Luxury modern home with large swimming pool.

11 Backyard Pool Design Ideas

Erin Gobler5-minute read
UPDATED: November 21, 2022

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A pool in the backyard is a dream for many homeowners. First, it can turn your yard into a beautiful space, much like those you’ve eyed up in magazines. It can also provide fun for the whole family and a way to cool down on hot days.

Whether you already have a pool or are just in the dreaming stage, we can help. Keep reading to see backyard pool design ideas that can inspire you as you’re planning and pricing out your own pool.

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11 Pool Design Ideas That Will Transform Your Backyard

Are you looking for the perfect inspiration for your backyard pool? Below we’re sharing a handful of ideas that can help you design the pool of your dreams.

Just remember that before you get your heart set on any one idea, it’s best to speak with different contractors and get a range of perspectives and quotes. Visit HomeAdvisor to compare quotes for pool installations.

1. Create An Eye-Catching Patio Design

Backyard pool with stone patio.

The patio design is one of the most important aspects of designing a backyard pool. First, the patio around your pool is important to its function. This is likely the space you’ll spend time in when you’re outside. You’ll want a patio where you can entertain friends and family and where your children (if you have them) can safely play.

Not only is your patio design important for functional reasons, but also for aesthetic reasons. Choosing the right design and material for your patio can go a long way in helping to create an eye-catching space. Materials to consider include concrete, stone, brick, and more.

2. Focus On The Landscaping

Small backyard pool with plants and stones nearby.

The landscaping around your pool can go a long way in adding to the aesthetic appeal and turning your backyard into a beautiful oasis. Not only that, but landscaping can also provide a bit of extra privacy around your pool.

There are plenty of landscaping ideas that can work around a pool. You may decide to use plenty of greenery, including scrubs and tropical foliage. Trees and other larger foliage can provide some additional shade on sunny days.

Another landscaping idea is to plant flowers around your pool. Flowers are a great option if you want to create a colorful space that is beautiful to look at. Just know that flowers can attract bees, which may not be appealing in a space where your family will be spending a lot of time.

3. Get Creative

Creatively shaped luxury pool and luxury modern home.

There’s no rule that says your backyard pool must look like the classic one you’re probably thinking of. There are plenty of ways to get creative and make your pool stand out from the typical in-ground pool.

One way to change up the look of your pool is to use a unique shape. Many backyard pools are a standard rectangular shape, but there are plenty of other options available. Another option is to install an infinity pool instead of a traditional pool. These pools are designed to give the illusion of not having an edge around them, meaning the water can flow into infinity.

Another option includes incorporating unique colors into your pool. For example, having a black bottom in your pool instead of the traditional options can help to retain heat, which is appealing in the spring and fall when temperatures may be a bit lower.

4. Add Fun Features

Pool with a pavilion along its edge.

There are many small features you can add to your backyard pool to make it a more appealing space visually, as well as a more fun place to spend time.

First, a swim-up gazebo or pergola makes a great spot for entertaining or getting some relief from the sun. Other fun and unique features that could uplevel your space include a small waterslide, a small bridge, or outdoor entertainment like televisions, lawn games, or speakers.

The features you’ll want to add may depend on your family and what you’ll use the space for. Someone with kids may lean toward a small waterslide and outdoor games, while someone who does a lot of entertaining could incorporate a swim-up bar, television, and more.

5. Try New Lighting Techniques

Pool behind modern house with unique, orb shaped lighting.

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When you’re designing your dream pool, think about what lighting you’ll include. First, you can add creative and eye-catching lighting around your patio to light up the pool area. But you can also light up the pool itself. You can include lighting right on your pool deck — or even in your pool.

Not only will it make the space safer at night since it will ensure you and your guests can see properly, but it also adds a creative element to the space.

6. Create A Functional Pool House Space

Functional pool space with pool house.

If you’re installing a pool in your backyard, you might also consider having a pool house. A pool house provides a private area just off your pool where people can change in and out of swimsuits, use the bathroom, or just enjoy a break from the sun.

A pool house can come in many different shapes and sizes. Some pool houses are entirely indoor spaces, similar to a guest house. Others may have a small indoor space but are primarily an outdoor entertaining area, perhaps equipped with an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

A pool house can offer plenty of benefits, including a functional and private space for pool users, a space for entertaining, and even a guest quarters where friends and family can stay when they come to visit.

7. Add Decorative Features

Resort pool with elephant water fountains.

There are plenty of decorative features that can take your backyard pool to the next level. You can add decorative elements directly to your pool or pool deck. For example, you can add fun water features or tile accents to your pool deck. But you can also add decorative features around the pool, such as by using bright colors when designing your patio furniture.

8. Level Up

Pool with leveled areas.

A fun way to make your backyard pool stand out is to add multiple layers to it. You can have multiple layers within the same structure or even separate structural elements that provide different layers.

This multilayer approach has plenty of benefits. First, it can provide a fun aesthetic appeal. But more importantly, it can provide functional benefits. You can have certain parts of the pool be deeper or shallower than others, allowing children and adults alike to swim in a depth of water they’re most comfortable in.

9. Create An Envy-Worthy Entertainment Space

Pool with a nearby fire pit.

For plenty of people, part of the appeal of having a pool is the space for entertaining friends and family. There are plenty of elements you can add to your pool and the surrounding it to make your backyard a better entertainment area.

We’ve already talked about some entertainment elements you can include, such as televisions and speakers or a swim-up bar. Other ideas to consider include a fire pit near the pool, comfortable poolside seating, a hot tub, and more.

10. Install A Fence

Pool with a high glass fence.

Safety and privacy are two of the most important features people think about when they’re considering adding a pool. First, you want to make sure your family feels safe and secluded when you're enjoying your pool, and a privacy fence can provide that.

A fence around the pool is also a personal safety issue. First, it can prevent your children from wandering into the pool unsupervised. It can also prevent neighbors and strangers from sneaking into your yard to use your pool.

The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice design when adding a fence around your pool. There are plenty of fence designs that are just as aesthetically appealing as they are functional.

11. Channel Your Favorite Destination

People enjoying pool in Bali resort.

One of the best parts of having an outdoor pool is that it can transform your backyard into a different place. Do you spend a lot of time wishing you were at your favorite vacation spot or tropical location? Consider using that place as your inspiration when designing your outdoor pool. Every time you use it, you’ll feel like you’re on your favorite tropical vacation without even having to leave your yard.

The Bottom Line

Adding a pool to your backyard can take it to the next level aesthetically, as well as give your family a great place to place, entertain and cool off in the summer.

If you’re wondering how you’ll pay for your pool installation, consider a cash-out refinance. Using this type of loan, you can pull out some of the equity you’ve built up in your home. Not only will you be rewarded with an amazing space for your family, but you can also quickly increase the value of your home, making the cash-out refinance more than worth it.

If you’re considering your financing options, learn more about how to get a cash-out refinance today.

Fund your renovations with a cash-out refinance.

Get approved online now!

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Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a freelance personal finance expert and writer who has been publishing content online for nearly a decade. She specializes in financial topics like mortgages, investing, and credit cards. Erin's work has appeared in publications like Fox Business, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more.