Darlington Designs

While spontaneity is often what we want when it comes to leisure, building your long-awaited swimming pool shouldn’t be left to chance! Careful planning is key to crafting a pool that represents the best of art and engineering. Today,  you can choose from an incredible array of pool features, shapes, and sizes––from infinity edges and freeform styles to naturalistic Grotto caves. 

Darlington Designs specializes in luxury pool design and construction for clients across New Jersey (as well as the Philadelphia suburbs). Our strength is taking your idea for an outdoor space and then making it a reality. We can do this thanks to our expertise as a design-build firm. By combining superb design with careful workmanship, we deliver the finest outdoor swimming pools in the region. 

We believe that by creating one-of-a-kind swimming pools, we can help you find your getaway right at home. These outdoor spaces are designed to foster moments with loved ones that will become cherished memories for years to come. To ensure that your pool reflects your unique style preferences, we work in close consultation with you to capture your vision for a poolscape.

As you do your research, you’ll find that there are three basic pool types: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each type of building material has its own set of pros and cons that affect the shape and style of the pool. Make sure that the pool design you want can be fabricated in the material you would like to use. At Darlington Designs, we specialize in gunite (concrete) and upper scale vinyl systems, which are adaptable to include a wide range of pool features.

Six Pool Features You Can’t Miss

We never build the same pool twice because there are so many variations available in shape, size, style, features, waterfalls, technology, and more. The sky’s the limit! Our top six most popular pool features to consider include: 

1. Natural waterfall: a waterfall easily becomes the beautiful focal point of your pool. Natural waterfalls can be made of real boulders and rocks and include multiple spillways if desired. Artificial rock construction is used for more intricate rock formations, which look the most realistic on properties with an incline. A broad array of pool waterfall features are available for Darlington pool constructions, depending on the effect you’d like to create.

View of natural waterfall feature in pool.

2. Grotto: a grotto is an imitation cave structure, often built beneath a waterfall. An exotic addition to any natural-looking pool, a grotto can be built in different shapes and sizes. Some have underwater benches and lighting to enhance the swimmer’s experience. Most require special engineering due to the additional weight at the pool edge. 

View of grotto feature in pool made of stone.

3. Infinity edge: an infinity edge or zero edge pool is a design element where one side of the pool is lower than the water level so that the water spills over. Viewed from the opposite side of the pool, this feature creates the illusion that there is no wall to hold back the water. In reality, the water flows down into a catch basin and is then recirculated back into the pool. An infinity edge is particularly striking when the pool is set against a large, natural body of water. 

Mother and kids play in outdoor infinity swimming pool

4. Raised spa: a spa that is elevated above the surface of the pool. Adding a dramatic flair to any poolscape, a raised spa can also act as a water feature when there is a sheer descent from an elevated area into the pool. This cascade effect provides visual and auditory enhancement to the entire poolscape. A raised spa can be comprised of brick, stone, or other attractive material to match the style of your outdoor space. 

Raised spa attached to a pool.


5. Swim-up bar: a swim-up bar is a custom feature available for gunite pools. The structure includes underwater stools and a countertop to place your drink or snack. Typically, the stool is positioned so that the lower half of the body remains in the water while the upper half stays above the surface. Most include a “dry side” or serving area that is outside the pool, though some are completely surrounded by water. Relaxing at a swim-up bar while enjoying a fresh beverage is the ultimate resort experience– which is why so many homeowners are now including it in their backyard oases. 

Child drinking juice in swimming pool bar.


6. Beach entry/Sun shelf: a beach entry is just what it sounds like – a pool entry that imitates the gradual slope of a beach. Some beach entry (also known as zero entry or sun shelf) pools feature a gradual incline until you descend halfway into the pool, where underwater steps take you deeper into the water. Elaborate beach entry pools might include sand, waterfalls, and other natural elements to make you feel like you’re miles away.

Two inground lounge chairs on sun shelf of pool.

Must-Have Pool Features at Darlington Designs 

Building a swimming pool is an extensive process that requires precision, attention to detail, and an artistic eye. If you’re interested in incorporating pool features such as any of those listed above, you will need an experienced pool contractor with the expertise to meet those expectations. Darlington Designs brings more than 15 years of experience in developing all-original pool designs. No pool we build is the same because every client has their own ideas about what their dream pool should look like! 

If you’re ready to experience a superior process and final product, we invite you to partner with Darlington Designs for your next pool project. To schedule a consultation with one of our design experts, please call 856-442-0440. You can also learn more by downloading a complimentary copy of our eBook, “38 Questions to Ask Your Pool Contractor.”