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  • Writer's pictureHopkins Custom Pools

The Ultimate Guide to Pool Shapes: From Classic to Contemporary

ultimate guide to pool shapes

As a professional pool builder with years of experience sculpting backyard paradises, I've come to appreciate the profound impact that pool shape can have on a home's aesthetic and the functionality of outdoor spaces. Choosing the right pool shape is not just about personal preference; it's about blending form and function, tradition and innovation. In this guide, we'll explore the spectrum of pool shapes from classic to contemporary, helping you make an informed decision for your backyard oasis.

Classic Pool Shapes


The rectangular pool is a timeless classic, often associated with lap swimming and formal designs. Its straight lines and right angles create a clean, traditional look that complements most architectural styles.


Oval pools soften the rigidity of rectangular designs with their rounded edges, offering a more natural and inviting appearance. They're versatile and work well in a variety of settings, providing ample space for swimming and relaxation.


Mimicking a natural pond, the kidney shape adds an organic touch to your landscape. Its curvilinear form creates a focal point and is perfect for integrating with rock features, waterfalls, or lush planting areas.

Contemporary Pool Shapes


Freeform pools are the epitome of customization, with shapes that defy traditional categories. Designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, they can accommodate unique yard contours and features, embodying the essence of a personal retreat.


An L-shaped pool can cater to dual purposes, combining a lap swimming lane with a broader area for play and leisure. This shape is ideal for separating shallow and deep ends or delineating a swim-up bar area.

Infinity or vanishing edge pools create a visual effect of water extending to the horizon. While not a shape per se, this design can be applied to various shapes, adding a modern, luxurious element to your pool.

Choosing the Right Pool Shape

When selecting a pool shape, consider the following factors:

  • Landscape Integration: How well will the shape complement your existing landscape and outdoor living spaces?

  • Usage: Do you prioritize lap swimming, entertaining, or aesthetics? The pool's purpose can guide its shape.

  • Maintenance: Certain shapes may require more effort to clean and maintain. Consider the ease of access for pool cleaning equipment.

  • Budget: Complex shapes and custom designs often come at a higher cost. Align your choice with your budgetary constraints.

The choice of pool shape can define your outdoor space, influence its functionality, and enhance your home's overall appeal. Whether you lean towards the timeless elegance of classic shapes or the personalized touch of contemporary designs, your pool can be a reflection of your lifestyle and taste. As a professional pool builder, I encourage you to dream big but plan carefully, considering how each shape fits into the bigger picture of your outdoor living aspirations. With the right design, your pool can become more than just a place to swim—it can be the centerpiece of your private oasis.

Remember, the perfect pool shape for you is one that meets your needs, matches your aesthetic preferences, and brings joy to your outdoor living experiences.


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