Relaxing by a pool is a wonderful way to while away time during Charleston’s infamously hot summers.

“Before deciding on what kind of pool you want, you first have to determine what you want from it,” says Clint Fore, vice president of Hollywood, South Carolina-based Aqua Blue Pools. “For a lot of people, a deciding factor is the ambience created by the sound of flowing water.

“Water features like bubblers or scuppers create a peaceful setting in which to escape everyday stresses,” he says. “The sound of water brings to mind the sound of a mountain stream—or of a fountain in a serene garden.” It’s important to hear the sounds that come from different water features, he adds, to achieve the specific ambience you’re looking for.

One feature that can make a difference is a weeping water wall, which beautifully complements an infinity edge. “With a weeping wall, the water, when viewed at eye level, appears to spill over the infinity edge and disappear,” says Fore. “The sound is very calming.

“You can custom-build a water wall using anything from glass tiles to stones,” he says, “and the water will spill over and hug the wall.”

Entertainment value is a key consideration when it comes to water features. Adding even a few multi-colored lights, water cannons, jet streams and bubblers will impress a deck full of guests.

But there are other things to think about, such as what, exactly, complements your particular home. “Consider the home’s architectural style and surroundings for direction on how your water features should look,” Fore says. Fore notes, for example, that people with contemporary homes tend to design pools with straight lines and incorporate stainless steel and glass into their water features. Those who want their pool to blend into the natural surroundings might choose a dark interior finish that reflects sky, clouds and trees—just as a nearby river or marsh does.


Here are other ways to creatively envision your new “water world”:

Be whimsical: Water features can be fun. The company recently installed a pool in a large residence in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Because there was so much land to work with, the homeowner built an extravagant series of features, including an upper pool made in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, with a spa located in one of the “ears.”

Draw bathers in: Many water features invite a degree of participation. A beach entry, with its gradual descent, entices bathers into the water. A grotto, hidden behind a waterfall, affords a private place to explore or hide.

Be social: Building “furniture” inside a pool is another way to make the most of the summer months. Why not invite friends to swim up to a cocktail table in the middle of your pool and enjoy a frozen margarita? Don’t forget built-in lounge chairs.

Indulge your many moods: Add a colored light to a water feature and watch it glow—red for romance, blue or green for contemplation. Truly, the sky’s the limit in pool design these days. Just be sure you include the soothing sounds of streaming water!

Kellie Rae Smith is a freelance writer, editor and Vintage Etsy shop owner.