Ideas for Updating Your Pool Area
Making some changes in and around your swimming pool can greatly enhance the beauty and enjoyment of your poolscape. From renovating your pool to adding a few simple features, we put together a list of ways to update your pool area this summer. Take a look at the following options and get ready to give your poolscape a whole new look.
1. Update the Pool Interior
A new interior can dramatically change the look of your swimming pool. Just because summer is here doesn’t mean it’s too late to refinish your swimming pool. Resurfacing a concrete pool generally takes seven to 14 days to complete, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your newly finished pool. If you have a vinyl-liner pool, the process is even quicker: once you decide on a new liner pattern, the old and new pool liners can be swapped out in as little as one to three days. Today’s vinyl liners include more sophisticated colors and designs, including patterns that give the look and feel of glass tiles. Many vinyl liner manufacturers offer a wide array of designs and patterns to fit any backyard theme or setting.
Taking the time to update your pool’s interior not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but can also extend its life, especially if you upgrade to a higher quality finish. For instance, aggregate finishes, which contain small river pebbles, glass beads, or quartz crystals, provide a harder and more durable pool surface than a traditional plaster (or marcite) finish and can last up to twice as long (aggregate finishes typically last 15 to 20 years compared to 10 to 15 years for plaster).
If your pool is in perfectly good shape, but you still want to update its look consider adding a simple tile border at the waterline. Glass and ceramic tiles add sparkle, light and panache to your pool. They come in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes and can be arranged in any design or pattern to fit your style needs.
Photo courtesy of Loop-Loc, Ltd.
2. Resurface the Pool Deck
Your pool deck plays an important part in the overall enjoyment of your pool area: it’s where you lounge in the sun between laps, relax with a good book, enjoy a refreshing snack, and entertain family and friends.
If your pool deck is in need of repair, tends to get hot from the sun, is stained, or simply doesn’t provide the look you desire, then resurfacing the area may be wise decision.
There are many options for pool deck surfaces, including concrete, stone, exposed aggregate, pavers, and even rubber flooring. While your budget and design preferences play a big role in the deck material you choose, it’s important to consider comfort and safety.
Above: Anthony & Sylvan Pools installed a new slate pattern concrete deck and paver coping to help give this pool a more modern look. See what it looked like before the renovation >>
Stamped or colored concrete, inter-locking pavers, and exposed aggregate are all affordable resurfacing options, but be sure to select a lighter color as these materials absorb sunlight and can get hot very quickly. If you have a higher budget, you may want to consider natural stone decking. Natural stones such as coral and travertine are great for pool decks because they stay cool and are slip resistant.
View more photos of coral stone pool decks >>
Photo courtesy of Coral Stone USA
3. Install Pool and Landscape Lighting
Outdoor Lighting can dramatically improve both the look and safety of your pool area at night. For the best results, install a combination of pool and landscaping lighting. Fiber optic or LED pool lighting will illuminate your pool from within, making it a mesmerizing nighttime focal point, while landscape lighting will light up the area around the pool, making it easier and safer for you and your guests to navigate once the sun goes down.
A variety of landscape lighting techniques can help you achieve a certain look or mood for your poolscape at night. For instance, footlights placed along the perimeter of the pool will add a soft glow to the surrounding hardscape and provide the perfect amount of lighting for late night swimming. (This will also reveal any wet spots to prevent slips and falls.)
For a bit of drama, install uplights in nearby trees and shrubbery to add depth and texture or place a light fixture high in a tree and aim the light down through the branches and leaves to create a subtle moonlight effect. Torch lights are ideal for imparting a tropical ambiance; place several torch lights throughout the backyard to guide guests to the pool and dining area.
Above: This elegant poolscape becomes even more enticing at night thanks to the brilliant aqua blue LED pool lighting. Strategically placed landscape lights and fire features provide further illumination for evening entertaining.
Photo courtesy of Pentair Aquatic Systems
4. Add a Water Feature
A water feature will boost your poolscape’s allure by adding visual and acoustic delight. The sight and sound of moving water is known to have a calming effect and it can also help cover up background noise from a busy street or neighbors, making your backyard a more pleasant retreat.
A variety of water features are available to fit any style pool or outdoor space. For instance, tiered patio fountains, wall fountains, and sheetfalls (pictured at left) provide an elegant accent for formal poolscapes while planter fountains are a great complement to backyards with a Mediterranean or Japanese Garden theme. A rock waterfall is ideal if you have a tropical or lagoon-style pool. Rock waterfalls can be made with real or artificial rock to seamlessly blend with your surrounding landscape and create the look and feel of an exotic oasis.
View more relaxing spa retreats and water features from Anthony & Sylvan Pools >>
5. Plant Some New Blooms
Adding plants around your pool is one of the simplest ways to breathe new life into your poolscape design. Plants will add color, interest, and shade to the pool area and establish a natural transition between the pool and its surrounding hardscape.
When landscaping around your pool, it’s important to choose plants according to their maintenance, hardiness, growing requirements, and function. For instance, some plants may not tolerate the extended exposure to sunlight and harsh swimming pool chemicals while others will litter your pool with leaves or cause damage because of their extensive root system.
Photo courtesy of Barrington Pools, Inc., a Master Pools Guild Builder;
Photography by Megan Kelly Photography
Shrubs and trees, such as Croton, Salvia, Colorado spruce, Bar Harbor juniper, and Mexican blue palm, are great for adding privacy and structure to the poolscape and require little maintenance.
Ornamental grasses are also popular poolside plants and bring tons of color and unique texture to the area. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can be planted in beds or along the border of the pool. Some great varieties include Zebra grass, fountaingrass, and blue fescue.
Decorative pots and planters also work well by the pool. Use them to display beautiful flowering plants, like bearded irises, cannas, and hydrangeas. Include a mix of leaf shapes, textures and colors to create an attractive, lush, and pleasant design.
Photo courtesy of Pacific Sun Pool & Spa, an Aquatech Builder
6. Add (or Replace) Poolside Furniture
New outdoor furniture can alter the look of your poolscape as well as set the tone for how you’ll enjoy the space. Today there are more choices than ever when it comes to furnishing your pool area thanks to a range of durable materials, weatherproof fabrics, and stylish designs.
One of the latest trends in outdoor furniture includes modular deep seating furniture sets that can be grouped together or arranged separately throughout the yard to create multiple seating areas. If you already have poolside furniture, you can create a new look or theme simply by re-arranging the pieces, switching out the cushions and pillows, and adding an outdoor rug.
When selecting and arranging furniture for your poolscape, think of how you intend to use the space. A line of lounge chairs is perfect for tanning or relaxing with friends while a dining table or conversation set is more appropriate if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a patio umbrella, canopy or other shade product to keep the area cool and comfortable all day long.
Photos courtesy of Source Outdoor
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