Colour Crush: Dive Into Swimming Pool Blue

Take a deeper dive into the alluring shade of swimming pool blue – from aerial artworks to gorgeous tiles and layers of aqua paint.

Whether you’re lucky enough to be pool-side this summer, or just dreaming about it, there’s something universally calming and cooling about aquas, turquoises, and those twinkling dappled mosaic tiles.

In our fast-paced, switched-on world, swimming pool blue invites us to slow down. It’s a soothing shade that creates a serene oasis, evoking wide-open expanses of crystal clear water and cloudless skies.

Recreate that summer escape at home – with the help of Stephan Zirwes’ abstract photography, Kelly Wearstler’s new tiles, and these gloriously deep shades of ocean and swimming pool blue paint.


We love Stephan Zirwes’ abstract photography in his latest Pools series.

Channeling Gray Malin vibes but with pools (not beaches) and putting them into abstract contexts, the Pools series features an assortment of public pools around the world, from standard lap pools to the more unusual shapes.

They’re all photographed from above, and then set against a custom-made backdrop pattern.

The German photographer uses the tiles that surround each pool to create a tessellating pattern, providing a uniform backdrop that brings the shapes and colours of the pools into sharp relief, thus drawing the eye into the photograph’s focal point.

Zirwes started his Pools series back in 2000, when he would charter a helicopter to capture pools from directly overhead, but now that drone technology is inexpensive and readily available, he is able to shoot them more easily.

The artist uses drones to shoot aerial views of public swimming pools in a bid to make people appreciate the value of free swimming facilities.


No one does California cool better than Kelly Wearstler. The stateside designer’s latest ceramic tiles for Ann Sacks feature graphic single-colour designs created courtesy of the cuerda seca technique. Gaze into the dappled surface of the Sunset tile and you’ll feel like you’re diving into an LA swimming pool.

Maven collection, £1,386sq m, Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks from


Splashing Around Bathroom mid-sheen paint, from £13.99 for 1L, Crown

Given its strong ties with water, swimming pool blue is perfect for a seaside-inspired look. Go for a tonal palette – from pale and watery to deep and strong – then add white for crispness and bring in natural elements like different woods.

Swimming pool blue and soft white combine to create a striking ombré effect in this laid-back dining room, while wood furniture helps boost the beach-house vibe.

If you’re feeling a shade braver, splash swimming pool blue across walls, woodwork and even furniture for a super-strong statement. Throw transparent materials into the mix – glass and Perspex will break up the scheme without interrupting the colour.

Pairing it with transparent materials can also enhance the ethereal feel of the room. Think delicate gauzy textiles that will move with the breeze and create the feeling of gentle underwater movement.

This sitting room is the perfect antidote to scorching summer days – varying shades of aqua and azure harmonise for a cool, watery feel

Walls in swimming pool blue respond brilliantly when bathed in natural sunlight, so it’s an obvious choice for warm, south-facing rooms. However, because this joyful hue really packs a punch, it would also work in cooler, north-facing rooms to enliven an otherwise dark space.

Valspar’s Cleopatra’s Sunrise walls & ceilings paint, £25.20 for 2.5L, B&Q

Don’t be afraid to embrace all-over colour. Swimming pool blue can be used in large quantities without overwhelming a space.

Regency Blue absolute matt emulsion, £43.50 for 2.5L, Little Greene

Try before you buy –order several tester pots and paint a small amount on each wall to see how the colour changes with the light at different times of day.

Mix it with uncluttered contemporary prints that have clean lines. Geometrics work especially well and chime with the mid-century vibe that is synonymous with this colour.

Betula Sea Breeze wallpaper, £40 a roll, Graham & Brown


Don’t dive into swimming pool blue if you’re colour shy. Dip your toe in the water with a feature wall or even small accessories first.

Inle rattan tray in Blue, £42, Kalinko

Echo swimming pool blue in the accessories you choose, but don’t be a slave to perfect matches.

Classic Poplar wood shutters in a custom paint colour, from £178sq m, California Shutters

Near-matches will help make this colour work well in your home, without feeling too contrived.

Betty armchair in Gail Bryson Trill Cerulean, £490,

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