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Choosing the Right Pool

landscape creations, sudbury design group, jimi smith photography

Picture this—it’s the peak of summer, and a cool refreshing dip in the pool is calling your name. Even better? Your very own aquatic retreat awaits you, right at home.

Though the prospect of a home pool is dreamy to say the least, there are many important considerations when it comes to choosing the right pool for your property. That’s where the experts come in. From planning and coordinating, to tackling the less glamorous details (think soil health, grading and drainage, conservation restrictions, safety requirements, etc.), an experienced team of landscape contractors and designers can lend a hand.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or reimagining your current set up, make sure you cover the bases: size, placement, and site conditions. After that, the joy of choosing custom features and creative design elements begins!


It’s important to make sure your pool fits your space properly. Smaller plunge pools and lap pools are ideal for outdoor areas with limited space. With many plunge pools offering both warm and cold water options, they are a great option for year-round use.

Landscape Creations

Pool Design, Plunge Pool, Landscape Creations, Landscape Contractor

Surrounded by nature, this small soake pool has all the right ingredients for relaxation. It can be used as a hot tub in the winter and a cool pool in the summer.

(Landscape Construction: Landscape Creations, Landscape Architecture: Studio Cosmo Design, Architect: Estes Twombly, GC: WKP Construction, Photography: George Gray Photography)

Sudbury Design Group

Pool Design, Plunge Pool, Sudbury Design Group, Landscape Design

Pool Design, Plunge Pool, Sudbury Design Group, Landscape Design

This plunge pool with a negative edge design lives large with the well-appointed amenities, stone hardscape, and lush plantings that surround it.

(Landscape Architecture: Sudbury Design Group, Photography: Dan Cutrona)


Deciding on the right location is a must. Having an expert survey your property will lead to smooth sailing, especially when considering the sun’s path, privacy, views, site conditions, slope, and tree placement. Remember, you can always add in hardscape as well as colorful, lush plantings to provide shade, privacy and flair.

Bernice Wahler Landscapes | Blue Claw Associates

Pool Design, Elevated Pool, Bernice Wahler, Nantucket Sounds

Pool Design, Elevated Pool, Bernice Wahler, Nantucket Sounds

With significant elevation changes on the site, thoughtful design and planning was necessary to achieve this stunning Nantucket oasis. For the contractors and designers, grading, drainage, and waterproofing were key considerations to ensure the functionality and longevity of both the built and natural environments.

(Landscape Contractor: Blueclaw Associates, Landscape Architect: Bernice Wahler Landscapes, Architect: Emeritus, Development/Builder: E.J. Jaxtimer Builders, Inc., Photographer: Greg Pemru)

Landscape Creations | Katherine Field and Associates

Pool Design, Elevated Pool, Landscape Creations

Pool Design, Elevated Pool, Landscape Creations

If your property already boasts a glorious view, consider enlisting your design and construction teams to elevate the pool area.  This elevated pool and pool house were built into a slope on the property to integrate effortlessly with the home’s main living spaces –  and now showcases the stunning surrounding coastal views. Local regulations allow for no fencing due to the pool’s elevated positioning.

(Landscape Architect: Katherine Field and Associates, Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, General Contractor: Gary M. Vacca Building Contractor Inc., Building Architect: Noury-Ello Architects, Photography: Rosemary Fletcher)

ZEN Associates

Pool Design, Elevated Pool, Zen Associates

This serene spot is another example of a pool with a view. This sleek design features an elevated pool area that provides easy access to indoor living space, and highlights sweeping views of the lake beyond.

(Landscape Architect: ZEN Associates, Photography: Nat Rea)

Site Conditions

Planning for a pool begins with assessing the conditions of the site. While some properties are perfect for a pool, certain site conditions, especially on coastal properties, demand extra foresight and financial commitment.  Laying the groundwork for meticulous site preparation and determining its impact on the project’s overall expense is paramount to your project’s success. Under the guidance of your contractor, be sure to develop a firm grasp on these three factors before diving into the project.

1. Soil Quality

2. Ground Water

3. Site Access

Custom Features

Once you’ve covered the basics, get ready to delve into the design. There are abundant ways to customize your outdoor pool area to reflect your unique style and vision. Drawing inspiration from your overall home design can help with the big picture, while lifestyle considerations can help guide your choice of custom features—the good news is that there is no shortage of options!

Sun Shelf Seating

Like bringing your beach chair to the edge of the ocean shore, sun shelf pool seating lets you have the best of both worlds.

Landscape Creations | Sudbury Design Group | Environmental Pools

Pool Design, Sun Shelf Seating, Landscape Creations, Environmental Pools, Sudbury Design Group(Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Landscape Architecture: Sudbury Design Group, Pool: Environmental Pools, Photography: Jimi Smith Photography)


While a rectangular pool is a classic, opting for curved edges can offer a more organic feel. Straying from the norm might also be the perfect way to optimize your outdoor living spaces.

Landscape Creations

pool design, curved pool, landscape creations(Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Photography: SeaMount Media)

Karen Sebastian LLC Landscape Architecture

pool design, curved pool, karen sebastian(Landscape Architecture: Karen Sebastian, Photography: Warren Patterson)

ZEN Associates

pool design, curved pool, zen associates(Landscape Architecture: ZEN Associates, Photography: John Horner)

Integrated Spa

With a hot tub seamlessly integrated into the same structure as the swimming pool, you can enjoy the perks of both without having to stray far. It offers a fusion of relaxation and socializing all within a single space. Considering adding a cascading spillway for a calming visual and sound experience. 

Landscape Creations | Gregory Lombardi Design

pool design, integrated spa, waterfall, spillway, landscape creations(Landscape Architecture: Gregory Lombardi Design, Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Photography: Neil Landino Photography)

Infinity Edge Design

The distinctive look of an infinity edge pool creates a captivating and dramatic illusion, appearing to stretch out into the horizon. Infinity pools are an enchanting way to showcase the beauty of the natural scenery.

Sudbury Design Group

Pool Design, Infinity Edge Pool, Negative Edge Pool, Oyster Harbor, Sudbury Design Group

Pool Design, Infinity Edge Pool, Negative Edge Pool, Oyster Harbor, Sudbury Design GroupThis infinity edge pool overlooks Oyster Harbor, and is paired with a shaded seating area that offers a protected place to enjoy the view.

(Landscape Architecture: Sudbury Design Group, Photography: Richard Mandelkorn)

Landscape Creations

Pool Design, Infinity Pool, Sun Shelf Seating, Integrated Spa, Landscape CreationsThis pool has it all: an integrated spa, sun shelf seating, and a sleek infinity edge design.

(Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Photography: Sea Mount Media)

Sudbury Design Group

Pool Design, Infinity Edge Pool, Negative Edge Pool, New Seabury, Sudbury Design Group

Pool Design, Infinity Edge Pool, Negative Edge Pool, New Seabury, Sudbury Design GroupFire meets water in this infinity edge plunge pool. It is flanked by the seascape on one end, and a built-in trough fire pit on the other.

(Landscape Architecture: Sudbury Design Group, Photography: Dan Cutrona)

Mood Lighting

A moonlit swim can be a magical affair. Consider adding mood lighting to really set the vibe. 

ZEN Associates

pool design, mood lighting, zen associates

pool design, mood lighting, zen associates(Landscape Architecture: ZEN Associates, Photography: Nat Rea)

Style-Centric Details 

The pool area should also highlight the architecture of your house and surrounding property. To achieve a sense of harmony, select materials and design details that speak to your home’s overall style, or a version that blends into the natural landscape.

R.P. Marzilli | Katherine Field and Associates

pool design, reclaimed stone, katherine field and associates

Reclaimed stone ties into the architecture of the home and the surrounding landscape design.  Weaving patterns and colors inspired by the surrounding natural landscape, the property features carefully selected, low maintenance plant materials that reflect the context of the site. 

(Landscape Architecture: Katherine Field and Associates, Landscape: RP Marzilli, Builder: Evergreen Builders, Architecture: Hutker Architects, Pool: Environmental Pools, Photography: Anthony Crisafulli)

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design | Landscape Creations

pool design, landscape design, farm house

pool design, landscape design, farm house

Agrarian-inspired detailing graces this entire property, including pool coping and outdoor amenities crafted from huge chunks of reclaimed first-generation granite. The surrounding gardens and fieldstone retaining walls add an additional layer of charm.

(Landscape Architecture: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Architect: Gale Goff Architect, General Contractor: Arkins Corporation, Photography: Anthony Crisafulli)

Onyx Corporation | Environmental Pools

pool design, pond, onyx corporation

Cascading into a pond below, this pool elevates the lush abundance of greenery that surrounds the property. By blending into the natural landscape, the pool and adjacent landscaping echoes the elegant simplicity of the main house.

(Landscape: Onyx Corporation, Pool: Environmental Pools, Photography: Warren Patterson, Pond: Pond Creations by Sean)

Environmental Pools

environmental pools, pool design

The home’s exterior palette is carried into poolside furnishings and hardscape tones, providing a perfect match in color and style. Metal and stone work extends seamlessly from the main house to the pool house on this tree lined property. With its vibrant veneer, the pool holds court as a centerpiece in the design.

(Pool Contractor: Environmental Pools, Stone: Stone Curators, Photography: Jimi Smith Photography)

Regulatory Requirements

Check with your local building department on specific safety requirements, as every town has its own set of rules. You might need to add in fencing, enclosures, and/or an automatic pool cover to meet the criteria. Lean on your pool contractors when it comes to any uncertainties regarding safety regulations, and remember that there are lots of sleek solutions available.

Landscape Creations

pool fencing, landscape creations

(Landscape Contractor: Landscape Creations, Landscape Architect: Leblanc Jones, Photography: SeaMount Media) 

Blue Claw Associates

blue claw associates(Landscape Contractor: Blue Claw Associates)


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