Pool Design Elements That Are Worth the Investment

The options for swimming pool design and construction are endless. Whether the homeowner envisions a small, peaceful reflecting pool, or a backyard grotto complete with a waterfall, it is our goal to create a unique pool design that not only represents our client’s vision, but takes it further, with year-round functionality and quality workmanship.

A swimming pool should complement the architecture of a home and be treated as an additional living space. The days of using a swimming pool area only during warm-weather months have disappeared, with today’s pools offering creative design elements and inspiring new ways to enjoy outdoor spaces year-round.

Throughout our 40-year history of swimming pool design in Canton, GA and the Atlanta metro area, Hilltop Pools and Spas has created a variety of shape and stylistic concepts, with an even wider array of unique design elements. Here are a few pool design tips that are worth the investment.

Infinity Pool

You’ve probably seen these beautiful pools on television, at high-end resorts, or in home design photos. Also known as vanishing, disappearing-edge, or zero pools, these swimming pools seem to have no end, but extend into the horizon in a mysterious and impossible way.

These pools actually have a wall on one end that is built at water level, instead of a taller wall that obstructs the view. The wall slopes down, creating a waterfall effect that allows the water to cascade into a narrow, shallow lagoon or pool below. From there, the water is pumped back into the main pool. This design may not be suitable for every landscape or home design, but if you are blessed with a beautiful view, this type of pool will enhance it even more.

Baja Shelf

Also called a tanning or sun shelf, a Baja shelf is a shallow area of the pool suitable for kids and a great place to relax without immersing your whole body into the water. Ideally, it steps down gradually into the deeper areas of the swimming pool.

The shape can be customized to fit your pool’s design, but it is not recommended for vinyl pools, so ask your pool builder if there is a variation of the idea if are planning on a vinyl pool. You can dress up the Baja shelf with additional lighting or a built-in umbrella sleeve. If you are planning more of a lap pool design, the Baja shelf is a nice side addition to the concept.


If you dream of a backyard paradise enhanced by the beautiful green surroundings of the Georgia landscape, a grotto will increase the natural element theme that you seek. A grotto is a cave, generally created from real or imitation rock. It is a cool and shaded way to escape those hot summer rays, and you can even outfit it with jets or an outdoor shower to create a spa-like refuge.

Grottos also allow a perfect way to incorporate other design elements like waterfalls, fountains, and other visually appealing components.

Before deciding on a pool design and any additional design elements, it is important to have some ideas in mind so you can discuss those with the pool builder. Choosing a swimming pool in Canton should reflect what it will be used for—a family recreational space, a relaxing retreat, an additional living and entertainment space, or a combination of them all.

We have had the privilege of being awarded more than 60 Design Awards in every award category, including custom residential concrete pools, commercial concrete pools, in-ground vinyl liner pools, and major renovations. Hilltop was named one of the “Top 50 Pool Builders in the USA” by Pool and Spa News in 2013-2017. Pool builders across the United States were evaluated in several areas, including the total number of pools built, customer service, certifications, industry involvement, employee retention, as well as advertising and social media presence. Our company was also nationally recognized for customer service and social media. We were the only Georgia company on the list in 2016 and 2017!

We would consider it a privilege to design and construct your project and have you as a member of our “Hilltop Family.”