Back yard In ground pool surrounded by trees

Pool Designs And Ideas To Create An Amazing Experience

Chelsea McGrath4-minute read
September 13, 2018

Having a pool in your backyard is great. Having a dreamy backyard getaway with a pool? Even better.

This summer, kick your aquatic experience up a notch with these gorgeously relaxing backyard pool ideas.

Tropical Oasis

pool surrounded by tropical plants

This is probably one of the more obvious directions you could take your pool’s design theme in, and for good reason – people love vacationing in the tropics, so why not bring that same beachy, relaxing vibe to your own backyard?

Palm trees are an obvious first choice for tropical decor. However, if you don’t have it in the budget to plant a whole new tropical forest or you just don’t live in the right climate to grow palms outdoors year-round, there are other ways to get that leafy look. You might be able to keep a few potted palms in a shadier area outdoors (but be sure you’re following care guidelines for the specific type of palm you have). You could also place a few artificial plants around – we won’t tell.

fake palm tree

Or, instead of an actual palm, subtly suggest a leafy vibe with a palm leaf-patterned area rug.

large outdoor rug with palm tree designs

Another great way to get that beachy, tropical feel is with a woven hammock that you and your guests can hang in (literally), lazily catching up on your reading on a sunny day.

cozy hanging hammock

For something more old school, try implementing cushions with fun, tropical patterns.

tropical cushions on an outdoor table set

Luxury Resort

luxury resort with in-ground pool

Want to feel like you’re at a five-star hotel in the Caribbean from the comfort of your own backyard? Look for crisp white linens and luxe seating.

A double chaise lounge means there’s always plenty of comfy seating for everyone – or, plenty of room for you to stretch out for a poolside nap.

outdoor chaise chair on a deck by a pool

Having a variety of seating options, including something for those who aren’t necessarily looking to lay out and work on their tan, is important. Make sure you have some fun and fashionable seating for you or your guests to curl up with a book

hanging half-dome outdoor swing chair

Another touch of luxury that’ll make your visitors feel like true resort guests? An outdoor shower that allows them to rinse the chlorine off their skin after taking a dip. You can opt for a simple showerhead out in the open for an easy rinse-off or install a full shower and stall for a more thorough cleaning surrounded by nature.

outdoor shower

Finally, a sleek fire pit adds a touch of warmth to your setup and gives you and your guests an excuse to continue chilling by the waterside long after the sun’s gone down.

outdoor fire pit with great view

Old School Pool

olf school pool with bright red art deco style chairs

If you love the midcentury modern style and are itching for a way to bring it to your backyard, give it a fun, beachy twist by channeling the classic Palm Springs look, where chic midcentury meets cheerful pops of pastel.

To achieve this look, get your hands on a few bright or pastel striped patio umbrellas.

large white umbrella

If you want to be extra cute, you might consider expanding the pastel stripes motif throughout your pool space, like with some matching or complementary towels.

bright yellow striped towels

The nod to midcentury design is all in the furniture styles you choose. Look for comfy, modern pieces, like these inviting-yet-sleek patio chairs.

midcentury style lounge chairs with beige cuchions

Though midcentury typically favors neutral colors, Palm Springs’ twist on the style utilizes smart bursts of fun, summertime colors, like this bright yellow outdoor dining chair.

bright yellow patio chair

Because this style is all about having some (picture-perfect) fun in the sun, throw in a few adorable pool floats, like a giant, inflatable flamingo.

large metallic pink flamingo pool float

Family Fun

swan pool float surrounded by other floaties in in-ground pool

If your backyard is the place to be on hot summer weekends for all your close family and friends, this design theme is for you.

First things first: you’re going to need some good-looking storage. One of the pitfalls of having a kid-friendly pool is the abundance of pool noodles and other aquatic toys left strewn about, making your patio look cluttered. Remedy the problem by adding in some storage space. Bonus points for combining storage with added seating, like this beautiful wooden bench that opens up to hold all your beach balls and squirt guns.

bench with storage component underneath

You’ll also want to make sure you have a nice big outdoor dining area to accommodate all your loved ones at your next big cookout. This dining set includes everything you need, including comfortable armchairs and hidden ottomans for when you’ve finished feasting and want to put your feet up and relax before heading back into the pool.

outdoor dining table

Make your patio as inviting as possible by hanging warm string lights along your fence.

outdoor lights around a wooden pergola

For even more warmth, a fire pit is the perfect addition, allowing you to extend those days you just don’t want to end. Marshmallows for roasting not included.

fire pit with outdoor furniture around on a pool deck

General Tips And Ideas For Your Pool

No matter what type of pool design you’re shooting for, here are some basics anyone can implement to create a great pool atmosphere.

Don’t Neglect Storage

Though it’s not as fun as picking out pretty new patio furniture, you should make sure you have some place to keep all the toys and tools related to enjoying and keeping up with your pool. Clutter is an atmosphere-killer; keep your pool area tidy and organized with some durable storage bins or outdoor organizers.

Sufficient Furniture

Having ample seating and lounging space in your pool area is vital, but just as important is making sure that seating comes with a place to store a nice, cool beverage or a good book. Invest in a few side tables to place next to your loungers, or purchase some seating that comes with built-in cupholders.

Make sure you’re getting stuff that’s meant for the outdoors, too, and that can be easily sprayed down with a hose if it gets dirty.

Let There Be Lighting

If you plan on spending the evening and nighttime hours by your pool, be sure to set up some nice mood lighting so you aren’t just left sitting in the dark. Plus, it’s a good safety measure to make sure any walkways near the pool are well-lit.

Be A Little Shady

You and your guests will need some occasional respite from the sun, so don’t leave them to choose between baking outside and having to pack up and head indoors. Patio umbrellas are a solid choice, but to provide shade to a larger area, you might consider setting up a big cabana for swimmers to read, nap and dine under.

With summer fast approaching, now is the time to start thinking about how you want to improve your pool’s atmosphere. Try implementing the ideas we’ve suggested here, or think up your own designs to create your own ideal backyard paradise.

Need a real estate agent?

Match with a local expert.

Table of Contents

    Chelsea McGrath

    The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.