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3 things to consider when designing a pool

Another summer arrives and cold weather is a distant memory. You are ready to put in that pool you’ve been thinking about all winter long.

“How to do I find a contractor?” Your search proves to be a difficult one. Many are already booked and there are so many things to think about that you’ve never considered. Who knew there were so many shapes and styles? Where do you begin?

The truth is, it’s never too early to start thinking about how a pool will fit into your backyard landscape. Incorporating a pool into your yard is a process that takes a lot of time and thought to ensure it is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Designing a pool and the surrounding backyard landscape can seem like a daunting task, but working with a skilled designer​ can make your backyard paradise an achievable goal. To ensure your pool is everything you’ve dreamed of, you and your designer will want to consider the style, placement, and finishing touches of your backyard landscape. With these elements in mind, you’ll be one step closer to your ultimate escape.

Backyard pool with stone walkway and large trees.

Your Pool Style

There are many different options when it comes to the style and layout of your pool. Style is a personal choice but if you pick a pool design that conflicts with your existing space, your serene get-away will end up feeling chaotic and overwhelming. Your designer will help you achieve a balance between your personal style and a style that blends well with your existing backyard space.

Pool shape and layout are important to consider as well. You and your designer will have to discuss what your goal is for your pool. Organic shapes can be fun and creative but they aren’t as practical when it comes to pool upkeep.

If you are looking for lower maintenance, simple shapes are more accommodating to automatic pool covers that provide safety for young children and shelter from debris. Consider the pros and cons of both styles.

Backyard pool and an open and covered patio with a fireplace and sofa.

Pool Placement

Once you’ve settled on a style, you’ll want to think about where you are going to place the pool and the equipment that goes with it. Consider the role you want your pool to play in your backyard landscape. Do you want it to be the focal point or a destination? Often it is more practical to have it off to the side.

Talking to your designer will help you determine a location best suited to your backyard. The pool’s relationship with the house will also shape your backyard experience. Your designer will help you think about site lines from inside which are important for young families and pet owners. The proximity of the pool to the house determines the ease of use.

If your pool is too far from the house you may end up feeling disconnected from inside spaces. On the other hand, having your pool too close can cause it to become an eyesore once winter has taken over. A proper balance can be achieved through discussions with your designer.

An open and partially covered extended patio with large trees and small flowers near an outdoor pool.

Just as important as pool placement, is the placement of the pool equipment. Pool equipment is noisy and unattractive yet an integral part of a properly functioning pool. You want equipment to be easily accessed yet hidden from sight.

The location of your equipment should not impede future development. The last thing you want to have to do is move your equipment to add a few new features to your yard. Improperly placed equipment can really have a negative impact on your backyard setting. Talk to your designer about how to seamlessly incorporate your pool equipment into your landscape.

An aerial view of a modern pool and cabana Conestoga.

Backyard Finishing Touches

Finishing touches can really highlight your pool and make it feel like a cohesive part of your backyard. Whether these features go in right away or become a future endeavor, a good pool design will allow for additional elements to be incorporated down the road.

An outdoor pool with a large stone walkway and mini waterfall with landscape lighting and wooden arch.

Water Features

Water features c​an add interest and movement to your landscape. Waterfalls offer soft background noise that can add to the tranquility of the space. Consider how your space will be used at night. Will you be hosting backyard parties in the evening? ​

Landscape Lighting

Garden lights are a functional addition but you may want to also consider adding ​pool lighting​ to highlight your new investment. Different light colours and sequences can allow your pool to become a centrepiece or conversation starter during evening events.

An outdoor pool with pool lights and light landscape.

Pool Usage

It is important to think about the daily use of your pool. The pool may be a refuge from the hot summer sun but do you have a spot to dry off and have a drink? ​

Pergolas​ can provide relief from the sun while still allowing you to enjoy the pool.​ Outdoor kitchens ​and ​patio spaces ​can also allow you to bring inside living outdoors, allowing for extended use of your pool.

Planting​ is another element that can work with or against the design of your pool. Think about the type of plants you are using. Plants with thorns or sharp grasses can be unpleasant on bare skin if implemented too close to the pool deck. Play around with ground covers like thyme or moss that are easy on bare feet.

Plantings can help define the space by providing privacy. Just be careful not to create a barrier in which seeing children or pets becomes a challenge. Use planters to add colour and fragrance to the pool deck. Talk to your designer for more recommendations on how to finish your backyard space.

An aerial view of a small outdoor pool with a large garden.

Now that you have the tools to start thinking about planning your pool, the next steps are hiring a designer to help you through the process. Get started today with one of our ​talented designers.

Need more inspiration? Check out some of our ​award-winning pool designs.


Homeowners who value creative design and exceptional craftsmanship, trust Earthscape’s simple step-by-step process to transform an outdated or non-functional landscape into an exceptional outdoor escape.

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