SWIMMING POOL DESIGN – There are few summer activities more relaxing—and refreshing—than taking a dip in the pool. Of course you don’t have to be a swimmer to appreciate this luxurious amenity; half the pleasure of poolside living is enjoying the way the cool blue water contrasts perfectly with a lush green lawn or modern gray stone masonry, creating a private backyard oasis.
Whether in a round, a rectangular, or an asymmetrical shape, the bright azure shade is instantly calming. That’s not to mention any additional design elements, such as enchanting mosaic tiles, sleek poolside seating, and stunning waterfalls.
Ideas for Beautiful Swimming Pools Design
These pools from the AD archives will have you craving summer in a swimmer’s paradise. Read on for some of our favorites from Greece to Los Angeles.
1. Stepping Stones
This beach house has a serious wow factor — the living room opens to the pool. If that isn’t enough, coral stepping stones at one end let you literally walk on water.
2. Ranch Pool
This ranch house has an underwater bench that runs the length of the 45-foot pool. It’s ideal for dogs to get in and out, or for people to lounge.
3. Privet Hedge
Clipped boxwood and a tall privet hedge dress up a pool. If you’re extra fancy, add a pool house.
4. Living Wall
We may not be able to have an infinity-edge pool overlooking the ocean, but we can probably handle recreating this living wall. Added perk: It’s the perfect photo backdrop for summer parties.
5. Natural Shade
If you have a lot of foliage or tree cover in your backyard, build your pool and hot tub around it to create some natural shade. It looks way more chic than a bunch of umbrellsa. Just saying.
6. Landscaped Pool
Add boxwood parterres and you’ll feel like you’re living in a palace. Versailles’s got nothing on your backyard.
7. Bright Upholstery
The easy way to update your pool? Upholstery. Yellow cushions make a pool feel even more summery, and you can swap them out for darker colors in the fall/winter.
8. Breezy Pool
A vacation is as close as your backyard. Gauzy curtains give the pool area a breezy, tropical feel.
9. Palm Tree Pool
No matter where you live, make your yard feel like paradise with an alley of palm trees. Coconut cocktails on repeat.
10. Laidback Loungers
If you buy one thing for your pool, make it comfy lounge chairs. Now all you need is a fruity cocktail in your hand and you’re good to go.
11. Tuscan Style
Take your pool Tuscan with orange umbrellas and cypress trees. And then go pour yourself a glass of red wine.
12. Shipping Container Pool
Who knew a shipping container made for such an attractive swimming pool? Modpools makes these amazing heated pools that only take minutes to set up.
13. Hill Country Ranch
The back porch of this renovated Austin, Texas ranch is home to an outdoor living room, bar, and kitchen for plenty of poolside entertaining options.
14. Long Island Bungalow
A charming Long Island home has the ideal outdoor space for entertaining friends all summer long.
15. Stone-and-Timber Pool House
This pool house accents its Missouri home with similar timber beams and stone finishes.
16. California Dreams
After a design transformation, this single-family residence shows off a relaxing and classy look.
17. Natural Space
The pool at this Texas home is surrounded by trees, for a one-with-nature vibe.
18. Classic Theme
A northern Florida home went with more traditional architectural enhancements for its pool design.
19. Fixer Upper
The designers behind this project wanted a refreshing, modern look for the patio and pool.
20. A Pool With A View
This remarkable outdoor patio makes us wish we had a view like that from our backyard.
21. By The Water
This lake front home presents a backyard patio that is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
22. Modern Home
This Charlotte family wanted to branch out from their cookie-cutter neighborhood by going with a more customized renovation.
23. California Classic
This California home’s pool and spa are accented with stunning, manicured gardens.
24. Pool and Gardens
The home’s traditional design, with rural touches, is accented with a gorgeous backyard pool.
25. Florida Escape
This home in Key West, Florida looks like the perfect warm-weather escape.
26. Outdoor Oasis
A spacious pool is the jewel of this Florida home’s backyard.
27. Lush Garden Setting
Another Key West, Florida gem surrounded by lush tropical foliage.
28. A Pool Design for Every Yard
There’s a swimming pool for every outdoor space–even long, narrow side yards or smack-dab-in-the-middle courtyards. From sleek, modern masterpieces to Mediterranean escapes to private waterparks to natural pools, we’ve found every size, style, design, and type of pool you can imagine. Dive in and be dazzled.
29. Historic Tropical Beauty
A historic, circa-1850 home was restored and received a few new additions, like a pool house and carport. Bender & Associates Architects designed a pool that is appropriate for the period and design of the house, enhancing rather than overpowering the property. Lush tropical landscaping makes this a home that looks like an island retreat.
30. Fun Desert Hardscaping
A rectangular 33-by-14-foot pool comes alive with landscaping designed by Ibarra Rosano, including giant concrete balls by Holler & Saunders of Nogales, Arizona.
31. Family Fun Pool
A waterpark-like experience with an elegant design that will appeal to all ages is what Pool Environments of Dallas came up with for this entertaining backyard in Texas. The pool features stones, waterfalls and features, islands, colorful landscaping, and inviting artistic elements.
32. Key West
When in Key West, Florida, go with the natural landscape and make it tropical. Craig Reynolds Landscape Architecture used Pebble Tec in Caribbean Blue for the surfacing, while a natural coral stone in a herringbone pattern was used for the pool deck and paving.
33. Moonlight Swim
A sleek, modern small swimming pool by Pool Environments of Dallas is illuminated to coax its owners for a midnight swim. The side corner wall is raised to the level of the patio for a natural transition from house to pool.
34. L-Shaped Luxury
“Floating” pavers and a sculptural fountain in a small L-shaped pool in Texas add interest and continue the materials and lines of the surrounding patio in this design by Pool Environments. Fountains and vivid lighting make the pool a focal point.
35. Plantation Pool
A tropical plantation in Brisbane, Australia integrates indoor-outdoor living with wood decking that leads to a pool you can easily jump in and out of. Designed by Skale, the pool is situated in a private courtyard and offers breathtaking views of Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
36. Palm Springs Living
The pool of this stunning Midcentury modern home originally designed by famed Modernist architect William Krisel is on view from pretty much every room. Preserving the home’s architectural significance and integrity was key to Studio AR&D Architects’ renovation and restoration.
The home represents the Palm Springs lifestyle that blends leisure and refinement, with a seamless connection between architecture and landscape that has become associated with modern desert and California…
37. Walk the Straight and Narrow
A nearly 16-foot-high living/dining area opens on three sides, one on the west to a lap pool that is a focal point at night when illuminated. Designed by EYRC Architects, natural vs. technical and rough vs. smooth is played out in materials throughout this Venice, California house.
A West Hollywood home gained vertical space and spectacular views in this remodel by Los Angeles-based firm (fer) Studio. The kidney-shaped pool was redesigned with glass mosaic tile and includes a spa and shallow wading pool for lounge furniture.
39. Beautiful Blue Tiles
A modern home in Melbourne, Australia features a beautiful pool built by DDB Design Development & Building with landscape design by COS Designs Creative Outdoor Solutions. Custom-designed blue Bisazza tiles were used for the spa, while white tiles in the pool reflect the sky and can change. White lights are installed in the pool to intensify the blue tiles.
40. Glendale Historic Restoration
A Spanish Colonial Revival house in Glendale, California was restored and received an outdoor design makeover by Sacred Space Garden Design and Huntington Pools that included era-appropriate hardscape, water features, tile, and landscaping.
41. Modern Cabana and Pool
A remodel included a pool cabana that replaced an old enclosed back house and a pool with an architectural fountain feature and oversized plant containers. This was a team project that included Key Residential, Pool Environments, Jason Osterberger Designs, and Randy Angell Designs.
The cabana includes outdoor ceiling fans and heaters, a built-in mosquito spray system, a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with a linear fireplace and hearth that extends to the pool fountain.
42. Lively Alexander
A Midcentury modern Alexander home in Palm Springs designed by Palmer & Krisel retained the original look and vibe but received some contemporary updates, like an integrated spa, ground-level fire pit, and a mosaic outdoor shower. H3K incorporated clever features like “moats” of grass between concrete slabs and choosing era-appropriate furnishings, like the pagoda California Umbrellas, CB2 chairs, and Surya pillows.
43. Australian Infinity
A timber- and steel-framed pavilion (pergola) connects the house to the infinity pool in this Brisbane, Australia project by Skale Design. The pool surfaces are finished with a pebble pool plaster finish.
44. French Countryside Style
The homeowners wanted a French countryside look for their Dallas home. Pool Environments designed a curvilinear pool that includes a small extended wet deck and fountain with a stone waterfall feature. The project, spearheaded by Key Residential, includes Pennsylvania Bluestone pavers surrounding the pool, with artificial turf grass in place of mortar or pebbles.
45. Inside, Looking Out
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and there is no need to stop when the temperatures drop. EB Mahoney built an enclosed room for a lap pool in a modern Philadelphia home, next to a wall with windows for an experience that is closest to nature.
46. Beach Entry
Proving that not all pools are geometric, this curvy design by Absolutely Outdoors in Houston is a pool for cooling off, exercising, and soaking in the bubbly spa at night—kind of a something-for-everyone situation. And if you want, you can just kick back and enjoy those fountains.
47. Sussex Swimming Pond
Is it a natural pool or pond? Amanda Patton Landscape & Garden Design created a swimming pond, with the pool located in the deeper section, while the shallow area houses a planted filtration zone. Patton says one of the pros of a swimming pond is that it looks good throughout the year and doesn’t need to be covered during the winter since it’s a pond.
48. A Bridge in Texas
A large rectangular pool features a Tuscan-style bridge for a change of view or a thrill ride down the slide. Designed by Rosewood Custom Builders, the vine-covered structure is also nice to look at.
49. San Antonio Freeform
Mediterranean influences are evident in this freeform pool designed by Lewis Aquatech of Chantilly, Virginia. Among them: the use of flagstone, earth tones, accents of bright colors, shaded seating, and an outdoor dining area.
50. Austin Estate
A Mediterranean landscape in Austin, Texas was achieved by Brad Sharpe Pools by building a lap pool under mature trees. Sharpe recommends that lap pools should be a minimum of 34 feet in length. The interior finish is Turtle Bay Pebble Sheen by Pebble Tec.
51. Chestnut Hill Reflection Pool
A steel-reinforced pool features gunite construction and a gray marble plaster interior finish. Designed by Armond Architects, the regeneration area was built with a liner which is finished with river rock.
52. Vanishing Edge in Costa Rica
A stunning modern home on the Costa Rican Coast features a pool that is spectacularly illuminated by New York-based Patdo Light Studio in blues and oranges.
53. Melbourne Mediterranean
This elegant backyard design actually includes a pool barrier, which is required by law in Victoria, Australia. Each glass panel is held in place by a custom-fabricated stainless steel “clamp.” The project, from Design Unity, allows unobstructed views of the pool and yard, and from the pool to the house and surroundings.
The pool was resurfaced with royal blue Quartzon. Sealed sandstone pavers for decking are cool to walk on when Noosa temperatures rise.
54. Urban Retreat
Indiana limestone surrounds a Mediterranean-style swimming pool with integrated spa in the yard of a home in the Chicago suburb of Glenview. Designed by Rosebrook Custom Pools, the private outdoor space includes a vine-covered pergola and pool house.
55. LA Petite Pool
This beautiful Spanish bungalow in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village features a small pool with hand-painted tiles and a fountain that make it appear larger. Designed by landscape architect Lisa Gimmy and Koffka/Phakos Design, the space includes additional seating inside the pool if you don’t mind getting wet.
56. Farmhouse Chic
Ashley Cole was the interior designer for a farmhouse with a tiled lap pool neatly tucked in and accessible via a patio and several rooms of the house.
57. Brick Yard
A rectangular swimming pool with brick decking features an integrated spa that also received a brick coping, designed by Brad Sharpe Pools of Texas.
58. Italianate Pool
This one-acre property in California created by EPTDESIGN in the Italianate style features a landscape that is formal and also many playful elements, like fountains, urns, sculpture, and an armillary (sphere).
59. Dive and Slide
A stone diving rock and slide with waterfalls and native plants distinguish a pool in New Jersey designed by Thomas Flint Landscape Design and Development.