60 Backyard Pool Design Ideas for Every Style

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60 Backyard Pool Design Ideas for Every Style
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Pools are a great way to cool down, not to mention get in some water-based exercise, indulge in diving practice, spend time playing with friends and family, or simply lounge in and around the water. Of course, that all depends on the kind of pool you have. While some are better for wading, others are better for deep-water activities, and not all are great for both. That’s why it’s important to consider a few different factors if you want to install a pool.

Along with figuring out how you would like to use your pool and, therefore, what it needs to offer you, you should also consider the size of your yard and how much the pool will cost, according to Urdesign. Beyond that, you’ll want to opt for either an aboveground or inground pool, possibly put in a natural pool, and choose a pool that looks amazing, of course. With all of that in mind, check out these 60 pool design ideas for every backyard and you’ll surely find inspiration for one that’s just right for you and your home!

1. Keep it sleek and simple

pool in a sleek backyard

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A gorgeous pool doesn’t need to be complicated. If your home and accompanying property are sleek, then you might want to opt for a pool that’s just as stylishly straightforward.

2. Accent your pool with boulders

large rocks around a pool

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Give your pool a more natural look and liven up a backyard that may or may not have a grassy area by using large stones in the design. Place massive rocks or small boulders around the water with a few striking plants and you’ll feel like you’re in a desert oasis.

3. Light up your pool with your house

pool that's lit up at dusk

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If the layout of your backyard means that your pool is rather close to your house, then you can make your interior lighting work with your exterior lighting. Use tinted LEDs to make both the rooms inside your residence and the pool outside glow in magical mood-setting colors.

4. Create a backdrop for your pool

backdrop wall behind a pool

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There’s no doubt that you’ll want your pool to be beautiful. You’ll also surely want to give your pool a stunning backdrop that might include warm stone, radiant lighting, and impressive plant life. This can also be a fabulous way to give you some privacy if your backyard is overlooked.

5. Play up your yard’s curves

pool with a wide curve

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Not all backyards are perfectly square. If your property has unique curves, then you should think about following those interesting lines and filling particular pockets on your property with your pool to end up with an ideally unique design.

6. Surround your pool with wood

pool surrounded by wood patio

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Popping a wood deck next to your pool can give you an awesome spot to lounge in the sun and chill out with loved ones. You can also extend that wood deck completely around your pool to create a warmly chic and stylishly sleek backyard.

7. Add an elevated sitting area

chairs on a platform by a pool

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Give yourself a great view of your pool in a relatively flat backyard with an elevated sitting area. As big or as small as you want it to be, a rounded platform at the corner of your pool would work perfectly.

8. Make it lengthy

long pool overlooking a city

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If your backyard is long but narrow, you can still install an amazing pool. Simply opt for one that lines the entire length of your property and we assure you that it will be spectacular.

9. Add wide entry steps

a pool with wide steps

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Having steps leading into your pool is ideal for anyone who isn’t into jumping directly into the cold water. Adding wide entry steps can also be a stylish way to let you wander into the pool or even sit down on a step to enjoy the water without swimming.

10. Create a covered patio

covered patio beside a pool

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If your backyard gets a lot of sunshine, then you should make sure that your pool takes advantage of that warming light. However, you might also want to add a covered patio space so that you’ll always have a cool shady spot.

11. Create a geometric pool design

backyard and pool with lots of shapes

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Use the uniform shape of your backyard to create a geometric pool design. Consider a sharply rectangular pool that’s accented by square patio stones laid out in a grid, with lines of grass punctuating the negative space.

12. Perch a pool on a hillside

pool on the side of a hill

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Even hillside backyards can have a pool. Merely create a design where your pool is perched securely and spectacularly on the side of the cliff. Not only will you gain an amazing pool, but you’ll likely also be able to enjoy a sensational view from the water.

13. Opt for an unusual pool shape

pool with a unique shape

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A pool with a strange shape can almost seem like a work of abstract art from above. Whether you have a spacious backyard or one that’s on the smaller side, you could always put in a pool that has a wonderfully unusual shape.

14. Install a pentagon pool

pentagon-shaped pool in a backyard

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A pentagon-shaped pool is another great way to add a unique pool into a backyard of pretty much any size. Simply design a square or rectangular pool with a pointed tip and consider surrounding the entire thing with a deck that’s the same sharp shape.

15. Add a hovering platform

A platform that extends into your pool’s space doesn’t have to shrink the pool itself. By installing a hovering platform, you can enjoy a dock-like space that you’ll be able to swim beneath.

16. Creating a sitting area in your pool

Sometimes you want to lounge in the sun but don’t want to leave the water. Create a sitting area in your pool that’s shallow enough to set chairs on, but deep enough to let you feel the water.

17. Design a stunning stone space

A backyard space that’s filled with sleek white stone can look supremely luxurious in a minimalistic kind of way. Use it to surround a beautiful blue pool that will sparkle alongside the light stone.

18. Pop in a shapely fiberglass pool

If there’s no room in your backyard to accommodate a large installation process — or you simply don’t have the time or patience to wait for a complicated pool to be put in — then you should consider a fiberglass pool. Pre-made in attractive and practical shapes, you can simply have it popped into your yard.

19. A pool in a patio-filled backyard can be art

A backyard that’s primarily filled with patio space might seem dull. However, depending on the kind of stone (or stones) used to create a patio, it can be arranged to look like a frame around your pool to seem like a work of art in the middle of your backyard.

20. Integrate a hot tub

A hot tub doesn’t have to be an afterthought when it comes to your pool design. If your backyard has the space, you might want to make a hot tub just as much of a main feature as the pool, which means that you can make sure they match to maintain cohesion. 

21. Put your hot tub in your pool

Hot tubs don’t have to be separated from your pool. They can actually be created in a pocket of your pool that’s both with and apart from the chilly water. This can be a great option if you want to save space in your backyard.

22. Add a bridge over your pool

Having a large or long pool doesn’t mean that your backyard needs to become inaccessible. You can simply use a stylish bridge to connect one section of your property to another.

23. Add a rock ledge in the water

Rocks and stones can be used in so many attractive and practical ways when it comes to the design of your pool. That includes creating a rock ledge in the water, which creates both a gorgeous accent and a place to sit in a modern yet natural backyard.

24. Tree-filled backyards are great for pool shade

If you have a backyard that’s filled with trees, then you might want to make sure that your filter can handle leaves and pine needles, depending on where you live. However, trees can definitely be a bonus as they provide sweet shade in a pool that you’ll certainly appreciate.

25. Consider an above ground pool

If your property won’t suit an inground pool, that doesn’t mean that you have to give up your dream of swimming at home. Consider a design that includes an aboveground pool that can be assembled in an ideal spot, and even taken down and moved at any point in the future.

26. Use strong lines for your pool design

A spacious and relatively flat backyard would be perfect for a pool that boasts strong lines. Interconnect bold shapes with dynamic lines in the gaps of your pool design for an eye-catching and intriguing look.

27. An enclosed pool can suit certain backyards

Open-air pools aren’t always a good idea, especially if you live in an area with a lot of pesky bugs or critters that might enjoy taking a dip in the water. Of course, you can still have a pest-free pool by enclosing it in your backyard or patio.

28. Opt for a historic-like pool design

If your backyard already has a vintage vibe or you want to achieve one, you can make your pool look historic. With just the right stonework and antique-like accents, as well as complementary lighting, your pool area will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

29. A heated pool would suit a wintery backyard

A backyard that will endure wintery weather can boast a stunning pool if certain things are considered. If you want to use the pool year-round, you’ll want a pool that’s heated, likely a hot tub, and both close to the house so that you can quickly get inside to warm up.

30. Install a large waterfall

large waterfall by a pool

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If your backyard could use a bold water feature to take your pool to the next level, then a large waterfall might do the trick. Coming down from an elevated area, you’ll adore both the sight and sound of the impressive flow.

31. Create a waterfall cave

If you’ve ever been to a real waterfall, then you might know that they can sometimes have caves beneath the water that crashes down. If your backyard would suit a large waterfall with your pool, then it might also be the perfect place to create a faux secret cave.

32. Consider a smaller waterfall

There’s no doubt that a large waterfall that flows into your pool is lovely. At the same time, smaller ones are just as nice thanks to both the sight and the sound. A smaller option might be a better fit for your backyard, as well as more affordable and perhaps easier to maintain.

33. Fountains can fit any backyard pool space

If a waterfall won’t suit your backyard, then you can still add an extra water feature to your pool design in another way. Simply consider a fountain that can spout water from the side, the corners, or the center of your pool.

34. Go for a glam pool design

If you’d like to host parties in your backyard, there are a few things that you can add to your pool design. Think along the lines of a chic shape, impressive features like a little island and accompanying bridge, as well as glowing lights that make it look like a lively nightclub.

35. Keep the view with a metal fence

Some neighborhoods require your pool to be safely surrounded by a particular kind of fence. If you don’t need a paneled wood fence, then be sure to consider a pool design that incorporates a metal fence that can give you a view of your yard beyond the water.

36. Put up horizontal fencing

Metal fences are certainly a great way to keep your backyard view intact. They can also be an unexpected accent to your pool design if you use horizontal metal fencing instead of something that’s vertical.

37. Play up tropical vacation vibes

Capture the vibe of a tropical vacation with your pool design. Include palm plants, creeping vines, and a pool bottom that will make the water glisten a crystal blue shade and you’ll never want to leave your backyard.

38. A pool can be paired with a riverbed area

This Bavarian backyard could not be dreamier. With a pool that’s just big enough to climb into and stretch out in the water, it looks bigger than it really is thanks to the area that extends under the small bridge and mimics a natural riverbed.

39. Pool water can wander into tall grasses

Similar to the Bavarian pool design that uses the look of a riverbed, this option also makes part of the water look like it’s part of a natural space. However, it takes things a step further by actually having the water reach back into an area of tall, seemingly wild, ornamental grass.

40. Minimalist pool meets natural chaos

This minimalist pool design with pristinely groomed grass and sleek white line around the water is actually ideal for a backyard that’s on the wild side. That’s because it can help tone down and accentuate a naturally chaotic border around your property.

41. Put your pool by an outdoor fireplace

Can’t you just imagine yourself emerging from that stunning blue pool in order to warm up under the covered area and relax beside the outdoor fireplace? Of course, you’ll want to be sure that your neighborhood allows backyard fires, otherwise you might want to opt for the electrical kind with flame-like LEDs.

42. Wading pools are great for small backyards

You don’t need a large backyard at all to enjoy a small and shallow wading pool. With just enough depth to let you sit and soak in the cooling water, it can still be as chic and refreshing as pools many times its size.

43. Put in a plunge pool

If your backyard only suits something as small as a wading pool, but you’d like something a little deeper, then you might want a plunge pool. Deep enough to let you fully immerse yourself in the water, you can either be invigorated by submerging your body immediately or lowering yourself slowly in.

44. Consider a dark blue bottom

Your first choice might be to add a pool with a light-colored liner to a backyard that boasts a bright space. However, a pool with a rich, dark blue bottom can be just as alluring.

45. Use slate for a flat backyard

Flat backyards — or ones that you’re able to level out — are a fabulous place to use large pieces of stone-like slate. Use the tile-like pieces to create a border for your pool, along with any additions like a hot tub and waterfall.

46. Go full vacay mode with a swim-up bar

One of the best additions to hotel pools is surely the swim-up bar. If you want your backyard to have the same kind of laid-back vibe, then you could install a home bar as part of your own pool design. Just be sure to drink and swim responsibly.

47. Go deep with a diving board

Diving boards are a fantastic way to make your pool even more fun. Just be sure that you can dig down far enough into the ground to install a pool that’s deep enough for safe diving.

48. Tiny backyards can have mini pools

Even tiny homes with mini backyards can have a pool. This desert cottage may be small, but there’s no doubt that this gorgeous little pool would be a big relief on a scorching hot day.

49. Your pool design can merge inside and outside

Backyards that have rooms opening out onto them give you the perfect opportunity to meld your indoor and outdoor space by using your pool design. Whether or not your pool actually extends into your house, you can certainly blend the décor to make them seem like the same space.

50. Put a lap pool in a long backyard

Pools are great for some fun but they’re also ideal for getting in exercise. If you have a spacious backyard, then you might want to install a pool that’s long enough to swim laps.

51. Pair your pool with a dining space

As we were told as kids, you should wait at least an hour after eating before going swimming in order to prevent cramps. True or not, you won’t have any trouble spending some extra time lounging around before hitting the water if your backyard design includes both a pool and outdoor dining space.

52. Your pool can pop

Add more color to a relatively bland backyard by using multicolor or multishade pool tiles. Whether you stick with classic shades of blue or go for something more rainbow-like, added color can make a space pop.

53. Opt for an eco-friendly pool design

Pools can definitely be a part of an eco-friendly backyard. Not only can you use sustainable materials while building the pool, but you can also heat it using solar-generated power.

54. Line your pool with hedges

There are plenty of different kinds of fencing that can both secure and enhance your pool and your backyard. At the same time, hedges can be used in your backyard in the same way as a fence, while providing additional privacy and an added natural touch.

55. Splash into your pool with a slide

If your backyard offers space around your pool, you might want to add a slide to your design. While the size of the slide will depend on both the size of your yard as well as the depth of your pool, it will be impossible to measure how much fun it will provide!

56. Add artistic elements

A boring ol’ pool design won’t suit a wonderfully creative backyard. Adding artistic accents and unique décor to your pool area can liven up your outdoor space in all kinds of unexpected and fabulous ways.

57. Turn a rustic space into a private lagoon

A rustic backyard can still look like a dreamy place thanks to the right kind of pool design. Seemingly overgrown plants and worn wooden details can make your property and accompanying pool look like a secret private lagoon.

58. Establish a villa vibe

If you want your backyard to have the same kind of impressive vibe as a classic villa, then perhaps design your pool like a traditional estate fountain. Of course, this will be one that’s meant for swimming.

59. You’ll love an L-shaped pool

Make the most of the space in your backyard by opting for a clever pool design. L-shaped pools are not only a great way to extend where you get to swim, but they can also be visually pleasing.

60. Mix up your pool design

pool with wood, stone, and grass

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When it comes to your pool design, you can always mix things up, especially if you have a backyard that would accomodate various options. Consider a pool with a stone patio and wood deck that’s surrounded by a green space and accented with a brick-like rock wall.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.