13 Pool House Design Ideas to Make Your Backyard a Paradise

Kristin Salaky
Written by Kristin Salaky
Updated February 25, 2022
Two kids kicking water in an inground pool next to a small green pool house
Photo: Carol Yepes / Getty Images

 A pool house can be used for more than just storage

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When considering all the ways to enhance your backyard pool area, a versatile pool house should be at the top of your list. 

Use a pool house for practical reasons, such as storage. Or, take it up a notch and start a side hustle by turning your pool house into additional living space for rent. 

Whether you want to go big with an outdoor bar or keep it simple with a covered pergola, turn your swimming area into a truly versatile space with these pool house ideas.

Pool House Design Ideas

Keep these design elements in mind when updating your pool house or designing one from scratch. 

1. Double Door Shed

An inground pool with a green shed pool house
Photo: Virginie Violet / Adobe Stock

Consider installing a double door shed if storage is your main priority. With exterior double doors, you can easily store larger items, including a lawnmower, wheelbarrow, pool filter systems, and even pool toys without having to deflate them.  

2. Rustic Pool House

An inground pool with a rustic pool house built with repurposed materials
Photo: TheCreativeBrigade / Adobe Stock

Incorporate a farmhouse style into your outdoor space by using rustic elements for the pool house. This includes weathered metals, repurposed wood, and a bold accent color. Add bistro string lights for a final touch.

3. Country Pool House

A large country side inground pool with a small porch
Photo: Comstock / Getty Images

Complete your countryside swimming area with a charming pool house complete with small shuttered windows, flower boxes, a compact front porch, and a screened front door. Use the space to store all of your pool utilities and save a little room for a hang out space.

4. Brick Pool House

An inground pool with a large brick pool house
Photo: LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

For a backyard space that feels like a relaxing villa, design a brick pool house complete with potted plants, cast iron accents, and growing vines. Don’t forget the lounge chairs!

5. Pergola Covered Area

A group of people enjoying a cookout under a pergola next to an inground pool
Photo: Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

If a full pool house is outside of your budget, opt for a pergola instead. Pergolas are open-air coverings usually made of wood that provide shade and landscaping value. Add a patio set and outdoor lights for your own backyard cabana. Or, use it to house a grill and outdoor table for the ultimate outdoor dining experience at home.

Ideas for Pool House Features

Install these fun and practical features to your current pool house or add them to the blueprint if you’re building new.

6. Sliding Glass Door

A poolside house with a sliding glass door leading to an inground pool
Photo: korakoch / Adobe Stock

Though adding a sliding glass door to your pool house may not serve a practical purpose, it’s a gorgeous design element that can make any space feel more luxurious. If your pool house will double as living quarters, a large sliding glass door will give easy access to the pool while providing a great view from the inside.

7. Awning or Extended Roof

 A residential backyard with an inground pool and a pool house with an extended roof
Photo: Iriana Shiyan / Adobe Stock

There’s no denying how good it feels to lounge poolside in the midday summer sun, but the direct heat can quickly become too much. Add an awning or extended roof to your pool house for a shaded place to cool off with an ice cold drink when you start to feel overheated. Once you’re ready, reapply your sunscreen and go back out for a refreshing swim.

8. Bar Window with Seating

A pool house with an attached bar, bar stools, and a sliding window
Photo: RobMattingley / Getty Images

Add a service window, a bar top, and bar stools to the side of your pool house for your own poolside bar. This is a great element to include if you often entertain guests. Just be sure to install a stocked refrigerator, a griddle, a blender, and other small appliances inside the pool house to serve refreshing drinks and snacks.

9. Outdoor Lighting

An inground pool and a pool house with a window
Photo: David Chapman / Getty Images

A nighttime swim can be just as refreshing as a daytime one. Add external lighting to your pool house so you can safely take a dip whenever you want. Consider installing motion sensor lights to scare off any critters or other intruders who attempt to sneak into your pool after hours.

Ideas for Pool House Living Quarters

Some homeowners choose to have their pool house double as extra living space to accommodate guests or to rent out for extra income.

10. Guest House

An inground swimming pool and a luxury guest house
Photo: kuhnkorn / Adobe Stock

The possibilities are endless when you double your pool house as a guest house. Invite friends and relatives to stay with you, house your parent or grandparent, or rent it out as a vacation home for extra income—all without sacrificing your personal living space.

11. Luxury Pool House Suite

A large luxury home with an inground pool and large pool house
Photo: pics721 / Adobe Stock

Is your motto “go big or go home?” What if we told you that you can go big and stay home? Add a luxury pool house to your backyard and max it out with features such as a stocked kitchen, a lounge space, a guest room, and even a game room. Add French doors to the front and don’t forget to include a shaded seating area outside.

12. Tiny House

A tiny house with siding and a green door near an inground pool
Photo: fredlamarche / Adobe Stock

Tiny houses are very trendy because of their versatility despite being so compact. Though they are small, tiny houses can easily accommodate pool storage and small living quarters with the right design. 

13. Small Cottage

An inground pool with a small cottage pool house
Photo: Fotosearch / Getty Images

Similar to a tiny house, a small cottage is a compact space that can accommodate both pool storage and living quarters. A cottage may be a better fit for you if you need a little more room than a tiny house can provide. You can even add a second story!

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