Waterslides and waterfalls, a swim-up bar for icy-cold cocktails, or a fireplace for that extra pizzazz – there’s nothing better than diving into the swimming pool on a hot summer’s day. But what if you could transform your average backyard pool into an all-out oasis?
There are roughly 10.4 million residential swimming pools across the country, according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. States like California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio lead the way in having the most backyard pools and hot tubs, industry estimates suggest.
While you may be deciding between an inground or above-ground pool for your backyard renovation, it’s worth doing your homework on all the customizations you’d like to make for your summertime respite. Ultimately, the choice is yours – you could opt for a dramatic infinity pool look if you have an impressive view to work with, or you could go all out with waterslides and waterfalls.
If you need some inspiration, here’s a look at 12 amazing pool and hot tub customizations you and your builder may want to incorporate into your construction plans.
Play with textures
Transform your backyard pool into an oasis of sorts by playing with textures, like adding rock paths into your pool’s design paired with lush plants and flowers. Take inspiration from this TikToker who worked with their builder to design a pool with rock formations surrounding it. Add in some foliage and your backyard will look like an escape to the tropics:
Go for the waterslide
Yes, we’re encouraging you to embrace your inner child and sketch that waterslide into your custom pool’s blueprint! You don’t have to go with the garish neon yellow waterslides of the past either. These days, they can match the overall look of your backyard like these TikTokers’ custom-made pools:
We love the rock path spiral staircase leading to the small but fun waterslide that’s bound to be a hit at every pool party.
Add pops of color
If rock formations and waterslides don’t match your home’s aesthetic, you can always level up your backyard pool and hot tub with custom tiling instead. This TikToker shows you the ropes: by simply adding a second tone and a simplistic tiling on the pool’s flooring, you’ll break up the monotony of blue while adding a touch of elegance to your backyard’s look:
Get practical with a swim-up bar
If you loved that swim-up bar that had an endless supply of mojitos and daiquiris at the last resort you stayed at, ask your builder to siphon off a corner of the pool precisely for this feature. This is a practical move, really – you’re preparing for inevitable thirst!
This TikToker included a little cove bar with in-pool stool seating, so they won’t have to towel off when it’s time for refreshments:
Channel the Maldives
If you’ve got the space to work with, how glorious would it be to emulate the overwater bungalows that are synonymous with the Maldives?
While they aren’t in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, this TikToker nails the Maldivian getaway vibes with a floating bridge path over their pool where they can swim under as the pool winds around the home. Also, notice the dreamy patio seating smack dab in the middle of the water:
Take advantage of the view
For homeowners with those million-dollar views overlooking the water, ask your builder if your backyard space allows for an infinity pool or zero-edge pool. In a nutshell, water flows over one or more of the edges of an infinity pool appearing to merge with a larger body of water – or even the sky. They’re usually in hotel rooftops and resorts but if you’ve got the real estate, why not include this stunning feature in your custom pool plans?
This TikToker gets what we mean with their backyard paradise:
Consider the Instagram-worthy waterfalls (and fountains!)
It doesn’t get more luxurious than bathing under a waterfall, does it? Between the rock formations and swim-up bars, you can ask your builder to include a waterfall in your pool’s design. It can be as opulent as a waterfall that looks like it’s been transported straight from the Caribbean. But if that’s too over the top, you can always strategically place smaller waterfalls and fountains.
See what we mean in these two TikTokers’ backyard pool tours – one has a waterfall streaming from a rock face, while the other adds a delicate touch with water sprinkling out of a few carefully placed fountains:
That waterslide-waterfall duo is worth bookmarking!
Throw in more heat
Don’t forget about making use of your pool and overall backyard in the evenings, too. You can incorporate a fireplace into your pool’s design, by either including a floating fireplace in the pool or by adding heat with fire along the perimeter of your pool.
Check out how this TikToker achieved this look:
Think of the seating options
People often tan poolside – towel on a lounger with their favorite book and a cold drink in hand – until it’s time to cool off with a dip in the water. But what if you build the lounger right into your pool’s floorplan?
We love how this TikToker designed partially submerged loungers right in the pool so you can keep cool while getting sun-kissed. You can even ask your builder to add a cup holder next to the lounger if that’s helpful. Notice how the pool also includes a minimalist swim-up bar with in-pool stool seats:
Get ready for all seasons
Don’t let colder temperatures dissuade you from getting the pool of your dreams in your home. If you aren’t in a state with year-round warmth, ask your builder if it’s feasible to construct a custom pool housed inside your home instead.
This TikToker made use of the square feet in their home with this spacious indoor pool:
Create an optical illusion
Don’t shy away from different shapes and dimensions when you’re drafting your pool’s floor plan and design with your builder. The first TikToker below created a “glass spa” – a raised section of the pool cordoned off with seating, while another designed their entire pool above ground using glass as the container:
Make way for the lazy river
You don’t need to talk yourself into adding a lazy river into your customized pool plans, simply watch this TikToker’s backyard tour instead. We’re smitten with everything about it, especially the lazy river winding around the pool, through a rock cave, and under a few bridges:
Carmen Chai is an award-winning Canadian journalist who has lived and reported from major cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, London and Paris. For NewHomeSource, Carmen covers a variety of topics, including insurance, mortgages, and more.