Dive into this unexpected design trend.

Palm Springs Pool by Studio Proba
Madeline Tolle

Spring has officially sprung, which means one thing: Pool season is so close, we can practically smell the chlorine. But before you slather on the SPF and do your inaugural cannonball, why not turn your watering hole into a well-designed outdoor destination? Chic umbrellas and cozy chaise lounges might be two easy ways to dress up your backyard, but if you want to take your setup to the next level, some people are using bright tiles and paints to transform their pool floors into maximalist moments.

Pink Checkered Pool by Samantha Klein
Samantha Klein’s pink and white checkered pool.

Marjorie Cruz

Just ask Samantha Klein, who built her eye-catching oasis from scratch over the course of 10 months. It was always a dream for the Los Angeles-based content creator to have her own pool, but a blank canvas felt so… bland. The solution? Carefully placing a combination of white and pink tiles for a cool, checkered effect. “I think it’s a huge bonus to our home,” Klein explains. “It’s like having a functional art piece in your backyard.”  Rounding out her artful backyard is a wiggly strip of grass near one side of the pool for a touch of whimsy.

Patterned Pool by Studio Proba
A colorful pool mural by Studio Proba.

Madeline Tolle

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Tiles might be a tactic that teeters the line between traditional and trendy, so Alex Proba of Studio Proba creates reef-like murals with some paints. “What I personally love most about it is that my art has two stages, the one without water and the other with,” says the creative, who splits her time in Brooklyn and Portland, Oregon. “Two fully different visuals of one and the same ‘painting:’ The water brings my work to life and it almost seems like it’s moving with us, although it’s just an illusion as the water is the one thing moving.”

Proba has always favored utilized unconventional canvases, and finally indulged in her long-standing curiosity around statement pools in 2018. “I wanted to merge art with everyday life in a surprising way, creating a unique experience for viewers,” she explains. “Statement pools add personality and an unexpectedness to the space and fill people with joy that get to experience them.” Now as more people are hopping onto the design bandwagon, Proba says the phenomenon “won’t stop.” She adds: “As people seek to personalize their environments even more now, I believe the trend of statement pools will continue to grow.”

Checkered Pool by Samantha Klein
Other design details like curtains and furniture complement the pool’s palette.

Marjorie Cruz

Sure, statement pools might be here to stay, but how can you recreate the look in your own neck of the woods? Patience and planning is key. “Make sure the design is something you’ll love for a long time, whatever medium you decide on,” Klein recommends. Just like painting your home’s exterior or installing wallpaper, beautifying your pool floor isn’t exactly a design trick that can be changed on a dime, so make sure you love your concept. 

Meanwhile, Proba encourages you to look to your setup for inspiration. “Planning is key,” she says. “Consider factors like pool size, shape, and surrounding environment when designing your mural.”

Mural Pool and Jacuzzi by Studio Proba
The hot tub also features a colorful pattern.

Madeline Tolle

Although painting or tiling your pool floor might seem like a fun DIY project, it might be in your best interest to hire an expert: From thoroughly cleaning and priming your surface to using speciality pool paints and sealants, these pros will ensure the job’s done right and looks good for years to come. 

Once you’ve figured out the logistics, your pool floor is a blank canvas just waiting for you to put your personal stamp on. (After all, isn’t that the point? A statement-pool should reflect the people who are floating, stroking, and diving in it.) Regardless of how you fancify your setup, one thing’s for sure: Fun in the sun just got a lot more fashionable.