These Spectacular Swimming Pool Designs Will Make Your Back Yard Feel like a Resort

peter dunham swimming pool
54 Spectacular Swimming Pool Designs David Tsay

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Diving into a beautiful pool not only refreshes the body but also calms the mind. Just a view of tranquil water, whether through a window or from the garden or patio, can soothe the soul. Before you take the plunge and install a pool, check out these tips from a wealth adviser about whether this investment will add or detract value from your home. Or perhaps you are ready to update an existing pool area in your back yard.

From minimalist modern designs to more formal, elaborate styles, the key to creating a sophisticated swimming pool is to complement the landscape rather than compete with it. One of the best ways to nestle a pool into the landscape is to carefully choose plant materials surrounding it. Planning a pool in full sun? Consider drought-tolerant plants. For a cooler watering hole, look for plants that thrive in the shade.

Embellish your pool with a stylish garden ornament (see the bronze elephant fountain at a Houston estate) or a splash of color. The pool area of a Vero Beach, Florida, home showcases a bold, bright mural on a courtyard wall. Naturally designer Jeffry Weisman lined the pool of his Mexico home with brilliant lapis blue Talavera tiles.

Next think through how to furnish your pool deck and poolhouse. It’s important to select outdoor furniture that’s comfortable, durable, and suitable to the style of your pool design. And don’t forget chic beach towels. Let these swimming pool designs inspire a luxurious escape in your backyard.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow

Guests could get a bit too comfortable staying in this Los Angeles home’s stand-alone poolhouse. Folding glass doors maximize connection with the garden, practically bringing the pool right into the guest quarters’ living room. The iron poolside chaises are by Formations. Folding doors, Riviera Bronze

a stone pool house that is two stories and a rectangle pool in california
Lisa Romerein

White-Hot Scheme

“The tailored, edited style lets people know they’re in Palm Beach without visually distracting from the scenery,” says designer Billy Ceglia, who envisioned a crisp, all-white loggia where Corinthian columns frame views of the pool and Lake Worth Lagoon. Oversize wrought-iron lanterns (Currey & Company) and lacquered bamboo-patterned armchairs (Brown Jordan) give way to matching chaises, custom Perennials-covered ottomans, and powder-coated tole agave plants on the pool terrace.

2023 nickolas sargent photography
Nickolas Sargent

Seaside Lounging

“In the Bahamas it’s plan B to be inside,” notes architect Maria de la Guardia. Among the outdoor amenities of the Palladian-style estate she and interior designer Amanda Lindroth created are a pool and temple-inspired pool pavilion on the beach side of the property. Teak furniture, The Wicker Works. Sofa and chair cushion fabric, Link. Throw pillow fabric, Christopher Farr Cloth

bakers bay bahamas estate pool pavilion
Miguel Flores-Vianna

Work of Art

The courtyard—with its rectangular pool—is on display in nearly every room of this Dallas home. Landscape architect Mary Ellen Cowan devised a luxurious yet understated space for entertaining and cooling off from the Texas sun. Dining table, Knoll

chad dorsey dallas patio pool
William Abranowicz

Family Fun

Wherever linens designer and shop owner Julia Amory’s young family calls home—summers in the Hamptons, the school year in Palm Beach—they have a pool to enjoy. Here, Amory tends to potted scaevolas outside the poolhouse of their Southampton cottage. While Limelight hydrangeas bloom outside, an antique sofa inside blossoms with hollyhocks (fabric, Lee Jofa).

designer julia armory's home in southampton\, new york amory with her children\, honor 4 son\, minot 2
Nick Mele

Mediterranean Reverie

An original Bel Air estate, the home of designer Renvy Graves Pittman was one of the few built in the Mediterranean Revival style in 1929. Its elevated pool terrace is perfectly cast with a stone table and wrought-iron chairs (both by Michael Taylor) shaded by an olive tree. Cushion fabric, Perennials

an olive tree shades the pool terrace furnished with a stone table and wrought iron chairs
Pieter Estersohn

Stunningly Simple

The existing pool area of this more than 200-year-old Greek Revival landmark on the East Coast was “absolutely stunning,” says interior designer Caroline Rafferty. So she and her team did nothing to it besides bringing in their clients’ collection of McKinnon and Harris furniture and setting it up in a simple layout to “allow the sightlines to sing. We loved that the furniture brought in another happy shade of blue.”

a pool with trees and chairs around it
Manu Rodriguez

Soothing Surroundings

For San Francisco design luminaries Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks, their cozy Montecito cottage has long been an idyllic weekend retreat from city life. The lush landscape reminded Tucker of what the region—where she grew up—resembled before many of its fruit groves were sold and subdivided for development. The “secret garden” contains this lap pool and lounging area, complete with kumquat trees in terra-cotta planters. Pool chaises, Murray’s Iron Works. Cushion fabric, Sunbrella. Umbrella, Santa Barbara Designs

suzanne tucker montecito home pool

Restrained Palette

The color (Coach Green, Fine Paints of Europe) of this poolhouse in Bridgehampton, New York, blends in more than it stands out, echoing the green of the hedges. Architect Andrew B. Cogar and garden designer Charlie Marder employed dark gray tumbled Kota stone pavers and pool coping to help integrate the square pool into the landscape. “It’s understated, which is what makes the area so welcoming,” Cogar says.

historical concepts and marders bridgehampton pool dining area
Eric Piasecki

Hollywood Élan

Inspired by film producer Robert Evans’s home, the round pool brings a touch of Hollywood panache to Grey Gardens. Designer Mark D. Sikes designed custom chaise longues with Munder-Skiles.

grey gardens east hampton pool
Pascal Chevallier

Abstract Thought

Architect Hope Dana reconfigured the pool area of this Vero Beach, Florida, home into an inviting courtyard and a stage for artist Michelle Grabner’s 10-by-70-foot glazed ceramic and lava stone tile mural. The art collector homeowner wanted something to “animate the space, and the color contrast here is bold.” Chairs, Dedon

ellen hamilton florida house tour pool
Thomas Loof

Perfect Lunch Spot

Lunch is served in the poolside gazebo at hotelier Kit Kemp’s Barbadian retreat. Classic white wicker chairs (Vincent Sheppard) encircle a table draped in a quilted aqua bedspread (Kit Kemp Collection for Annie Selke).

kit kemp barbados getaway pool
Annie Schlechter

Double Duty

Landscape designer Álvaro Sampedro added a new pool to the garden of an ancient Spanish estate. Crowned with a sculptural fountain, the pool doubles as a soothing sound feature in a lush oasis dotted with Italian cypress and linden trees.

17th century palace in tendilla, spain design
Claire Takacs

Out of Sight

A pool framed by simple wood plank decking is tucked away along the side of artist Thomas Boog’s country house in France’s Loire valley. Chaises, Tectona

thomas boog's weekend home in france's loire valley
Pascal Chevallier

Gathering Place

The family room of this Athens, Georgia, home boasts a stunning set of floor-to-ceiling glass and iron doors that open the entire room up to the generous backyard space and pool deck. “The house was built to accommodate being outside and around the pool with friends,” says designer Lanier Gupton.

lanier gupton athens patio pool deck
Emily J Followill

Everyday Celebrations

The outdoor cabana of this Sea Island, Georgia, beach house designed by Ellen Kavanaugh ensures any day at the pool feels like a celebratory affair. Custom cabinet hardware, Patterson’s of Palm Beach. Faucet, Brizo

ellen kavanaugh sea island pool outdoor cabana
Carmel Brantley

Sunken Treasure

You would think the hoteliers of Reschio Estate, an 11th-century castle turned hotel in Umbria, would live on some distant hill rather than a 10-minute stroll from the castle. The couple’s five children had always wanted a pool, so their house overlooks the sunken pool set just outside the castle walls in a clearing of strappy umbrella pines.

castello di reschio italy hotel exterior
Philip Vile, Courtesy of Reschio

Refreshing Talavera

At the home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, he shares with husband and business partner Andrew Fisher, designer Jeffry Weisman lined the pool with brilliant deep lapis blue Talavera tiles.

swimming pool designs jeffry weisman mexico
Maureen M. Evans

Poolside Edible Garden

At this Ross, California, home, landscape architect Erica Timbrell refinished an existing pool and chose gray limestone pavers as decking to extend into the living spaces, including where a dining terrace is framed by a pair of L-shaped garden beds. Strawberries, mint, and Shishito peppers grow in wattle-enclosed beds alongside Incrediball hydrangeas, Agastache, and Hidcote lavender.

swimming pool designs timbrell california
John Sutton

Old-World Elegance

In the pool garden of this Santa Monica, California, home, mature kumquat trees bookend a fireside sitting room designed by landscape architect Scott Shrader. The pool loungers are from RH.

swimming pool designs scott shrader california
Lisa Romerein

Sunny and Sleek

At this Dallas home the design team of designer Meredith McBrearty, architect Ryan Street, and landscape architect Bill Bauer channeled the original house's midcentury roots with a sleek pool that features a dark blue-green bottom and coping flush with the water. A pair of vintage Willy Guhl Loop chairs sits pretty at one end.

swimming pool designs meredith mcbrearty dallas
Douglas Friedman

Poolside Prep

Like a Slim Aarons photo, the pool at this Naples, Florida, home designed by Summer Thornton is steeped in glamour, from the large white planters and flush coping to the teak pool loungers (Sutherland) and patterned umbrellas (Sunbeam Jackie).

swimming pool designs summer thornton florida
Thomas Loof

A European Air

At this home in West Hollywood, California, landscape architect Anna Hoffman designed a pool and outdoor living space that channel the vibe of a European estate. The pool decking is French limestone, and the poolside living room is shaded by an alderwood pergola.

swimming pool designs anna hoffman los angeles

Verdant Surroundings

At this Bronxville, New York, home designed by Carrier and Company, the pool is tucked into a lush corner of the backyard. A trio of lilac standards flourishes in a tidy poolside bed of Franklin’s Gem hedges. Chaise longues, Country Casual Teak

swimming pool designs carrier and company new york
Annie Schlechter

Ranch Revival

Iconic vintage furniture and cheerful pops of red enliven the pool terrace of this California wine country home designed by Ken Fulk. Tubular 1940s rockers by Walter Lamb are from the estate of screen legend Shirley Temple. Chaises, RH. Cushion fabric, Sunbrella

ken fulk healdsburg california pool
Douglas Friedman

Woodland Watering Hole

The irregular shape of this pool surrounded by stone coping fits the woodland style of this Connecticut garden designed by homeowners Bill Reynolds and Robb Nestor. Beech and hemlock trees cast shade over the pool and pool terrace.

casting shade over the pool, which is located on the lower terrace off the rear of the house, are beech and hemlock trees
Annie Schlechter

Cabana Classic

At this Connecticut home a verdant lawn surrounds the pool to cooling effects. An outdoor fireplace and teak dining table (Summit) turn the poolhouse, designed by David Netto, into the de facto summer dining room. Lounge and Adirondack chairs, Loll Designs

a rectangular pool inset into a lush lawn with a white california style poorhouse int he background
Francesco Lagnese

Old Florida Glamour

At this Naples, Florida, home designed by Celerie Kemble, a knife-edge pool sits flush with a coral stone deck that overlooks Gordon Pass. Beneath a canopy of coconut palms, an emerald privacy screen of areca, traveler’s, fishtail, and cat palms flourishes. Chaise longues, Mimi by Celerie Kemble. Umbrella, Santa Barbara Designs

poolside view of black and white striped loungers and a white umbrella
Douglas Friedman

Artistic Touch

Beyond the dining terrace and pool at this Hamptons retreat designed by Alex Papachristidis, a cast bronze and gilt garden sculpture rises over clipped bayberry hedges. Table and chairs, The Antique and Artisan Gallery

a small dining table with four chairs on a poolside terrace
William Abranowicz

Home Turf

Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury knows a thing or two about home field advantage. Case in point: his backyard in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which features a pool terrace comprising a clean grid pattern of turf and hardscape that echoes the home’s geometric architecture. Beyond the pool the outdoor pavilion includes a pool bath and a gourmet kitchen equipped with a grill.

kliff kingsbury pool
Eric Kruk Photography

Cottage Charm

At this Connecticut waterfront home designed by Cathy Kincaid, the pool and stone terrace create an ideal spot for breakfast, afternoon tea, or even cocktails, thanks to a cedar pool pavilion inspired by the owners’ antique birdhouse.

patio ideas she shed
Tria Giovan

Made in the Shade

Under a canopy of pine trees, a rectangular pool enjoys respite from the sun at this Newport Beach, California, home designed by Peter Dunham. The chaise cushion fabric is from Peter Dunham Textiles, and the pink pillow fabric is Fermoie.

peter dunham swimming pool
David Tsay

Splendor in the Grass

At this former Christmas tree farm in Millbrook, New York, landscape architect Janice Parker surrounded the pool with a grassy deck to play up its rural setting. "Setting the pool in grass helps avoid the 'suburbanization' of a landscape," says Parker. Potted topiaries at the corners finish the look with elegance.

janice parker pool deck

Eternal Sunshine

Landscape design firm Hoerr Schaudt encircled this Montecito, California, swimming pool with drought-tolerant plants like lavender and agave that not only thrive in full sun but also look right at home in the arid coastal setting.

hoerr schaudt swimming pool montecito
Scott Shigley

Low Profile

This Long Island, New York, garden, designed by Hollander Design Landscape Architects, features a rimless pool that fits right into the flat farmland landscape. For texture and privacy surrounding the pool, Hollander installed Annabelle hydrangeas, a manicured hedge, and an allée of crape myrtles.

hollander design swimming pool
Charles Mayer

Lined with Lanterns

At Jenna Bush Hager's Long Island cottage, an enchanting backyard pool is all set for weekend company, thanks to large wicker lanterns from Amanda Lindroth, a vintage iron patio set finished with cushions from Perennials, and block-printed table linens also from Amanda Lindroth.

bush hager outdoor seating ideas
Tara Donne

In the Round

At this Houston estate designed by Curtis & Windham Architects with Windfohr Design, a round pool was inspired by the Rodin Museum in Paris. A bronze elephant fountain (Dan Ostermiller) and Canary Island date palms emphasize a feeling of exoticism and whimsy.

curtis and windham swimming pool and outdoor fountain
Paul Hester

Nice Curves

A photograph of a fountain edge at the Taj Mahal inspired the sinuous curves of the garden, designed by Mario Nievera of Nievera Williams Landscape Architecture, surrounding this rectangular pool at the 2020 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach.

2020 kips bay palm beach decorator show house swimming pool

Temple on the Hill

This pool in New York's Hudson valley is finished at one end with a poolhouse modeled after a temple and terraced into the hill "like a secret folly," says architect Cynthia Filkoff. The chaise longues and umbrellas are from RH.

mcmillen swimming pool
Annie Schlechter

Pattern Play

The swimming pool at this historic Palm Beach home designed by Susan Zises Green features a geometric pattern made of light and dark tiles that echoes the exterior's alternating bands of brick and coral stone.

susan zises green swimming pool
Francesco Lagnese

Lap of Luxury

A terraced lawn sets this simple, sophisticated rectangular swimming pool apart from the Bahamas estate designed by Miles Redd. A screen of palms at each end of the pool provides privacy.

miles redd swimming pool bahamas
Melanie Acevedo

Lawn Games

At his West Palm Beach home, designer Lars Bolander ran the lawn right up to the swimming pool coping for a more natural effect, amplified by the reflection of coconut palms in the water.

2020 kips bay palm beach show house lars bolander swimming pool
Thomas Loof

Advanced Geometry

At this Southern California home designed by Mark D. Sikes, geometric details, such as the pool deck's grid pattern made of pavers and ground cover, lend modern energy to this backyard pool. Chaise longues covered in a cheerful Mariaflora striped outdoor fabric plus a wave-patterned tile border provide a playful contrast to the formal Spanish Mediterranean architecture.

mark d sikes swimming pool
Max Kim-Bee

Lush Life

A mix of coconut palms, sago palms, bougainvillea, ground cover, and pavers surrounds this Palm Beach estate swimming pool in a celebration of its natural surroundings. A pair of slender steps at the sides of the pool, as opposed to steps that run across the entirety of the end of the pool, allows for more swimming space.

palm beach swimming pool
Bjorn Wallander

Hedge Fun

A manicured hedge ensconces the swimming pool portion of this 65-acre farm in Provence, restored by landscape architect Dominique Lafourcade, architect Alexandre Lafourcade, and interior designer Susan Bednar Long. Slender cyprés de Florence soften the surroundings of the new swimming pool and help it fit into the context of the nearby 200-year-old farmhouse.

susan bednar long swimming pool
Alexandre Bailhache

Infinity and Beyond

This Hamptons home designed by architect Steven Harris and landscape architect David Kelly features a dark-bottomed infinity pool surrounded by a pond, which extends the soothing watery vista.

harris swimming pool
Max Kim-Bee

Classic Details

A Greek key mosaic-tile border, symmetrical landscaping, and a new pool pavilion set off by fluted columns reinforce the timeless style of this 1934 Regency-style home in Atlanta, originally designed by architect Philip Trammell Shutze and restored by architect Yong Pak, landscape design firm Land Plus, and interior designer Melanie Turner. The home exterior is painted Superwhite by Sherwin-Williams; the shutters are Farrow & Ball's Pitch Black.

melanie turner swimming pool atlanta
Mali Azima

Courtyard Cool

The interior courtyard at this Palm Beach estate designed by David Kleinberg is a sheltered oasis of manicured greenery; a shaded, bougainvillea-covered veranda; and a small pool that provides respite on warm days. The chaise longues are by Brown Jordan.

david kleinberg swimming pool
James Merrell

Stylish Tile

At her Los Angeles home designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, longtime Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo embraced Moroccan-inspired design details, such as the patterned tile that lines her backyard pool. The tablecloth is from Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design; the Moroccan lanterns are from Berbere.

ellen pompeo's swimming pool
David Tsay

Standing Guard

At this 1926 Mediterranean Revival home in Florida designed by Lou Marotta, a pair of antique French carved stone figures depicting Greek philosophers overlooks the swimming pool. The teak lounge chairs feature cushions in a Sunbrella fabric; the lanterns are from RH.

lou marotta swimming pool
Bjorn Wallander

Roman Holiday

For his home in Montecito, California, designer John Saladino was inspired by Roman and Greek nymphae (natural grottoes are said to be homes of nymphs) in designing his hedge-framed pool and patio.

john saladino's swimming pool
Thomas Loof

Pool with a View

On a promontory overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this rectangular pool is sited to maximize views of the Aeolian Islands, thanks to two stone terraces. A pergola at one end of the upper terrace provides shade. The pool lounge chairs are covered in a Dedar fabric.

fabrizio swimming pool
Max Kim-Bee

Decked Out

At this Malibu, California, retreat, landscape architect Scott Shrader used reclaimed scaffolding for a rustic-chic decking material surrounding the swimming pool. The large Agave americana supplies lush contrast. The seating, table, and lanterns are by Janus et Cie.

scott shrader swimming pool
Lisa Romerein

Serene Symmetry

At this Palm Beach home, landscape designers Andres Paradelo of Paradelo Burgess Design Studio and Jobe Lopez of Lopez Group, Inc. lined the swimming pool's brick deck with olive trees, reinforcing "the strong axial view from the loggia," says Paradelo. "We really wanted to create a sense of serenity." Designer Amy Meier added chaise longues from Sutherland covered in a light blue fabric from Perennials.

amy meier swimming pool
Brian Woodcock

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