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Reimagine Your Outdoor Living Space With A Custom Build That Meets Your Dreams

Trends in custom pool designs, fountains, fire features, outdoor kitchens and more!


Building backyard living experiences has become the lifestyle trend for homeowners seeking to reimagine their outdoor living space. Elegant, clean, and timeless trends in custom pool designs, patios, and outdoor kitchens, are available to change any outdoor environment into a distinctive living space that meets the personal lifestyle needs of the homeowner.

A “custom build” can mean two options. The first is working with a company that provides templated design options customized by color, size, and landscaping.This course is a simplified option for the homeowner seeking basic styles and materials, without an idea where to start.

A true custom build is based on the customer’s personal preferences and expectations. This second option takes into account the customer’s lifestyle and desires, along with an analysis of the unique shape and terrain of the backyard space. The result is a made-to-order build, and no two exterior designs are ever the same.

Ashton-poolsHomeowners looking for the full custom backyard experience with lighting, audio, landscaping, fencing, plus other outdoor features, should consider selecting one skilled company to manage the entire build. This team approach has the benefit of synergy and cohesion, requires less time and on-time completion.

The alternative relies on the homeowner to become the project manager, to select the individual contractors and then supervise each specific area of the build, from concept to completion. This course falls on the homeowner to be the expert, requiring a great deal of personal involvement and extensive time to coordinate.

The newest trends in custom build backyard experiences include:

  • Freeform, geometric, and luxury pool styles
  • Fountains and waterfalls
  • In-pool furniture
  • Natural stones
  • Waterline tiles that match the pavers with less variation of materials for a cleaner look
  • Planter boxes for fun and strategic placement, like those used at resort pools for privacy
  • Fire pits, fireplaces, and linear fire features
  • Brick barbecues, Italian pizza ovens, and patios with expansive outdoor kitchens
  • Extended outdoor living space for furniture

Ashton Pools by Design is based in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Their custom design process always starts with a blank slate and a lot of questions. The team spends a considerable amount of time with customers, asking about lifestyle and daily habits and learning details about their home space such as whether it is rented or a permanent residency, and the number of family members occupying it.

Answers to questions even about pets and pool usage help shape every detail. For example, a pool for a large family of six will look different then one designed for two retirees that swim laps. And an active dog in the house will mean exploring the best pool finish, to avoid scratches when jumping into the water.

The custom-building process will take longer than picking something pre-designed from a catalog. While some customers may have their plot-map plans handy and a free schedule to answer questions, others may not be as prepared. From inquiry to design can take from 30 days to as much as 60 or 90. While length of time can vary, the team at Ashton Pools makes sure every detail is considered, to ensure the full needs of the customer are met.

Once the customer’s needs are fully determined, Ashton Pools uses a 3-D rendering, through computer-generated design technology, to create the intended design. The next step is to invite the customer to the design studio to view the full design on the big screen. Even then, there may be additional changes from the initial composition to the final design.


Ashton Pools goes beyond custom pool design to hardscaping, outdoor kitchens, Italian pizza ovens, audio systems, cabanas, furniture, fire features, and outdoor lighting. Their outdoor living designs take backyard enjoyment to a whole new level with additions such as a built-in margarita machine, wine refrigerator, kegerator, and a flat-top grill for eggs, bacon and pancakes. Everything is designed to be beautiful and functional, always with the client’s lifestyle in mind.

To stay on the cutting edge of design, the company invests in continuing education for all employees. Joe Ashton, President and Founder, is both a certified service tech and builder professional in the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, distinguishing him in a class of just 150 who hold the distinction.

Ashton Pools is proud to be Delaware’s only representative of the Master Pools Guild, an elite organization that requires continuous education to maintain membership. Team members are encouraged to participate in similar classes and conferences to keep up with their training.

Joe Ashton explains, “The concept of outdoor living speaks to something a customer may see in a catalogue, designed to appeal to your imagination. You see yourself sitting on that furniture and living that life. We want to bring that type of experience to our customers, while continuing to keep in mind who they are, their space, and needs.”

Nicole Ashton, co-owner, adds “It’s where their ideas and our ideas meet. That’s where the magic happens. We love that no job looks like another. Each is customized; truly designed for each individual client.”

Nicole shares the following tips for homeowners thinking of customizing their backyard experience:

  • Consider your wants and needs for your living space and whether a custom solution is the answer for you
  • Determine whether you prefer to manage individual contractors or have one company administer the project from start to finish
  • Find a skilled expert who will reimagine your distinctive space and turn it into the ideal, luxury environment that meets your lifestyle needs



For more information on custom pool design, call Ashton Pools By Design (302) 786-0962 or email them at

37458 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. 

Looking for more information on custom pool designs? Read more here about how Ashton Pools By Design can create the perfect pool for your home.

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