Pool Inspiration: Greece 25th August 2016
The Victorians loved neo-classical architecture, you just have to look at the profusion of classically inspired stately homes and public buildings that were built in that age. Bespoke swimming pools were also created seeking to replicate the splendour of ancient Athens.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own pool, consider getting some ideas from the birthplace of Western civilization.
Frescoes of Greek gods were popular and an image of the sea god Poseidon or any of the nymphs would be particularly appropriate. This could be achieved with a hand-crafted tile mosaic on the bottom or sides of the pool.
Fountains were also very popular displays of wealth and status, and integrating a classically themed fountain into your personal luxury pool would pay homage to one of the great periods of European architecture.
Colour-wise, the classical and neoclassical styles favour clean and cold colours like whites, blues and greens. Marble was a popular building material and incorporating some into your pool design, perhaps in the steps or surround, would really set your pool apart.
Columns are the most distinctive feature of this style though difficult to accommodate unless you have the space. If you do, the addition of columns will make your pool especially grand and create a truly luxurious surround.
The Greeks also travelled all over the Mediterranean world, incorporating what they found into their own designs, so don’t be scared to add other influences to create a unique and personal pool that reflects your own style and inspiration.
5 Benefits Of Swimming 24th August 2016
One of the best ways of keeping fit is undoubtedly getting in the pool and doing a few laps. You might be having your luxury pool installed so that you can hold pool parties and keep the kids entertained at the weekends, but don’t discount the value of having a pool to help you keep fit. Here are five benefits of swimming to inspire you to get in the pool today.
Water is far denser than air, so it’s a much better way of toning up your muscles than any other kind of cardio out there. You get the same level of resistance in the pool that you would using light weight on a machine at the gym, but because the resistance is controlled you don’t have to worry about repetitions like you would at the gym.
Boost your flexibility by swimming some laps. It helps you use a lot of your muscles all at the same time, whereas if you’re at the gym you’re really only targeting a few muscles at once. You’re also stretching your entire body when you swim when reaching out to complete your strokes.
If you’ve got a few aches and pains, there’s nothing better than getting in the pool. Water helps to support your body weight so you can enjoy a really good workout without putting undue stress on your body. Swimming is great for those with injuries so if you have pushed yourself too hard at the gym, go for some breaststroke instead.
Swimming is also perfect if you’re concerned about your weight. Did you know that you burn about 300 calories by just doing half an hour of breaststroke? Why don’t you use Swimming Calculator the next time you’re in the pool to work out how many calories you’ve burned?
Why Has The Olympic Swimming Pool Turned Green? 16th August 2016
For the last week, many of us have been watching the 2016 Olympic Games closely and for those interested in the swimming competitions, you might have noticed that the water has changed colour over the last few days.
Despite the fact the water in the luxury pool looked blue on Monday (August 8th), it has slowly turned a distinct shade of green, and those of you with beady eyes will have seen the transformation take place during some of the races themselves.
During the women’s synchronised ten-metre diving final on Tuesday, the tone of the water began to change and by the end of the contest, it was a definite green.
There have been many speculations over why there has been a change of colour in the water, with Tony Azevedo, men’s water polo captain for the USA, conjecturing that it is the result of putting “so much chlorine in the water that people can’t see”.
Another theory is that green ink has leaked into the water from the diving boards, which is what British diver Jack Laugher suggested.
However, the change in colour did not do anything to deter Laugher and his diving partner Chris Mears, as they took home the gold award for Team GB for the synchronised three-metre springboard.
This comes after fellow Brits Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow also won awards for their dive earlier in the week. They achieved bronze in the men’s synchronised ten-metre platform on Monday. Incidentally, the pair managed to claim one of the top prizes when the water was blue, not green.
Discover This Luxury Pool In A Converted Church! 5th August 2016
If there’s one place to look to for inspiration for your swimming pool designs, it’s the luxury pool at Repton Park in Redbridge in London which has been built inside a converted church.
There’s really nothing quite like taking a dip in a 25m pool surrounded by amazing arched windows and stained glass, is there? If you’re planning on having an indoor swimming pool installed, adding some stained glass here and there could actually be a lovely idea, especially if you’re going to be using the pool for relaxation rather than intense swimming practice. There’s something so peaceful about stained glass, isn’t there?
We’re also particularly impressed by the stunning stone pillars, no doubt an original feature of the church that have been left behind to create a truly beautiful space for a swimming pool. If you’re planning on having part of your house converted, adding in some pillars could also be a great idea if you want a very dramatic look.
The church conversion itself also saw a shower included near the altar, with a hot tub just in front of it and a steam room to the left. But that’s not all – the old confessional box has also been transformed into a sauna… making us really want to pay Repton Park a visit!
Other swimming pools in London that might inspire you include the one to be found in The Berkeley Hotel which has a retractable roof, or the one at the Canary Riverside club which has an incredible view of the Thames. Why not do a London tour of all the pools to see what styles you like and what you don’t?
The History Of The Lido 4th August 2016
Outdoor swimming has long been popular here in the UK – and it certainly shows no signs of stopping, as people all over the country look to have bespoke swimming pools installed outside their homes.
But when did outdoor swimming first become a credible activity? Where did it all begin? Back in the 1930s, lidos across the UK started springing up, with 169 built by local councils all over the place. Of course, some of these were short-lived and fell out of favour when travel to exotic foreign countries became cheaper and more accessible – but some of the original ones are still in operation today.
The first open air pool to be built was The Edmonton Lido in Edmonton, which opened in July 1935 after extensive refurbishment. This was followed by the Tottenham Lido in June 1937 and the West Ham Municipal Lido in August of that year.
The word ‘lido’ is actually Italian for beach and if you holiday in this part of the world you’re sure to see signs for the likes of Lido di Venezia, referring to the barrier beach that encloses the Venetian Lagoon. It’s likely that the term made its way into English vocabulary by lucky folk holidaying in Italy where swimming in the sea was a popular way to spend the time back in the late 19th century.
During the 20s, swimming was an incredibly popular pastime and when swimwear evolved to give women greater freedom to enjoy it, the 30s saw a huge surge in this particular outdoor pursuit. This in turn resulted in councils investing in lidos more and more to help cater for holidaymakers.
The design for lidos usually involved a rectangular pool with a deck for sunbathing and a café nearby, with the majority also having a fountain or cascade. Slides and water chutes, as well as diving boards, were stylish features to be included – so make sure you have one of these if you want to recreate the lidos of days gone by at home.
Top Waterproof Gadgets 19th July 2016
Everyone loves their gadgets but if you’re a keen swimmer and want to use your favourite gizmos in your luxury swimming pool, you’ll need to find some that are waterproof.
Here is our pick of the best water-resistant gadgets you can get your hands on.
Finis V2 Neptune MP3 Player
Most people listen to their favourite tunes when exercising, with the up-tempo songs often helping them to work out faster. But this is obviously difficult to do when you’re constantly underwater.
However, the Finis V2 Neptune MP3 player makes it possible – even without putting headphones in your ears!
It plays music using tiny vibrations against your cheek, and has a capacity of up to a 1,000 songs, so you can swim for an extremely long time before you get to the end of your playlist.
Waterproof Pouch For Phones
If you don’t want to do lengths, but simply love your swimming pool for lounging about it on a warm day, you could do with a waterproof pouch for your phone.
Let’s face it – we all reach for our phones even when we’re in the bath or pool, so to prevent it falling in and breaking, you can protect it with a water-resistant cover.
With a touchscreen function, you can even continue to use your phone to text your friends or update your Facebook status!
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
However, if you’re a hardcore swimmer and want to track your progress, you should consider investing in the Garmin Forerunner 920XT.
This tracker counts your strokes, and monitors your pace and speed. It also recognises stroke types and encourages you to achieve your personal best by constantly pushing you to do better.
It also sends the information to the Garmin Connect site wirelessly, enabling you to store the data so you can analyse your performance once you’re out of the pool.
Pool Inspiration: Barcelona 18th July 2016
If you want a creative and unique luxury pool, inspired by one of the most beautiful places in the world, it’d be difficult to find more fertile ground for inspiration than Barcelona. The city is renowned for its ceramic artworks, with the mosaic creations of Antoni Gaudi at Park Güell proving fodder for tourists seeking Barcelona’s sights and creatives seeking stimulation alike.
So, the big question is, how can you distil Barcelona’s spirit into your pool design? Let’s look at the colours, shapes and materials of the city’s streets could be adapted into your luxury pool design.
If you love the mosaic style of Gaudi’s Catalan modernist artworks, then you’ve certainly come to the right pool designers. We’re experts in beautiful, intricate designs using bold colours to achieve spectacular results. The overriding colour which forms the base of his designs is undoubtedly the collection of traditional ceramic blues and rich indigos – just look at the striking blue and white tower at Park Güell. However, these colours are regularly teamed up with vibrant yellow for gorgeous, sunny contrast.
When it comes to choosing shapes, the nature of Gaudi’s work is beautifully irregular, organic and freeform – not something you can achieve with a pack of off the shelf pool tiles. Our hand-crafted tiles, however, are made bespoke for the intricacies of your pool design, no matter how many curves and swirls you want.
After all, your pool doesn’t just need to be somewhere you swim – it should be something beautiful to be admired in its own right. Just remember, if you get a little creative with your choice of pool designer, you don’t have to be stuck with a blue rectangle – rather something that inspires and invigorates your day-to-day life.
4 Of The Best Apps For Swimmers 13th July 2016
Now’s the time to start combining your unique swimming pools with a touch of technology here and there. Did you know that there are countless apps out there for keen swimmers that can really help you foster a genuine interest in this sport? Here are four of our favourites.
Wild Swimming Britain
Available on the iPhone and iPad, this app is perfect for anyone living in the UK who wants to give wild swimming a go. It features all the best locations around the country so you can spend more time swimming and less time working out where to go.
Are you in the US? Then this is the app for you. It features 17,000 locations around the country so you can always find a swimming pool wherever you are. Now you never need to give up on your fitness goals!
This is the best way to set and reach your goals, tracking your swims and challenging yourself and your friends. You can log swims, times, strokes, notes and sets, sharing them all to Apple Health as you go.
Swimming Pool Games & Fitness
This app comes with a big selection of different swimming pool games, as well as ideas for pool parties and fitness plans. There’s also a swimming calorie counter to use if you fancy it. This app is the best of both worlds – now you can have fun and keep fit in the pool, depending on how the mood strikes you.
Pool Inspiration: Marrakech 12th July 2016
When you’re looking for luxury swimming pool design, you might want to be inspired by your property’s location in the style you choose. This could be as far as the colours traditionally popular in the country, choosing designs inspired by the environment and nature, or even adopting elements of the local traditions.
This time around, we’re going to look for inspiration from a country renowned for its own ceramics heritage – Morocco. If you’ve ever stayed in a Riad in Marrakech, you’ll know just how important tiles are for the interiors of the local homes. Riads, in particular, are often based around a central pool, blurring the lines between the outdoors and indoors.
However, when it comes to making a unique swimming pool, you may want to take inspiration, without opting for traditional Moroccan tiles.
The first place you might look for inspiration is shape. The classic shapes of Marrakech are the intricate Arabesques of the souk – something that you are seeing more and more in luxury tiles. This could be tile shape or even in the pattern of a tile, creating a repeating pattern throughout.
This ornate shape could even be used for the silhouette of you pool, raised above the ground or set in with curves and points for a luxurious visual interest.
Next up is your colour palette. Think of Morocco and you’ll think rich, bold hues inspired by either the desert or the ocean. Oranges, reds, greens and yellows sit against deep, indigo blues – the latter making ideal fodder for the background of your pool, embracing the former in small amounts for the detail of you design.
Get Ready For Return Of Warm Weather 8th July 2016
One of the best things about having a luxury swimming pool, especially one that is outdoors, is you can certainly make the most of any warm weather Britain gets by lying by the pool or taking a refreshing splash in the water.
And while there has not been much reason to sunbathe by the pool recently, according to weather experts, warm temperatures are set to be on their way.
Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge reassured the public that hot weather will return this week, with temperatures reaching the mid-20Cs by the weekend.
The good spell will be caused by high pressure moving eastwards, and southern England is set to experience the best of the sunshine.
Mr Partridge said: “It is turning gradually warmer through the week with highs of 24C likely by Friday and again staying warm and dry in the south.”
That means tennis fans may also be able to enjoy watching the Wimbledon men’s finals on Sunday (July 10th) poolside from the comfort of their sunny garden.
So make sure your swimming pool is clean and ready to be used by the weekend, as it has no doubt been covered up for much of June.
It would hardly be surprising as the Met Office recorded it as the 11th wettest June since 1910, with an impressive 101.8mm falling on average across the UK. This is nearly two-fifths more than normal!
What’s more, there were only 138 hours of sunshine in Britain last month, 81 per cent of average figures.
5 Of The Best Swimwear Styles For Men 7th July 2016
Summer is now in full flow so no doubt you’re all spending your evenings and weekends lounging around your luxury pools. But have you spared a thought for your swimming trunks and pool shoes? It could well be time for a swimwear update if it’s been a year or two since you’ve invested in a new pair of trunks. Here are five of our favourite styles to keep you looking cool as the weather hots up.
Polo Ralph Lauren striped swim shorts
These striped polyester swim shorts are perfect whether you’re by the pool at home or sunning yourself in St Barts. Blue and white stripes are idea for summer and these are trunks that will never really go out of style – so they make the perfect investment, wouldn’t you say?
Hurley Phantom Block Party Solid men’s boardshorts
This offering from Nike is perfect for the sportier among you. They’re made from water-repelling stretch fabric so you can move freely in the water and they sit just above the knee, allowing for a greater range of movement. There’s also a patch pocket with pocket flap and a fly closure that allows for a snug and adjustable fit.
ASOS Runner Swim Shorts
These come with a drawstring waistband, mesh lining and side slant pockets – and the best part is that they can be used in the pool or can double up as a pair of running shorts if you’re feeling particularly active. The 80s throwback styling is a bonus as well.
O’Neill Superfreak Board Shorts
These are made from a special quick-drying material that ensures long-lasting wear and durability – a great buy for anyone who likes to get out into the sea for a surf as well as spending time by the pool. They’re also perfect for patriots!
Speedo Men’s Fluidfuse Jammer
If you’re into fitness swimming, these Speedos are a must. They’re perfect for regular pool use thanks to how comfy they are and they won’t hinder you as you pass through the water – so you’ll be beating your best time before you know it.
Pool Safety Tips From Olympic Gold Medallist 1st July 2016
If you have a luxury swimming pool at home, it’s important that you know all about pool safety – especially if you have young children who are keen to enjoy splashing about.
Brooke Bennett, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, runs a swim academy in Brandon, Tampa and Clearwater over in the US and has come up with a few tips to help parents ensure that their children can enjoy swimming safely and responsibly, WTSP reports.
She emphasises the importance of teaching your kids to swim to the wall if they find themselves in difficulty, rather than swimming to a parent or grandparent. They need to view the wall as their safe space, she says.
Another key step to take is spending ten minutes with your child showing them around a pool if they’re unfamiliar with it. A parent should also be chosen to be on pool watch patrol if there’s a party going on so potentially dangerous situations can be diffused immediately.
Bennett also advised teaching kids to flip onto their backs if they’re struggling, then float to the wall and climb to safety.
“We want to teach them not to walk into water. We teach them right from wrong and they need to learn the water is off limits without a parent or guardian,” she was quoted as saying.
Taking a lifeguarding course might be a good idea as well if you’re concerned about swimming pool safety. There are sure to be many on offer in your local area so do some research to see what’s going on where.
4 Of The Best Self-Tanning Products 14th June 2016
We all know that the sun can be damaging to our skin and if you’d rather self-tan than sit outside by the side of your luxury swimming pool soaking up the rays, here are four of the best tanning products out there to help you be that bronzed goddess with none of the sunburn.
Want to recreate that spray tan look without having to leave the house? Just give it a good shake and then spray away. It’s easy to apply evenly and smells delightfully of coconut – so you’ll feel like you’re on holiday all day every day, even if you’re in the office.
Want something a bit long lasting? Then give this offering from Vita Liberata a go. The colour is natural so no need to worry on that point and no need to panic that you’ll constantly be having to touch the tan levels up either. Perfect!
For something a bit lower down the scale price-wise, try this from He-Shi Express. It’s so easy to blend onto your skin that it’s perfect for beginners to the self-tanning world and it’s easy to tell where you’ve already applied it. What could be better?
If you’re always pushed for time but don’t want to give up on the dream of beautiful bronzed skin, give this ten minute tanning solution a go. Just slap it on, wait ten minutes and then get in the shower to rinse. Perfect!
Stay Sun Safe By The Pool 9th June 2016
The UK has seen uncharacteristically hot weather over the last few days, with people up and down the country sunbathing in their gardens and enjoying barbecues after work.
And the sunshine is set to stay for a while, as forecasters have predicted the heatwave will last several weeks. Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction has even nicknamed the month ‘flaming June’ due to its hot temperatures and blue skies.
So, if you plan to make the most of the sunshine while it lasts by lying by your luxury outdoor pool, make sure to stay safe. Here are our tips on keeping cool in the sun:
Always use sun cream
Even on cloudier days, you should use suncream, as strong rays mean you are still at risk of being burnt. Make sure you use cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above, and do not use if it is more than two or three years old.
Apply it 30 minutes before you go outside and then again when you’re making yourself comfortable on your sun lounger.
Don’t forget to put it on after taking a splash in the pool, as it may have rinsed away or rubbed off when drying yourself with a towel.
It might not make much sense to wear more clothes when the sun is at its hottest (especially if you are by the pool), but it is important to protect your skin. Always wear a hat and sunglasses, and even slip on a t-shirt, shorts or skirt.
Children can wear long-sleeved swimming costumes for added protection while splashing in the pool, as well as waterproof hats with flaps to cover their necks.
It might be tempting to enjoy a refreshing beer or G&T when relaxing by the pool, but the best thing to drink is water. Make sure you keep hydrated in the sunshine, as dehydration can leave you feeling very ill.
Take a break
If you feel you need a break from the sunshine, find some shade or go indoors. It is also a good idea to avoid the bright sunshine between 11:00 and 15:00, as this is when the rays are at their strongest.
Know Your Pool Tiles: A Ceramics Glossary 7th June 2016
When a customer chooses one of unique swimming pools, they often want to know a little more about the processes which go into creating such a luxurious work of art. Our pool tiles see ceramic techniques brought together in unique combinations to create the most beautiful displays you can imagine.
To get to know the basics of ceramic craft, take a look at this mini guide to some of the techniques and materials we use.
Clay is the basic building block of ceramics – however, it’s not just a one-size fits all material. Clays can vary from orangey earthenware to grey stoneware and white porcelain – each with their own unique characteristics.
Similar to a slip, an engobe is a form of liquid clay, however, with generally a lower clay content making it better suited to bisque firing – a firing which takes place before a glaze.
A glaze is the impervious coating on the outside of a piece of ceramics, fused by firing. It can be used to waterproof or decorate and colour and finished piece of ceramic.
Lustres are a type of glaze containing metal oxides which give the finished ceramic a metallic look or beautiful iridescence.
Oxides are chemical colourants which are added to a clay or glaze to create colour during the firing process.
A slip is a clay mixed with water, making a liquid form which can be used in casting or decoration on top of solid clay, often used to add different colours and textures.
Enjoy Your Own Luxury Swimming Pool In Plymouth 6th June 2016
Anyone living in Plymouth who has dreamt of owning their own luxury swimming pool may be within reach of achieving their dream.
That is because a beautiful Victorian house has come on to the market, offering potential homebuyers the chance to live in luxury.
The asking price for ‘The Gables’, as the property is known, is £850,000, with the price tag being as much due to its sought-after location in Seymour Park, as its fixtures and fittings.
According to Plymouth Herald, one of the best features of the double-fronted house is its south-facing walled rear garden. Within it, there is a greenhouse with original tiled floor and a sheltered patio.
The Gables also boasts a large outdoor heated swimming pool, which is ideal for those who love to do a few lengths before breakfast, as well as sun worshippers who want to make the most of every sunny day during the summer by lying by the pool.
Inside the 1900 property is a grand staircase, a 20ft by 18ft sitting room, a separate dining area, a study, a utility room, a toilet and a conservatory that overlooks the garden.
Families will also be glad to hear it has a huge kitchen-cum-breakfast room, perfect for cooking big meals or preparing dinner parties.
Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, including a spacious en-suite, and a family bathroom. Viewers will also find a huge games room in the loft that measures 37ft by 31ft, perfect for recreational activities away from the main hub of the house.
A double garage, electric gates, private drive, and plenty of period features completes the abode, making it one of the most appealing properties for sale in Plymouth for some time.
Of course, for those who do not live in the area, there is always the option to renovate basements into indoor swimming pools, as a report in Business Insider revealed this is becoming a popular choice among many wealthy mansion owners.
Designer Creates Realistic Pool – Made From Marble! 2nd June 2016
When it comes to luxury pool design, it’s amazing what can actually be achieved these days. You no longer have to have a plain blue or white bottom or sides to your pool – there are some stunning ceramic tiles that can be used, such as those we create here at Craig Bragdy Designs, to produce some beautiful images on the bottom of your pool.
If you’re looking for some inspiration as to what designs to go for with your new swimming pool, make sure you have a browse of our site to see what we can do – but you should also take a look at this realistic swimming pool that’s just been installed at Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire Centre D’Arts et de Nature in France, as it will really serve to highlight just what effects can be achieved.
According to the Daily Mail, designer Mathieu Lehanneur was inspired by the Loire, which flows just below the courtyard of the chateau, with the pool itself measuring some 24ft long and made using a single piece of hand-polished marble. It will be on display at the site until November 2nd so there’s plenty of time for you to go and have a look at it in real life.
Mr Lehanneur said: “I wanted to address the garden with water as my muse. The water whose presence we sense even before we first catch sight of it below the Chateau, flowing uninterrupted to the sea.”
Here at CBD, we use clay, slips, texutre, glazes, lustres and oxides to create a series of stunning swimming pool ceramics that boast beautiful rich colours, a lovely tactile finish and lots of different, very intricate patterns. You can get in touch with us to request a sample of any of the ceramics you see on our site so you can see for yourself how beautiful an addition they’d be to your luxury pool.
Luxury Basement Swimming Pools, The New Mansion Feature For The Uber-Wealthy In London 1st June 2016
A new report from Business Insider has looked at the many unique swimming pools that are fast becoming a ubiquitous feature of the mansion basements of London’s elite.
It seems down is the new way to the top for mansion owners as millions are being invested in revamping or even designing entirely new extravagant basements with the likes of cinemas, saunas and luxury swimming pools as common features.
Some of these elaborate basements known as ‘iceberg basements’ have several levels or floors and boast an array of decadent and luxurious indulgences, the likes of art galleries, game rooms and gymnasiums as well as the aforementioned swimming pools and other such features.
Reports suggest that the spectacular expansion plans tend to come from the likes of wealthy Russian or Arab investors, with a few high-profile names mentioned. The likes of Roman Abramovich, the Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club, as well as Andrew Lloyd-Webber, have been linked with plans to build these elaborate basements.
Such plans are most commonly submitted in boroughs such as Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Kensington, London’s most elite and sought-after property areas, with the latter having an alleged 800 basement extensions carried out in the past four years.
It would seem that an elaborate wine cellar with a few vintage Chateauneuf-du-pape and maybe a bottle of Louis Roederer Champagne or two is no longer an exclusive enough feature for the basements of the wealthy. Basements with saunas, cinemas and, most importantly, luxury swimming pools are now the must-have element for a mansion in the eyes of London’s most prosperous, it would seem.