British Summer Championships highlight popularity of swimming and growth in demand for home pools

British Summer Championships highlight popularity of swimming and growth in demand for home pools

United Kingdom , ,
  • Swimming is the UK’s most popular sport (Sport England)
  • Private swimming pool market is experiencing notable growth (Aqua Platinum)
  • Championships event designed to nurture young talent (British Summer Championships)

The 2017 British Summer Championships will take place from 25-30 July with the annual event playing an important role in encouraging the development of young swimming talent. Hosted at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, the championships are open to athletes from age 13 upwards and cover a range of individual championship and team events.

According to data from Sport England for the year ending September 2016, swimming remains the UK’s most popular sport, with 2,516,700 weekly participants over the age of 16.

“Swimming remains incredibly popular in the UK for a number of reasons. It is suitable for people of all ages, it can be enjoyed by those with health conditions that preclude them from other sports (as the weightlessness of the water reduces the impact on joints), it tones the entire body and the cardiovascular benefits are well documented.

 “This British love of swimming is leading to significant growth in the demand for private pools. One of the great things about home pools is their versatility – they can come in all shapes and sizes, they’re not just for celebrities and royalty.”


Aqua Platinum spokesperson


Luxury swimming pool design and build company Aqua Platinum is well versed when it comes to creating pools to suit all manner of homes and budgets.

Those with large enough homes can enjoy exciting features such as moveable floors, as seen at Hadley House in High Barnet, which are ideal for maximizing the use of space by allowing a pool room to serve a dual purpose. For many, a classic outdoor pool is ideal, as demonstrated at Englemere in Ascot, where bright tiling is used to beautifully define the pool area.

South Quay Plaza, at Canary Wharf, shows another side to the possibilities that indoor pools allow, with the water gently lapping at the edge of the enormous floor to ceiling windows, creating a stunning environment in which to swim.

Meanwhile, the superb basement pool and spa area at Parklands in Weybridge serves to highlight the abundance of options that come with a home pool. The main pool was the first of its kind, featuring infinity edges on 270 degrees of the pool structure, which was raised from the ground. A stealth automatic cover was built into a cave, while the design also incorporated an integrated, cascading water feature and bespoke bridge for crossing the pool. Meanwhile, the outdoor spa area, on the other side of a floor to ceiling glass wall, was designed to perfectly mirror the design of the pool. An interior fire wall completes the balance of elements perfectly.

“The pool and spa complex at Parklands highlights what can be achieved with creative and thoughtful design. Swimming is a wonderful way to keep fit and enjoy your leisure time, so why not do it in the most beautiful setting that you can imagine?”


Aqua Platinum spokesperson


For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit

Homes spas undergo a scentsual revolution

Homes spas undergo a scentsual revolution

United Kingdom ,
  • Essence dosing is latest trend to grip home spa owners (Aqua Platinum)
  • Sense of smell is more closely linked with our emotions than any other sense (Brown University)
  • Eucalyptus found to be the scent of choice for promoting a sense of wellness and sanctuary (Aqua Platinum)

The interaction of scent with mood, memory and cognition has long been of interest to the scientific community, yet it was only from the mid-1990s onward that olfactory modality and its psychological impact began to be approached in a more scientific way. The result is that our understanding of the relationship between scent and mood has increased dramatically.

Scent can be used to enhance concentration, promote relaxation and encourage de-stressing. It’s something that aromatherapists have known for years. Indeed, there is evidence of the use of lavender as a massage oil dating as far back as Ancient Egyptian times. More lately, science has contributed quantitative, medicine-based evidence to the wealth of anecdotal evidence that already exists. This has led to scent being used in a range of new ways.

“We’ve seen a marked trend for essence dosing recently, with clients looking to achieve the ultimate health spa scent at home. We link the essence dosing system to our specialist air handling plant. It injects small quantities of vapour into the supply air stream, giving pool halls and spa areas a subtle smell, just like a health spa.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

According to Rachel Herz, assistant professor of psychology at Brown University, our sense of smell is linked with the limbic system, connecting to the amygdala and the hippocampus. This is the most intimate link between sense, emotion and associative learning that humans have, meaning that scent has a unique way of becoming associated with our memories and being able to trigger particular moods.

Herz argues that we begin learning to associate scents with things even before we are born. Studies have shown that mothers who are regularly exposed to strong odours during pregnancy give birth to infants who prefer those smells (when compared to babies whose mothers weren’t exposed to them).

During childhood, many of us learn to associate certain scents with certain emotions, and that learning sticks with us throughout life. Health spas are a wonderful example of this. Lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, bergamot, spearmint, lotus blossom, orange blossom and lemongrass are all used to delight the olfactory senses in health spa settings, blending to create a wonderful aroma that hits you the moment you walk into the spa. To breathe in that smell is to begin unwinding and de-stressing. That learned association is what is inspiring so many home spa owners to wish to recreate the health spa scent in the privacy of their homes.

“We’ve found that eucalyptus in particular is proving popular for home spa essence dosing. Eucalyptus has a long-standing association with health spas and herbal health remedies. It is an incredibly clean, refreshing and energizing scent with a range of healing properties. Many inhalers use cineole, eucalyptus’ primary component, due to its beneficial effect on the respiratory system. Eucalyptus also works as an insect repellant, a decongestant, an antiseptic and much more, offering those who essence dose with it a wide range of benefits to their health and their mood. It’s about providing the whole package – why delight the other senses with a home spa and then ignore the sense of smell?”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

As a high end swimming pool and spa design and building company, Aqua Platinum is well positioned to highlight the most recent trends in the wellness industry. The company has found that the increasingly stressful pace of modern life has led its clients to seek out new ways of achieving wellness and creating a sense of sanctuary within their homes. Scent dosing is the latest innovation in the pursuit of wellness – the scentsual revolution has begun!

 For more information, call 0203 362 0442 or visit

2017’s greatest swimming pool and spa design trends

2017’s greatest swimming pool and spa design trends

United Kingdom ,
  • Ultra-freeboard pools, halo lighting and clear panels all top choices (Aqua Platinum)
  • Customers becoming much more tech-savvy in their demands
  • No pool is now complete without associated wellness and vitality spa facilities


When your business is designing and building high end, bespoke swimming pools and spas, no two days (like no two pools) are ever the same. However, while each pool is custom-designed, the experts at Aqua Platinum have noticed a number of popular trends emerging over the past few months.

Here they share their insights into the hottest new styles for swimming pools in 2017.

“There are a number of features that we’re seeing requested more and more frequently when it comes to pools. Customers tend to build up a clear idea of what they are after, then turn to us to make it a reality. This year, ultra-freeboard pools, halo lighting and clear panels are some of the most popular choices.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

An ultra-freeboard pool is one where the water is just below the level of the surrounding floor. For the past few years, deck-level pools (where the water is at the same height as the floor) have been popular, but now the ultra-freeboard pool is attracting attention once again.

There are several reasons for this. For pools in apartment blocks, the ultra-freeboard design takes up less floor space and less space in the plant room (as there’s no need for a balance tank). That means that developers are left with more available floor space to use for the saleable parts of the building, which always goes down well.

When it comes to privately owned pools, it is the enhanced aesthetics of ultra-freeboard pools that is increasing their popularity. In particular, the ultra-freeboard design allows for the installation of halo lighting. This LED strip lighting is installed beneath the pool’s coping stone to provide wonderful ambient lighting. The lighting can change tone in order to suit different moods.

Another top trend at preset is large format tiles. Large format porcelain tiles can be made to look very similar to natural stone, at a relatively low cost. As such, their popularity has increased significantly of late, with owners using the large tiles to create a very natural-looking finish.

Clear acrylic and glass panels are also increasingly popular, according to the Aqua Platinum team. Many of those installing pools in their private residences are using these panels between (for example) the pool and the spa, or the pool and the leisure area. The panels separate the areas but create the impression of just one large space.

“Customers are also embracing high tech features at the moment and we’re receiving a lot of enquiries about moveable floors. These aren’t limited to indoor pools – we’re currently working on an outdoor pool with a moveable floor and Bellagio-style fountains, complete with lighting and music.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Indoor personal spa facilities are the final top trend identified for 2017. Wellness and vitality is top of many customers’ agendas, with steam rooms, saunas, experience showers and Jacuzzis all popular choices. It seems that a pool alone is no longer quite enough for many customers – the exercise and lifestyle benefits of pool ownership need to be complemented by access to superb spa facilities, all of which can be accessed without leaving the house.

For more information call 0203 362 0442 or visit

Moveable floors open up a new world in swimming pool design

Moveable floors open up a new world in swimming pool design

United Kingdom
  • Moveable floors are the hottest new indoor pool trend (Aqua Platinum)
  • Aqua Platinum installs one of the fastest moveable floors at historic Wimbledon home
  • Hidden pools add ultimate luxury for home owners who want the very best

Swimming pool design and build experts Aqua Platinum have flagged up this year’s hottest new trend – hidden pools.

Using the latest in hydraulic technology and mechanical engineering, the advantages of moveable floors that conceal full size swimming pools beneath them are rapidly highly desirable.

“Moveable floors are opening up a whole new range of possibilities when it comes to indoor swimming pools. A moveable floor provides dual use rooms from dinner parties to ballrooms, they have become the hottest indoor swimming pool trend.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Indoor swimming pools are a fantastic feature which can add up to 7% to a home’s value, according to House Logic. It is estimated that there are around 210,000 privately owned outdoor pools in Britain, but many of those enjoy only limited use due to the British climate.

An indoor pool can be used all year round and at any time of day or night, making it ideal for those who want to stay in shape without trekking to the gym to use shared facilities during limited opening hours.

Pools are also wonderful for entertaining and a moveable floor presents a wide range of options. For a more sophisticated touch for an evening soiree, a depth of six inches and a variety of floating tea lights can look absolutely stunning. And when the party ends, the pool can be concealed beneath the floor once more and the room used for other purposes.

“The flexibility that a moveable floor offers is one of the key reasons why this is such a growing trend. Advances in technology have ensured that not only does the floor function flawlessly, but that the temperature and moisture levels in the room can be carefully controlled at all times. Modern moveable floors make use of a range of technologies to ensure they are the perfect addition to the home, requiring very little maintenance.”

Aqua Platinum spokesperson

Moveable floor technology means that indoor pools can be sympathetically fitted into any age and style of property. At Hadley House in High Barnet, London for example, the swimming pool fits beautifully within this grade II listed exterior yet contemporary-designed interior.

Meanwhile, a new Aqua Platinum pool with moveable floor at the Old Rectory in Wimbledon will be tastefully fitted to suit the existing property, which dates back centuries and was once owned by Henry VIII.

The raising and lowering mechanism of the moveable floor at the Old Rectory is one of the fastest in the world in under 10 minutes and will be tiled to match the surround, giving the appearance of one floor when it is raised.

For more information  call 01489 896 438 or visit