Installing a swimming pool is the ultimate backyard amenity that has a strong aesthetic appeal and the focus of the entire landscape. It’s the center of family life and social gatherings. There are many specialty design features that can be incorporated in the landscaping around the pool that provides beauty, safety and privacy.

Since a pool is such an expensive proposition, it’s important to take your time in determining the many aspects of the project. Whatever features you decide to add to your landscape design, they will have a powerful influence on adjacent outdoor living spaces. Although the pool is the main attraction, both the pool and its surroundings should complement one another. This balance can be a daunting task for many homeowners; therefore, it’s prudent to hire a landscape architect to design the pool as well as the entire site at the same time.

The specialty structures that can be added to the landscape surrounding the pool are endless, such as pool decks, patios, waterfalls, fencing, pool spa, gazebo or fireplace. Here are some ideas to turn your pool area into a landscape showcase.

Gazebo

There is no better way to complement your outdoor swimming pool than by having a custom built and luxurious gazebo added to the property. Not only does it increase your home value, it provides a “Wow” factor by maximizing your property’s visual appeal.

A gazebo is an outdoor, roofed structure with open walls and it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Gazebos are most commonly made of wood, but other materials can be used like wrought iron, vinyl, aluminum or steel. It can have either a semi-open roof that provides shade or a shingled roof that provides total protection from the elements.

As part of the landscaped area of the pool, a gazebo is the perfect retreat to entertain friends and family. It is also an ideal addition if you’re contemplating having an outdoor kitchen installed. A square gazebo over a hot tub offers just the right amount of privacy and it provides a safe haven from wind and rain. It can also be an attractive destination when it’s placed on the deck overlooking the pool.

Fireplace

You can extend the life of your pool and outdoor living space by adding the warmth and ambiance of a big and beautiful fireplace. An outdoor fireplace can serve as both a focal point and an eye-catching feature that enhances the look of the entire area. It can turn a day-use area into a perfect location for nighttime entertainment and gatherings. Outdoor fireplaces not only look great, but they keep your warm on those chilly nights, especially after a nighttime dip in the pool.  An outdoor fireplace makes your patio area more private and cozy while adding interest to your home and backyard scenery.  Having an outdoor entertainment area with a gazebo can be a comfortable outdoor destination on its own, but a grand fireplace is definitely the finishing touch.

Patios

The patio defines your outdoor living area and it is an essential part of the poolscape. It can be used for a variety of poolside activities, including sunbathing, dining and socializing. Since it defines your backyard, it’s important that your pool’s patio design complements your lifestyle and the style of your pool.

There are many types of materials that are used for patios to create a distinctive look, such as concrete with a stamped pattern that is dyed, or a more natural look using flagstone, slate, bluestone and limestone. Brick remains a traditional patio paving material. There are different types, such as aged brick for an informal look or primeval brick red pavers for a more formal setting.

There are some unique patio layouts to consider, such as a sun deck patio designed for simple poolside relaxation. It’s located along the perimeter of the swimming pool and lined with rows of stylish chaise lounges. An in-pool tanning shelf is another design that’s ideal for poolside lounging. It’s a large shallow area, usually five to eight inches deep and situated at the entry of the pool.  A bistro patio is a great design for smaller backyards, and a garden oasis design is idyllic to enhance the pool’s natural setting with foliage, rockery and fountains.

Whether you’re updating your pool area or starting from scratch, you can enhance the beauty and enjoyment of your backyard with some specialty poolscape designs.