25 Pool Design Ideas that Make a Splash

By Julianne Hilmes Bartlett
Julianne Hilmes Bartlett
25 Pool Design Ideas that Make a Splash
01 of 25

Landscaped Elegance

Landscape yard pool

Michael Garland

Part design feature, part backyard treat, this stunning pool is one with the surrounding landscape. A bed of roses and perfectly manicured shrubs frame the perimeter of the yard in elegance, while water from a rounded shallow pool cascades into the main swimming area. 

02 of 25

Mediterranean Retreat

Mediterranean style pool

Emily Followill

You’re transported to Italy the moment you step foot in this delightful outdoor living area, surrounded by sunny yellow walls. The lounge chairs, planters, and an area rug all wear classic black-and-white patterns. A few steps up from the pool, a pergola shades a cozy sitting area ideal for sipping lemonade. 

03 of 25

Symmetrical Pool Design

Backyard pool

Brie Williams

Potted boxwoods anchor each corner of this backyard pool and frame two rattan chairs at the far end. Paired with the symmetry found on the back of the house, the simplicity of the concrete planters, wood deck, and white chair cushions provide a zen-like oasis.

04 of 25

Personal Spa

Backyard spa

Brie Williams

Just steps from the back door, this petite pool design beckons you to take a dip and unwind. Shrouded by palms, this backyard oasis has an air of exclusivity.

05 of 25

Backyard Getaway

Backyard retreat

Julie Soefer

A spacious pool area offers a little something for everyone. An infinity edge hot tub spills over into the main swimming pool, where three small fountains provide a relaxing focal point. For those who don’t wish to swim, two sitting areas—one by the fire pit and one beneath the pergola—offer a place to chat. 

06 of 25

Gracious Outdoor Living

Outdoor living area

Jean Allsopp

Complete with a pink floatie and a hot tub, this backyard spa is just one component of a sprawling outdoor living area. A poolside cabana offers al fresco dining while a built-in daybed provides the opportunity for a siesta. Adirondack chairs encircling a fire pit are the perfect place to roast s’mores and kick back at the end of the day.

07 of 25

Florida Pool Retreat

Traditional house with backyard pool

Robert Brantley

A deep blue pool is the ideal place to cool off on a hot day. Butting up to the pool and covered in a beautiful blue mosaic tile, a hot tub seamlessly blends with the color of the water. An outdoor kitchen, plus dining and living areas complete the pool design idea.

08 of 25

Desert Oasis

Desert oasis

Victoria Pearson

Framed on one edge by a natural rock surround and palm trees, this turquoise pool is built right into its surroundings. Aqua accents on the umbrella and the upholstery echo the vibrant color of the pool and dazzle against a neutral desert background. 

09 of 25

Pop in Pink

Backyard pool

Paul Costello

Shades of gray that complement the home’s exterior dominate this pool area, from the concrete terrace and pool surround to the throw pillows. Pink potted flowers and a vibrant pink table and chairs pop against such a subdued background while adding a dash of whimsy.

10 of 25

Pool with Sunbathing Platform

Pool deck

Annie Schlechter

Outdoor arm and lounge chairs, complete with plush throw pillows, offer a comfy spot to sit and sunbathe on this pool deck. Blue-gray tiles on the pool surround offer a subtle transition from the concrete into the water below. A large shallow step serves as both entry into the pool as well as a refreshing sunbathing platform for those who want the best of both worlds. 

11 of 25

Limestone Landscaping

Limestone landscaping pool


Tucked neatly into the landscape, this backyard spa doubles as a reflecting pool. Two curved limestone benches on either end provide a place to ponder among the beautiful natural surroundings. 

12 of 25

Small Pool Design Idea

Backyard stock tank pool

Buff Strickland

Even a small backyard can make a splash with a creative pool. Here, a stock tank pool surrounded by gravel is ready for summertime fun. And speaking of fun, painting an ordinary retaining wall a bold color, like fuchsia, enhances the playful attitude of a space.

13 of 25

Elegant Outdoor Living

Backyard pool deck

Victoria Pearson

For a subtle dose of pattern, this pool design incorporates blue-and-white tile. Brown wicker lounge chairs sit atop a concrete pool deck and offer room for plenty of guests to enjoy the private backyard escape.

14 of 25

Quiet Delight

Backyard wood deck pool

James Nathan Schroder

Nestled neatly into a grassy backyard shaded by towering trees, this pool design is framed by a simple concrete pool surround. A wood sunbathing deck provides a designated space for soaking up the rays.

15 of 25

Crisp, White Pool Design

Modern house backyard

Victoria Pearson

Clean lines and quiet colors allow this sleek pool to effortlessly blend into its surroundings as an extension of the outdoor living areas. Loungers submerged in the shallow water and shaded by a black-and-white umbrella are the ultimate place to beat the heat.

16 of 25

Sleek Pool Design

Pool house

Victoria Pearson

A pool with an infinity edge complements the clean lines seen on the black doors, vertical exterior paneling, and metal roof of the home. Verdant foliage provides a lush backdrop and creates a sense of privacy.

17 of 25

Provencal Pool

Poolside terrace

Jay Wilde

Just steps from the soaring black doors of this home, a long, wide pool beckons. Centered on the back doors, a single step into the pool gradually descends on both sides in pleasing symmetry. A pair of generous sofas face each other on the poolside terrace, great for catching up with friends or taking in the mountain views. 

18 of 25

Private Oasis

Private backyard pool

Christina Schmidhofer

Tucked away among the pines, this backyard pool has the feeling of a private resort, with a series of quiet gray lounge chairs and umbrellas awaiting vacationers. Beneath the poolside loggia, a pair of deep sofas offer respite, while curtains can be drawn to ward off bugs or inclement weather.

19 of 25

An Entertaining Escape

Outdoor bar pool

Jay Wilde

This curvy pool is ready for a crowd—both in and out of the water. Cozy up to the outdoor bar on an aluminum stool, or take a break from the sun on the cabana’s comfy sectional. Whether gabbing poolside or perched at the black high top table and chairs, this is one pool area designed with entertaining in mind.

20 of 25

All About the View

Hilltop infinity pool

Paul Dyer

An infinity edge on this hilltop pool provides a breathtaking panorama. Cool gray cushions and wood tones on the outdoor furniture allow nature to do the talking, while short plants in the garden beds help maximize the view at every level of the terraced outdoor living area. A flagstone pool surround and upper patio provide continuity.

21 of 25

Secret Garden Pool

Garden pool

Winona Barton-Ballentine

A mix of colorful wildflowers provide a cheerful welcome to this backyard pool and garden. The vertical lines of the wood fence repeat on the wood steps into the pool, where a built-in bench provides a place to perch while cooling off. 

22 of 25

Square Pool Design

Square pool

John Bessler

Symmetry is the name of the game for this stately square pool. A pair of white umbrellas stand sentry on either side of three green-and-white lounge chairs, which are centered upon a white latticework trellis. A pea gravel walkway frames the perimeter of the pool.

23 of 25

Natural Beauty

Backyard pool

Jessica Klewicki Glynn

Natural green and white delight in this backyard pool area, save for the cobalt blue tiles that adorn the interior of the pool and the water feature. Three white loungers with stone side tables provide instant pool access, while a shaded terrace provides additional lounging a few steps up.

24 of 25

Waterfront Pool

Waterfront pool

Ryan Garvin

Green turf meets seamlessly with the edge of this waterfront pool, blurring the lines between water and land. A deep blue umbrella and lounge chair cushions mimic the hues of the pool. Striped poufs serve as footrests for a pair of white chairs or additional seating for a crowd.

25 of 25

Petite Pool Cabana

Pool cabana


Limestone borders this backyard pool which is surrounded by grass. Just a few feet from the steps of the pool, a series of lounge chairs sit upon pea gravel in a designated sunbathing spot. The white pool cabana is great for stashing extra towels, pool toys, or beverages.

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