Fountain Styles

Fountains add interest and drama to both indoor and outdoor settings. Whether intended to give the atmosphere a feeling of serenity, used to convey a message or theme or purely for decoration, your fountain can carry one style or incorporate a variety of sights and sounds.

  1. Water Flow Options

    • The flow of water in fountains can be simple or incorporate more options. In a bubbler fountain, Plexiglas encloses the water and air pumped into the bottom reservoir activates thousands of bubbles. Some bubblers have colored lights behind them to tint the clear bubbles. Cascade fountains resemble natural waterfalls with water flowing downward over several tiers or terraces into multiple, horizontal pools. Wall fountains have a top water feeding tube that runs the width of the wall and evenly distributes water down the face of the structure in a smooth sheet. Wall styles with water flowing from a frame or tube suspended outward from the top of the wall create waterfalls with more bubbles and rippling flow patterns. Moving parts such as wheels and flippers make the falling water alter patterns as it flows from top to bottom.

    Architectural Styles

    • Just like buildings, fountains have architectural styles such as contemporary, antique and classic. Contemporary styles have sleek, clean lines and defined geometric angles. Antique fountains include authentic or fabricated materials that look like old brass or copper and have worn and distressed finishes and flourishes. Gargoyles and other mythical creatures are often part of classic fountain designs.

    Themes and Elements

    • Adding themes and elements to fountains gives them personality and reflects personal tastes. Aquatic animals and fish are common fountain themes frequently enhanced by seashells, fishing nets and decorative coral. Depictions of the sun, moon, stars and other astronomical elements are often part of fountain designs, as are trees and plants. Statues of children and adults are also found in the midst of fountains for decorative or honorary purposes. Other themes include Asian-inspired depictions of ancient statues or Western religious elements.

    Design Considerations

    • Before choosing a fountain theme, consider the setting and whether you want the fountain to complement other elements or be the focal point of the area. Check for water availability and plumbing requirements. Choose a size appropriate for the area and if the fountain is outdoors, determine the sound levels of the water and if neighbors may find them intrusive.

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