Sun-shelves, infinity edge, integral spa—the types of pools that beautify Hamptons properties are as varied as the homes and owners themselves. Some are classic, timeless, others on the cutting edge of style and design.
“In the majority of design consultations, clients seem very interested in oversized steps and bench/lounging areas,” says Greg Darvin at East Hampton’s Pristine Pools. “These features can take many shapes or sizes but are always on the top of the list for discussion.”
In the overall design of new pools, modern and streamlined are the bywords. New houses tend to be simple and linear, and their accompanying pools reflect that design. Sheryl Heather at Spring and Summer Activities in Hampton Bays notes that “simple geometric pools are in.” The simple rectangle (often surrounded just with grass) is the in-demand shape. Even for more traditional Shingle style homes, owners tend to want modern designs for the pool.
Negative edges, wet edges, or infinity edges: whatever you call them, they’re extremely popular. However, the biggest trend actually seems to be reconstruction. With very little vacant land left in the Hamptons, most new construction projects occur on land with existing pools. Just as the original house is likely to be torn down and replaced, homeowners often spare no expense when rebuilding the swimming pool, employing newer and better materials.
These days, those newer materials are mainly coming out of quarries in Canada. Certain materials react better than others to the unusual climate in the Hamptons, and the most durable come from up north. But you need to go deeper that that small bit of knowledge.
“If you were to inquire about stone material with one of the large suppliers, they would offer you infinite choices in a huge price range,” Darvin says. However, he adds, “They often fail to supply good information on how the material will perform in our environment or about the possible logistical issues that sometimes exist with importing stone—unstable governments, long lead times and so on. I have narrowed the search to a handful of stones quarried in North America that are up to the task when dealing with our sometimes frigid winters, as well as being professionally quarried and delivered in a dependable timetable. These materials range from different dolomite limestones to quartz and sandstone.”
Another key aspect for everyday pool enjoyment is the filtration system. Many pools today use salt water filtration, as it is a cleaner and more natural way to maintain a pool and is less harsh on the body. And for many pool functions, automation is becoming more accessible all the time. Heather says, “It’s extremely handy to be able to turn your pool heater on or off with an app on your smartphone.”
On most properties, the swimming pool is going to be the anchor for the backyard space. Give the pool and surrounding areas—landscape and hardscape alike—as much attention as you would to your indoor space, as it will be there for years to come.