Pool Ideas: Stylish And Creative Ideas To Consider

one of the simplest yet elegant looking pool ideas in the limestone of the simplest yet elegant looking pool ideas in the list

Creating the perfect pool and backyard environment can be challenging. There are seemingly millions of ideas out there, with thousands of websites promoting their suppliers, architects, or builders. And there are millions of ideas on Pinterest to cull through. We’ve saved you some time and effort, though, by doing the work for you, and just narrowing down the list to our top 10 favorite beautiful pool ideas.

Some of the most beautiful pool ideas are listed below, with basic information on how to think through your own take on the designs. But first, you’ll want to think through pool types, shapes, and materials, before you can design the perfect backyard.

Standard Types of Pools

As you start looking into the perfect pool for your home, consider types of pool ideas.

1. Standard Pools

2. Infinity Pools

3. Lap Pools

4. Swim Spas or “Spools”

5. Plunge Pools

6. Zero-Entry Pools

7. Indoor Pools

8. Endless Pools

9. Salt-Water Pools

10. Above-Ground Pools

11. Screened-In Pools

The Most Common Pool Shapes

One of the most important aspects of designing your pool and landscaping is the shape of the pool. Before you decide, be sure to check out pool shapes that intrigue you, and work with your base style.

The twelve most common pool shapes and designs include:

  • Circular
  • Figure 8
  • Geometric
  • Grecian
  • Free Form
  • Half Moon
  • Roman
  • True L
  • Oval
  • Lazy L
  • Kidney
  • Rectangular

If you’re not totally sure which shape is which, do some google searches for “Lazy L pools” or “Half Moon pools,” or look through some photo galleries.

Most Likely Pool Materials

You might not realize it, but the material that your pool is made of can significantly alter the landscaping, design, and atmosphere of your pool.


Fiberglass pool interiors are fast and easy to install and require much less maintenance over time. This pool interior also lasts a lot longer with less work than others. There are a wide variety of colors to choose from, ranging from things like natural sand and beachy tones to cooler colors like blue to add a brighter feel to the pool.

Fiberglass inserts are delivered in the pre-determined shape and size you’ve deemed for your pool.


Concrete has been the most popular pool interior until the more recent years. Basically, the hole is dug into the ground, and then the concrete is poured in. And, voila, your pool liner is ready to set. This particular interior is great for custom-shaped pools, like Free Form and Half Moon.


Vinyl liners come to your home in panels, which are installed one at a time to line the pool in the shape you’ve designated. The vinyl sits on a concrete foundation. Great things about vinyl liners are that they don’t crack, they don’t require repainting with waterproof paint – concrete requires this process every so often – and they’re great for custom-shaped pools. Vinyl liners are also one of the cheapest interiors for an inground pool.

Shipping Container

For a unique twist on a pool liner, you can try the shipping container method. The pool is dug, and the shipping container is dropped into the hole. Or, if you’re looking for a unique aesthetic, you can use a shipping container as an above-ground pool instead.

Shipping containers are less expensive than concrete and fiberglass liners and tend to be efficient for heating purposes on the pool. You can find companies that specialize in building and installing shipping container pools.

The Best Pool Features

Now that you’ve thought through the shapes and materials available for building your dream pool, let’s talk features. This is the fun stuff that takes a standard pool to amazing, in any yard.

1. Italian Cypress

If you’re looking for a simple, elegant, and clean feeling landscaping option to boost a simple pool area to something truly sophisticated, try planting two to five Italian Cypress trees along the perimeter of the pool apron. Try giving a few feet between the apron and the trees for a comfortable, attractive pool.

2. Barn Door Patio

If you’re looking for a simple, elegant, and clean feeling landscaping option to boost a simple pool area to something truly sophisticated, try planting two to five Italian Cypress trees along the perimeter of the pool apron. Try giving a few feet between the apron and the trees for a comfortable, attractive pool.

3. Living Wall

If you want a beautiful alternative to fencing, try creating a living wall. You can construct one reasonably easily out of some beautiful hedges, trees, and similar plants, to give yourself an inviting, green, and natural edging for your pool, yard, and home. Plus, living walls make an awesome backdrop for photos.

4. Continued Architectural Design

For a stunning pool and yard, you can have your builder create a continuing design pool and yard. There are a number of examples of this, including the concept of a lap pool that spills into an adjacent catch-gutter. The run spills into a balance tank at the opposite end of the pool, which appears, from the right vantage point, to be a separate water feature. Using a mural on the support walls, everything is tied together in a unique, stunning visual that encompasses the whole yard in a beautiful, intriguing design.

5. Living Room To Pool Opening

For the true wow factor, have your living room open out into the pool, using unique stepping stones that literally take you out from your home into walking on water.

6. Upholstery For An Easy-Update

For a simple, easy, and fairly inexpensive update for your pool, find some exciting, bright, and beautiful new upholstery items, like pillows and chaise cushions, for your pool house. For summery colors, go with yellows and oranges. In winter, shoot for reds, greens, and blues for a combination of warm and cool, bright accents that draw attention.

7. Gauzy Curtains And Wet-Bar

If you don’t already have some airy, gauzy curtains for your pool house, now’s the time. This inexpensive update will change your pool house from a ho-hum place to dump the towels to a tropical paradise in minutes.

For a bigger upgrade, add an outdoor wet bar, rattan chaise lounges, and a few key tropical décor items.

8. Mosaic Tiles

For easy, water access without walking on your pristine lawns, try adding some mosaic tiles as a walking path between the house and the pool apron. They’re functional and beautiful, and really add an impressive “pop” to the yard without a lot of expense. You can either add muted tones for a more classical feel or go with bright, energizing colors for a more Bohemian look.

9. Modern Stylings

For a modern backyard, check out the design from Murray Legge Architecture of Austin, for some stunning ideas. The pool house has a roof with grasses, locally native wildflowers, and sedges. Limestone on steel for pool decking and mosaic glass tiles complete the pool interior, while stools inside the pool create a comfortable, luxurious feel.

10. Waterpark Wonderland

For those who have the space and finances, and love a good waterpark, you can create a fun, but the elegant waterpark-like environment in your backyard. Stones, waterfalls, islands, multiple levels of pools, colorful landscaping, artistic elements, and, of course, incredibly comfortable lounge chairs and a bright umbrella work together to create this experience. You can add in additional elements like fountains and built-in sprinklers that will add to the “park” experience at home. 

The Most Beautiful Pool Ideas

Your backyard is limitless, even with a very small space to work with. There are literally millions of options that you can pull together for small, distinct, and stunning features that will create the most beautiful yard you’ve ever seen. Look through our pool ideas, and check the links for visuals.

For more ideas with some visual aids, check out the designs featured on Decoist and Architecture Art Designs for small pool ideas.

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