Bespoke Luxury Swimming Pools

The beauty and appeal of a swimming pool, bathed in warm sunlight, is as alluring and enticing today as ever, especially if it is a custom-designed pool clad with artisan mosaics placed by hand…

The ancient Greeks and Romans were among the first to build swimming pools for athletic and military training in their palestra, or clubs. But soon, the wealthy started making private pools in their family villas, and some even filled them with fish; hence the Italian word for the swimming pool, 'piscina', comes from the Latin 'piscium', which translates to 'fish'.

Today, centuries later, our love for and fascination with the swimming pool is as strong as ever, and the type and size of your pool is an important status symbol in many societies. Few people will turn down an invitation to dip in or lounge by a pool and reflect as the water gently rolls and splashes, waxes and wanes invitingly.

Following the Covid pandemic, and our rediscovering of our homes, there is growing demand for swimming pools globally. Pools allow us to exercise and relax, and perhaps also to profit. Observers note that there is a move away from traditional pools towards more organic and natural ones that feature cladding in more natural shades of sandy beige, soft grey and other pastels, allowing it to blend harmoniously with the surrounding nature. Suntanning decks partially submerged in the water are becoming an increasingly popular and practical decorative accent point. Pool-deck fountains are being used to extend the therapeutic aqua spa ambiance, while advances in LED pool lighting let owners further enhance the look and feel of the pool day or night.

The challenge for designers today is to therefore create a unique pool; whether it is a long narrow lap pool, kidney-shaped, oval, organic in-ground or above-ground, the options are limitless. Whatever the shape, a hand-made luxury mosaic pool, where artisans have placed each tessera by hand, remains the ultimate swimming pool surface.

Get ready to dive into the world of bespoke luxury swimming pools! Whether you're looking to exercise, relax, or simply bask in the warm sunlight, a custom-designed mosaic pool is the ultimate status symbol. From organic and natural pools that blend harmoniously with nature to hand-made luxury mosaic pools, the options are limitless.

Exclusive mosaic underwater art

Some of the most lavish pools can be enjoyed only by a select few at some of the world's most exclusive hotels and resorts; these include the recently inaugurated Palazzo Versace - Grand Lisboa Palace Hotel complex in Macau, China. Here, master artisans installed more than three and a half million hand-cut marble mosaic, laying them to create a vibrant and dramatic pool design complete with the late Gianni Versace's trademark Medusa, Chinese dragons and flowers. The striking elements were skillfully united in a breathtaking poolscape that combines symbols of positivity, good fortune and happiness.

The time and patience required to cut and place each tiny tessera in place skillfully is a mind-blowing ancient craft that gives any pool, big or small, an air of exclusivity.

Versace’s classic million mosaic pool

Gianni Versace's pool in his Casa Casuarina Villa in South Beach, Miami, is a magnum opus in its own right. The media refer to it as the ‘Million Mosaic Pool’ because millions of valuable 24-karat gold tesserae line the exotic pool that was inspired by Greek mythology.

Laps of 24-karat gold mosaic tiles

A band of hand-made gold tesserae was also used as a focal point in the lap pool designed by American celebrity jeweller Neil Lane. The gold theme originates from the Gustav Klimt-inspired 'Tree of Life' in the fountain and meanders to the pool, creating a sense of continuity.

A client’s choice of pool design is also very personal and often reflects their personality as well as the property's architectural and interior design style and location.

The ultimate infinity edge

A free-form infinity pool on the Sardinian coast was conceived as an irregular, thematic, uber-luxurious pool, carefully designed to recreate the shapes and colours of the seawater in the nearby port. This magical effect was skilfully created using a select palette of colours, including aqua, beige and soft green, strategically placed to complete the look and feel of a natural pond. The pool is a central point of focus, with the villa seemingly being built around it. Underwater mosaic-clad stairs were included to gently ease bathers down to the lower depths.

Organic surrounds

Bean-shaped pools continue to be very popular, especially for people who enjoy entertaining, and in hotels and residential complexes. These shapes are often chosen as they bring people together. In this prestigious Monte Carlo multi-use residential complex, a luxurious bold black enamel glass mosaic with artistic white gold inlay was used to create a more contemporary and minimalistic ambience.

Hand-crafted glass bean-shaped splendor

The designers and installers of this fresh blue marble and glass mosaic bean-shaped pool in Italy sought to create a fresh look, and the mosaic design was created to mimic the ribbed ripple effect left on the sand on the ocean's edge.

Mosaic technique with classic notes

Classical motifs, Greek keys or meandering flowers, leaves and fluting remain popular mosaic patterns for more conservative swimming pools, which usually complement the overall look and feel of the villa or hotel architectural style.

Mosaic decoration nature’s way

A more contemporary variation on the classical theme is that of a single motif like a butterfly or florals – as seen in this pool with a delicate floral pattern in colourful red, green, pink and orange artistic glass mosaic, which reflects the villa's garden and the owner's penchant for flowers. The pool is in perfect harmony with the interior's Venetian terrazzo floors.

Luxury mosaic terrace art

In this luxury holiday villa in the Caribbean, the main mosaic art is not in the swimming pool but has instead been used to create interest and colour on the pool terrace.

As we indulge in summer vacations, swimming pools and poolside living is very much on our minds. Whether you prefer classic motifs or contemporary designs, our mosaic technique will add a touch of elegance to your pool.Summer holidays are ideal for daydreaming, thinking and planning the ultimate pool – including its shape and its mosaic design. Dive in and start planning your dream hand-clad mosaic clad pool today!

Author: Catherine Belbin

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