and it pulls out the deeper colors in the sandstone and plants. Steer clear of blue-based lights. Though they are common these days because they illuminate so brightly, they will give your pool area a very bright, modern look that completely contrasts the Mediterranean look you're trying to create.
Mediterranean pools show great variety, and your pool contractor is sure to offer additional options that will look lovely in a pool of this style. If you start with the features above and build from there, however, you'll be off to a great start.