While the Great Australian Dream is to own a home, the goal of having a private backyard pool to enjoy lies not far behind. And why not? There’s nothing like the soothing coolness of an afternoon dip in balmy weather.
With your own backyard pool, you can skip the preparations and commute every time you feel like swimming. You can use it as a venue for get-togethers. You can also keep fit, increase your stamina or simply de-stress in your own swimming pool.
A pool can be many things, but it can be made more delightful and functional with the right pool design and landscaping. But before you can start dreaming up pool ideas, there are a couple of factors you need to cover first.
Determine how much space you have that’s allocated for your backyard pool. This is the time to take accurate measurements of the actual pool area – coming up with different in-ground pool designs and pool landscaping ideas would be moot if the space is too small. Also, take note of the general shape of the available space so you generate only the appropriate design ideas.
Also, keep in mind safety requirements that need to be integrated into the pool design early on. Without these, you may encounter difficulties obtaining approvals and permits required to build your pool. You need to provide the required fencing, so the amount of space available should cover this necessity. If you plan on including patio furniture, ensure you have enough space for it as you cannot have it placed too close to the fence for child safety reasons.
If you have ample space, the work of your pool designer will be a lot easier, whether you want fibreglass pool designs or something else. With more pool area space, it would be easier to bring most pool landscaping designs concepts to life.
But if your backyard space is limited or irregularly shaped, pool designing can be challenging. This is why it’s essential for you to work only with a highly experienced pool designer and builder. They can guide you in making informed decisions involving space-related concerns. They can also advise you on whether an in-ground or above-ground pool will work best for your space.
During the design conceptualisation stage, always consider the functions you want for your pool, whether it’s:
- For entertaining: Do you plan on using your pool area as the primary entertainment space? If so, is there enough space for party furniture? Can you accommodate a certain number of people for future events and holidays in the pool area?
- For family get-togethers: If you mean to use the pool as a space where you converge as a family and have meals and conversation, then this needs to be reflected in the pool designs being considered. You may also want to include fun accessories and features young kids will appreciate, such as fountains and toys, as well as child safety features.
- For relaxation: A spa and pool combination is a great choice if you plan on using your pool regularly to de-stress after a hard day’s work. Having a spa can also help if you have someone in the family undergoing physical therapy. Elderly family members can benefit from it as well.
- For general health and fitness: If you’re into athletics, health and fitness, especially swimming, a lap pool might be the perfect pool for you as long as you have enough space to accommodate one.
How you want to use your pool must be very clear to your pool designer and builder from the outset so all challenges or complications can be addressed right away.
Aim for a central theme or design aesthetic that successfully melds the way your pool looks with the rest of your property, including the pool landscaping. To ensure these elements are unified, you’ll need to identify the following:
Do you have a period or contemporary home? Is it done in Art Deco, or do you have a cottage or ranch-style home?
Identify the dominant colour reflected throughout your property. The pool colour you pick should blend well with the current colour scheme.
There are three main types of in-ground pools based on material. These are concrete, fibreglass and vinyl liner pools.
- Durable, low-maintenance and compatible with saltwater systems
- Have a nonabrasive surface, built-in seats and steps and come with little or no lifetime cost
- Quick to install and aesthetically pleasing
- High initial cost, fewer colour choices, colour finish mismatch after repair
- Traditionally, limited in terms of shape, design and size – although, there are now manufacturers that can make customisable fibreglass pools
- Concrete pools offer the most colour choices, durable and can be as big or as small as you want
- Easily customisable and, depending on the design, can be turned into beautiful works of art
- Have a notoriously high lifetime cost as they need to be resurfaced and re-tiled every 10 to 15 years
- Require more chemical use since concrete is a porous material that can encourage algal growth
- Generally high-maintenance and take longer to install
Vinyl liner pools
- Most affordable pool type – low initial cost
- Can be fabricated into any pool shape or size
- Nonabrasive surface
- Don’t encourage the growth of algae
- Limited in terms of colour
- Shorter lifespan and need to be replaced every 5 to 9 years
- Warranties tend to be prorated, so you need to read the fine print
- Not as durable as other materials – it can get punctured easily
- Lower resale value
Once you’re done choosing from the pool designs presented to you and the right material, you can move on to studying pool landscaping designs.
Pool landscaping include various elements: the foliage to be planted including grasses, shrubs and trees, water features, fencing, lighting, stones, sculptures, fire pits, etc.
You also need to finalise your choices when it comes to patio furniture, pool area accessories, cooking or grill area equipment, and so on.
Here are a few pool design ideas:
Include a spa, beach or water feature
If you have a long, narrow space allocated for your pool, an in-ground swimming pool with a disappearing edge is a sleek, smart and clean design consideration. By integrating a spa, you can break the monotony of this basic shape and create a beautiful spa and pool combination, as well as provide a space for quiet contemplation – perfect for backyards with fantastic views. Another creative approach to this would be by installing a water feature or a beach entrance.
Plant a patio
An unusual and striking swimming pool design, a custom fibreglass pool with a matching patio seemingly growing out of it is perfect for an outdoor area located on a hill or limited space. Placing the patio directly in and overlooking the pool is a major space saver. It also seamlessly combines two related spaces in a fun and eccentric way.
Include some art
There are typical pool designs, and there are those that stand out. Whether you want an indoor pool or one in the backyard, a stylish, artistic swimming pool might just work for you. Featuring stone tiles, a brushed cement floor, white wooden panels and lantern art installations, an artistically decorated swimming pool in an odd or whimsical shape screams fun and artistic polish all throughout.
Add some greenery
Most professional pool landscaping designs integrate lots of greenery to create the impression of a forest or a mountain retreat. However, even something as simple as adding a few Italian cypresses can enhance a plain pool and turn it into a relaxing retreat.
Use colourful tiles
Having a small pool and backyard space is no reason to not have a sense of style. You can still have a show-stopping pool by using colourful tiles to fill the pool space, including the pool itself. Throw in some matching floor cushions to make your pool space a haven of comfort.
Splash on some colour
If the background appears monochromatic and there’s no free space to integrate more plants, you can add splashes of colour through accessories and furnishings. These complement the look and feel of the pool, as well as seamlessly harmonise your home’s dominant colour with that of the pool.
Install mood lighting
A beautiful pool landscape is even more stunning at night with the use of mood lighting like LED pool lights, landscape lights and string lights. Combined with comfortable seating around a fire pit, strategically placed mood lighting helps ensure you’re in for a magical night.
Your pool building partner
Actually, this part should have gone first. Everything gets a little bit easier when you have an experienced professional pool building company by your side – including deciding on your pool and landscaping design.
However, we put this last to emphasise how you need to be careful in choosing whom to partner with. Make sure you find a company that has a successful track record of project delivery and a list of happy customers who are more than willing to vouch for the quality of their service.
Read reviews or get referrals, and ask to see samples of their work.
But since you’re already here, why not talk to us at Local Pools & Spas about your pool-building needs, and get a free quote?