Design in the Desert – Denny Virnig Pool Designs

A quick dive in to cool off, floating under the stars on a balmy summer night, or throwing a boozy pool party… There’s no better way to enjoy Arizona weather than with a private pool. Given the current triple-digit temperatures it seems only fitting to dip into pool design trends with outdoor living and pool designer, Denny Virnig (pools built through Arizona Petite Pools).

A private residence backyard by Denny Viring

Give us a brief overview of what you do. 

D: I help clients achieve “resort-like living” in their outdoor spaces. I create the overall vision by starting with the pool design/layout and then incorporating other lifestyle amenities, like outdoor kitchens, fire pits, fireplaces, ramadas, pool houses, putting greens, etc. Some clients choose to create their outdoor living space all at once, while others just want a pool and a blueprint for other amenities they can add over time. 

Let’s start with the question that I am sure everyone wants to know. What is the cost and time-frame of building a pool? 

D: As we speak, the starting pool package costs between $40,000-$50,000 for an 80 linear feet perimeter pool, which is approximately 375 square feet.  Due to the unprecedented times in the construction industry, our timeframes are longer than normal. Typically, from contract to swimming, the process would take about six to eight months. Right now, most clients’ timelines are somewhere between nine to twelve months. 

Image from a previous listing of ours, photo by Hi-Res Media

What are some of the trends that clients request? 

D: Most clients are leaning towards modern, clean lines, like rectangular pools with simple Baja shelves and not a lot of curves; though I’ve had a few requests lately for round pools and arches. I do think we’ll see a shift towards more curves pretty soon. Most clients are seeking a fully usable pool, which means more shallow depths; we’re doing very few diving pools these days. I have been incorporating water features/walls on most designs lately and about half of my clients request built-in spas. 

What are your favorite pool accessories right now? 

D: I love the Laze Pillow and in-pool Signature Chaise both from Ledge Lounger. Pool floats from SUNNYLiFE or FUNBOY are a must, especially for a party. I am also loving the striped umbrellas from Business&PleasureCo for a more traditional look, or anything from the Tucci line of umbrellas/parasols. 

Image from a previous listing of ours, photos by Austin Baker of Laure Photography

Do you do remodels?
D: There is a lot of aging pool inventory in the Phoenix metro area and a most of it is ready for an overhaul. I will do pool remodels on a large scale, such as relocating the pool to a different part of the yard or completely changing the shape of the pool. 

Any tips for us?  

D: Stay away from dark interior finish colors. Think about the decking and choose materials that stay cooler to the touch. There’s a lot of inspiration products online that look fantastic but that simply do not function well in our Arizona climate. Restrain from planting too many flowering plants near the pool. It will be a constant battle to keep it clean. Think about how you will be using the space. Shallow depths (Cocktail Pools) will make your pool much easier to use and hang out in.

Private residence pool designed by Denny Firing using the Signature Chase.

Anything else we should know? 

D: You don’t need a huge yard to enjoy a pool. I work with small spaces and can create something special even in the smallest of yards, and our pool company can build a pool with limited access. 

Where can people find you? 

Instagram @DennyVirnig via DM or by text/call at 503-935-9686 

Written by: Ruth Price

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