Part 2 of 2: Popular design ideas for your new spa
From simple to elaborate, a spa provides a terrific opportunity to accentuate the style of your new backyard pool.
Decorative features can range from a basic mosaic—such as a sea creature or sports-team logo—in the spa bench, to a high-end infinity design with a 360-degree perimeter overflow.
One design consideration is the spa shape. A full circle is the most popular, but you can also have a related form like an oval, horseshoe, or semi-circle.
For a contemporary look, go for a square, rectangle, triangle, or hexagon. To create a softer, swimmer-friendly shape, pool designers will often modify these shapes—rounding or cutting off corners to reduce sharp angles.
Want to venture further outside the box? Ask for a custom design, such as a kidney, cloverleaf, miniature Roman pool, or curvy, abstract free-form design.
In addition to shape, a spa’s elevation can boost its visual impact. The spa can be built level with the pool, but for a bolder appearance, increasing the height above the pool is a favorite approach.
When building a raised spa, the elevation should be at least 6”, although 12” to 18” are most popular. An 18″ height—the same as a chair—has an added benefit: the spa edge serves as a nice seating area for anyone on the deck. To achieve a bigger wow factor, a spa can be raised several feet or higher.
Along with their good looks, elevated spas provide the opportunity for water features. One or more sections at the top of spa walls are built with open space to serve as spillways.
Through these spillways, water cascades into the pool surface below. The moving waters result in a lovely design feature and a relaxing sound. A related approach uses round, funnel-like slots to create concentrated passages for the spa water to pour through.
Other water-feature options include spraying or bubbling fountains that rise up from the floor when the spa is not in use. A “weeping” spa with a tiered façade offers another kind of fluid effect: Several steps in the spa front allow water to flow over them into the pool below.
Illuminating a spa and its water features adds more liquid drama. Color-changing LED lighting can be installed for a dazzling nighttime scene. Most LED systems enable you to alternate or synchronize the colors of your spa lights with those in the pool.
Your spa can also be dressed up with special material along its facade or along several sides. For example, part or all of a spa exterior can be covered in ornamental tile or stone. For a more tropical look, rocks and boulders can be used to surround some or most of the exterior. Depending on local climate, a spa wall can even incorporate glass blocks.
For more ideas and design inspiration for your new spa, view custom spa photos here: http://bluehaven.com/pool-photo-galleries/gunite-spas