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Rectangular, Freeform or What? Choosing a Pool Shape and Modern Rectangular Pool Designs 2022

Rectangular, Freeform or What? Choosing a Pool Shape and Modern Rectangular Pool Designs 2022

Fiberglass Pool Information  |  Pool Design Guides  |  Swimming Pool FAQs  |  Swimming Pool Design  |  Tanning Ledges

Swimming pools are fun, right? If you’re here, we’d be inclined to think you agree. Not only is it fun to take a dip in one, but the process leading up to that first swim should be fun, too (or at least we think so)!


Deciding on adding an inground pool to your home is a big decision with quite a few steps, but we believe the process of finding your perfect pool should be enjoyable and leave you excited for what’s to come. One of the first choices we see homeowners struggle with is deciding if they want a rectangle or freeform pool shape. Picturing both styles in your yard could leave you thinking that both would be great, so how do you pick one? Should you choose something with a more modern or classic feel?


And that’s why we’re here today, folks - to help you, the up-and-coming pool owner, decide what pool shape might be best for you. While we do have a handy pool shape selector tool to help guide this choice, we also think it helps to break things down piece by piece. We’ll discuss pros and cons of available shapes, what makes a design feel more modern vs classic, and some examples of modern rectangular pool designs along with other rectangular designs. Here at River Pools, we manufacture and install inground fiberglass pools, but we’ll give you some info on the other inground pool types out there so you can work towards making an informed choice that best suits your needs. 

Pros and Cons of Rectangle, Freeform and Roman Pool Shapes


We’ll start with a basic rundown on the goods and not-so-goods of rectangular pool designs, freeform pool designs and roman pool designs.

Rectangular Pool Designs: 


Blue rectangular fiberglass pool with grey patio and green trees around it.


  • Modern, clean feel
  • Easier to install an autocover
  • May be less expensive depending on the type of inground pool



  • Doesn’t give as much of a “natural” feel
  • Doesn’t have any “curvy”/“wiggly” appeal


Freeform Pool Designs:


Blue, freeform pool design with an umbrella and landscaping around it.


  • Gives a “natural” feel
  • Curves give freeform pools their own personality/make it feel more “active”



  • May be more expensive depending on the type of inground pool
  • Not as easy to install an autocover
  • May have to sacrifice swim room


Roman Pool Designs:

Aerial shot of a fiberglass pool in a roman design.


  • Gives a classic feel
  • Can offer a sense of balance between rectangular and freeform



  • May not allow as much swim room, especially with additional features, such as tanning ledges 
  • May not be the best pool shape for swimming laps

Cost of Different Pool Shapes


So, do rectangular pools cost more? Or are rectangular pools cheaper than freeform? What about Roman pools? Great questions! This, like other things, depends on what type of inground pool you’re referring to.


Gunite and vinyl liner pools are built directly on-site, and therefore can be built into a rectangular shape, a freeform shape, Roman, fish, dolphin, flower…you get where we’re going with this. Of course, the more custom your design, the more pricey the construction may be. With fiberglass, however, custom designs aren’t an option and you must choose a design offered by the fiberglass pool manufacturer. Fiberglass pool designs are crafted from a mold, and since the design is based off the mold and not any custom labor, pricing for these pools is more often based on the pool’s size rather than its shape.


You can obtain more specific pricing information from your pool builder.


“Modern” Pools


What makes a pool look modern? In general, sleek, clean lines are seen as more modern compared to curved/rounded edges which gives a classic architecture feel. If you compare a high-end, trendy home of today to one of, say, Greek and Roman times, you’ll see how squares and rectangles are prominent features and less common are rounded features, like pillars or arches. So as a general rule, a rectangular pool may be seen as more modern than a pool with curved edges. 


Besides the shape of the pool, the pool’s color can also play a part in how modern it feels. Today, gray tones and other neutral colors (like tan) are becoming more popular and are seen as modern versus a classic blue pool.


Tanning ledges, aka sun shelves, are also trending and can make a pool feel more modern. If you’re wanting an extra boost of modernism, rectangle pool designs with a sun shelf are out there and available. You may be asking “are pool sun shelves worth it, though?” And we would certainly argue that they are - if you’re planning on using your pool to soak in some sun (with or without sun shelf chairs), then you may want to consider doing so on a sun shelf/tanning ledge/baja shelf/the many other names it can have.


Rectangular Pool Design Examples


Here are a few examples of rectangular pool designs offered by River Pools and their highlighted features:


The M Series


M Series rectangular pool model by River Pools.

This rectangular pool design comes with those additional features we mentioned before that can add some elegance and modernism to your outdoor space. The tanning ledge and bench seating in the M Series all consist of straight edges, making this one of our most modern designs. The M Series is currently available in 2 sizes.


The D Series


Aerial shot of a D Series rectangular pool model by River Pools.

Coming in 5 different sizes, the D Series offers a wide range of options for homeowners with varying yard space. A spacious tanning ledge, deep-end bench seating and a wide open pool interior gives room for playing games and catching rays!


The R Series


Aerial shot of a R Series rectangular pool model by River Pools.

Considered by many to be the most well-balanced rectangular pool available in our line, the R Series provides seating areas on either end of the pool along with a wide open pool interior to accommodate many of your favorite pool games. This sleek design comes in 6 sizes!


To see more of our rectangular designs, as well as all of the other fiberglass inground pool designs we offer, click the button below.


See What Fiberglass Pool and Spa Designs We Have To Offer




So, what shape of pool is best? Are rectangular pools better? We believe that each pool shape is better for someone, but there’s no one best shape for everyone. Similar to choosing your inground pool type, your pool shape should reflect how you want to spend time in your pool and the desired style of your home and backyard. If you’re hoping for a pool that can hold your kid’s soccer team after a long day of practice (and leave some space for yourself, of course), a rectangular pool may be best for you. If you’re looking to create a space that feels fun and natural and with a lot of personality, then a freeform or Roman design could be just what you need.


To reiterate ourselves from earlier, we specialize in inground fiberglass pools. At River Pools, a pool is more than just a beautiful backyard edition: it’s a place to bring your family together. And that’s however you define “family” - your friends, your hilarious neighbors, or even the mail person who’s always delivered your mail on time (love them). The pool is a place to foster laughs, make fun memories and play some awesome pool games. No matter what style or kind of pool you choose, we believe it should be a place where your family can get together and enjoy it. 


If you’re feeling the passion of fiberglass like we do, consider requesting an estimate for your own inground fiberglass pool. We also invite you to check out some of our other available resources about fiberglass pool ownership here

Still Not Sure Which Pool Shape To Choose? Try Out Our Pool Shape Selector Tool