Building an outdoor pool is a big decision that comes with a slew of choices that have to be considered from its shape and size all the way down to building materials and technical systems.  Often, homeowners are so focused on building the pool itself that they forget the “big picture” — that is, how the pool will fit into their property’s overall exterior design. Adding a pool is a big investment that can have a huge impact on your life at home. You need to be sure that your pool is beautiful, useable, and that it enhances (rather than detracts from) your home’s exterior.

It’s a good idea to take some time to really consider all of your family’s needs and wants — both now and in the future. Think about your personal taste and what is visually appealing to you. Look beyond the pool to your entire outdoor landscape and envision how it will look from your house, from your neighbor’s house, from inside the pool and from beside the pool.pool-design-1

How will the pool be used?

Do you have children?  Do you like to host gatherings? Will your pool be a place where kids and adults have fun, relax and spend time together? When you think about all the ways in which your pool will be used, remember that, while kids are mostly in the water, adults are mostly on the pool deck. Both the pool and the surrounding landscaping design need to have visual interest, color and texture. Brick, tile, natural rock, and landscaping — combined with great furnishings, accessories and lighting — can create a truly elegant setting.

How many months a year will you use your pool?

Is your pool going to be a summertime thing only, or do you expect to open it early in the spring and use it until Halloween? Heated pools and spas can be enjoyed even when it’s not very warm outside. Your landscaping, accessories, furnishings and lighting should transition through the seasons so that there is always comfort and beauty in the pool’s surroundings. Fire pits add natural glow while colorful seating in conversational groupings can give you views of seasonal plants, fountains, waterfalls and outdoor art.

How often will your pool be used?

You are not investing in a pool only to have it used just a few times a year. Get lasting value and more living space by making your pool a summertime “living room”. The design needs to be both functional and chic. Consider also that you and your guests will want some measure of privacy and tranquility. Choose and arrange furnishings and accessories that create options for different activities, and design the surrounding landscape so that it not only offers privacy, but also is aesthetically-pleasing. You and your guests will need lux lounge chairs to bask in the sun, as well as shaded areas for cooking, dining, conversation and cocktails. You may even want to design a little haven where you can meditate, read or catch a nap. A bathhouse allows kids and guests to dry off and change without leaving your back yard. Add a kitchen or gym to the bathhouse to create more functionality.


What other functions does your exterior serve?

Besides swimming and sunbathing, which other outdoor activities does your family frequently enjoy? Do you grill a lot and dine al fresco?  Do you and your spouse like to have a quiet moonlit moment after the kids go to bed?  Outdoor rugs, cabanas, arbors and furniture placement can create “rooms” that flow from one to the other, each ideally designed for your favorite outdoor activities. 

Planning is the Key to Success

Making plans to add a pool is an exciting venture. There are so many opportunities to enjoy the pool itself as well as create a new outdoor space for your home. Poolside living spaces are relaxing and functional and should incorporate the same design elements that you would use inside your home. Make your pool an experience your family and friends will enjoy time and time again. Use texture, color, balance, form and harmony to distinguish your pool and reflect your family’s style.

Need help navigating the decisions? Grace Thomas Design excels at designing outdoor spaces and can help you get the most out of your upcoming pool project. We know how to work with the contractors involved and can ensure that you get the most out of your investment. Email us today for a chat and let us help you get the most out of your poolside oasis or any of your outdoor design needs.