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Designing Your Backyard Pool: Top 15 Tips for Backyard Pools

Tips for backyard pool landscaping ideas, pool features, and more!

Beyond just having a swimming pool, backyard pool landscaping ideas can add layers of aesthetic appeal and functionality to your outdoor space. 

If you’re looking purely for a swimming pool that is functional, you may want to just install the pool and use it wherever you have the free time. Or perhaps you’re looking for an outdoor space that you want to spend all your time in, that’s both functional and long-lasting, safe and beautiful. 

This is where having backyard pool landscaping ideas are a huge asset when you set out to create your backyard design. 

Imagine stepping into your backyard, where the shimmering blue of your swimming pool in the sunshine is complemented by lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and inviting seating areas. That’s the real magic of pool landscaping – it transforms your pool space from being simple, to being an oasis.

15 Backyard pool landscaping ideas

1. Privacy screens or fencing

Partially or fully enclose your swimming pool space with a fence or privacy screen, so that you can swim or bask in the sunlight to your heart’s content without worrying about the eyes of your neighbours peeking your way. 

Fences aren’t just for privacy – they also improve the safety of your pool. In some cases, having a fence around your swimming pool is mandatory. Check out these backyard pool regulations in Ontario for more details.

2. Outdoor lighting

Enhance the mood around your swimming pool with some outdoor lighting. Not only does it improve the ambiance of your area, but it increases your safety if you enjoy a dip in the water after dark.

Boulder Design 3D rendering of fiberglass pool design

3. Decking or patio around your swimming pool

Improve the look and ease of access to your swimming pool with a deck designed and built around your backyard pool. A deck might help you to get into an above ground pool more easily while making the space look beautiful. In the same way, a patio will help to emphasize the swimming pool area. 

4. Specialty outdoor patio

When designing your deck or patio, you might consider features such as non-slip and weather-resistant materials. Keep your feet safe from slivers, reduce the risk of slips near the pool, and improve the longevity of your deck or patio with materials that don’t deteriorate in the sun and other elements over time.

While you’re at it, why not consider heated flooring tiles? Whether you’re using the pool on a cloudy day, or at night, or just like warm feet on a hot day, heated tiles will keep your feet warm while you’re moving from the house or lounge chairs to the pool.

5. Lounge areas

Speaking of lounge chairs – you’ll want to have space to sit and relax in between swims. Consider some wicker chairs padded with thick outdoor cushions, complete with a glass-top table where you can lay out a picnic or your drinks in the nice weather. Add an umbrella for a hint of shade on sunny days and an outdoor rug and you’re all set! Want to add some wow-factor to your backyard? Get in touch about adding loungers right in your pool’s tanning ledge!

6. Turf or sod

If your backyard pool isn’t already enveloped by a grassy lawn, you could consider adding grass seed or sod to complete the area with a soft, grassy surrounding. If you’re looking for ways to reduce the amount of yard work you need to do, you could also consider laying down turf for a yard that doesn’t require lawn care. Want to go that extra mile? Turn that turn lawn into a putting green, a fun activity for all ages.

Take a look at our other recommendations for low maintenance pool landscape designs if you’re dreaming of a backyard that requires minimal maintenance!

7. Water features

Adding water features to your swimming pool can be a beautiful addition to your backyard pool space. Features such as waterfalls, water fountains, or water bubbles add both audio and visual aesthetics of your backyard area.

8. Fire features

Including fire features around your backyard swimming pool space is one of the coziest backyard pool landscaping ideas you could consider. Fire features may include a fire pit surrounded by Muskoka chairs, a fireplace on your patio, or tabletop fire bowls that add both ambiance and warmth if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining beside the swimming pool.

9. Plants, flowers and trees

Including a garden, flower beds, or planted trees around your swimming pool can soften the pool hardscape and enhance the natural beauty of your yard. Plants and water just go nicely together; incorporating greenery, colour and growth around your swimming pool is a huge asset to the space, aesthetically and environmentally speaking! 

We get asked a lot: which are the best trees to plant near a pool? We recommend, for coniferous options: Junipers, Cedars and most non-needle evergreens; For deciduous, go with: Pyramidal hornbeam and beach, service berry and lilacs.

10. Pergolas and arbours

If you’re looking for a bit of shade above your pool and/or lounge space, consider installing a pergola or arbour. You can even invest in vines or other plants that grow upward that you can coach along the arbour or pergola for some greenspace around and above you while you’re relaxing in the sun. 

Also Read: Still trying to decide which type of pool you want to invest in? Take a look at your guide on inground vs other backyard pool options.

Fiberglass Pool 33x14 Installed by Boulder Design Pool & Landscaping

11. Rock features

Rock features such as garden stones or boulders can enhance the backyard pool landscape and add extra contrast and visual appeal to your outdoor space. 

In many private swimming pools you can’t have diving boards – but you can have a diving rock. Having a rock installed alongside your pool gives you a cool space to leap from into the deep end of your pool.

Rock features such as garden stones or boulders can enhance the backyard pool landscape and add extra contrast and visual appeal to your outdoor space. 

In many private swimming pools you can’t have diving boards – but you can have a diving rock. Having a rock installed alongside your pool gives you a cool space to leap from into the deep end of your pool.

Make sure to look at municipal requirements for depth and pool safety before you make the purchase, or hire a professional team who knows about pool regulations and safety requirements to help install a space that’s both beautiful and up to code.

12. Outdoor foodspace

If you like to spend a lot of time in your backyard pool space, and especially if you like to host larger events, you might want to consider installing an outdoor kitchen or bar near the pool. 

Not only are these outdoor food spaces visually appealing, but they also extend your poolside entertainment options for intimate or larger gatherings. And if you want to get really fancy, you could even make it a swim-up bar!

Oakville backyard transformation and pool installation by Boulder Design

13. Pool covers

Investing in a pool cover improves the cleanliness of your pool by protecting it from falling leaves or other outdoor debris, and also protects people from falling into the pool when it’s left unattended. Pool safety covers are a great asset to improve the longevity and safety of your swimming pool.

14. Pool heaters

People in Canada might be used to chilly weather, but that doesn’t mean we want to dunk ourselves in cold or lukewarm water most of the time! Many backyard pool owners invest in different types of pool heaters. There are electric and solar pool heaters that you can have installed to keep temperatures as high as you want them year-round.

15. Audio systems

Outdoor speakers can allow you to enjoy your music while you’re outside swimming or lounging in your backyard space. This may take some electrical work, and you want to ensure that your speakers are protected from the elements, but when done correctly, this can be a great addition to any backyard pool space!

Backyard Pool Landscaping and Installation

At Boulder Design, we believe that your backyard space should go beyond just having a pool. Landscaping adds layers of aesthetic appeal and functionality to your outdoor space – but the benefits extend beyond only aesthetics. 

Landscaping around your pool can enhance privacy, creating a secluded sanctuary for you and your family and friends to enjoy. With strategic placement of trees, shrubs, and fencing, you can enjoy your pool in peace. 

The best way to ensure that your investment equals the result, hire professional custom pool builders and landscape specialists who have years of experience creating exceptional backyard spaces. 

Having a professional team come to your home to help you with swimming pool installation and backyard pool landscaping can help you both to enjoy the beauty of your backyard haven, while also giving you peace of mind knowing that it’s been designed and built with your comfort and security in mind. 

Take a look at our pool cost guide to plan, price and purchase your dream pool, and 

Get a free quote today.  

Have you always wanted to see what pool installation looks like from start to finish? Watch this video featuring one of our finished projects!

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