7 Tips to Transform Your Pool Into a Backyard Oasis

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated April 6, 2022
A backyard pool with a lush garden
Photo: Thanyakan Thanapanprasert / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Create a backyard sanctuary

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

You don’t need to hop on a jet to feel like you’re on a tropical vacation—with some thoughtful strategy, you can design your pool area to feel like a true backyard oasis, complete with an outdoor grill, lounging areas, and a full stereo system. Follow our tips to elevate your swimming pool area to resort-in-Tulum status.

1. Design a Deck

The deck around your pool can be designed in many ways to reflect your aesthetic preferences. Using wood, composite wood, pavers, or concrete, a deck offers a place for swimmers to sit comfortably at the water’s edge, or for some of your pool furniture to live. The cost of a pool deck ranges from $3,000 to $12,000, on average.

2. Designate Different Zones

A modern patio next to the swimming pool
Photo: Paul Bradbury / OJO Images / Getty Images

With furniture, privacy screens, and plants, you can create different zones around your pool that will make it feel like a more thoughtful and luxurious space. Have one area set up to foster conversation and cocktail hour with cozy cushions and small tables, and another for after-swim lunch or dinner, marked by an outdoor dining set. 

If you’ve got the space and budget, consider an entertainment zone on a raised deck, complete with an outdoor, waterproof television. Another option, if you have the square footage, is to create a separate pool house, which will give you and your family and friends shade from the sun and a place to relax in between laps.

3. Prioritize Privacy

You won’t get tropical island—or even spring break—vibes if the view from your pool area is your neighbor’s unkempt backyard. Create privacy with the help of fencing, climbing vines, other tall plants like bamboo or hedges, walls, or trees. Make sure not to block anything you do want to see, like the mountains, the ocean, or other natural scenery.

4. Great Creative With Lighting

Think of your favorite movie with a nighttime pool scene. Didn’t it have elegant lighting to properly illuminate the pool and the surrounding area, without taking away from the ambiance? Your pool can and should have that, too. 

Install lighting on steps and pathways for safety, and well lights along walls to give the space some depth. For character, consider torches and string lights or color LED lights in the pool itself.

5. Dive in With Water Features

A contemporary water fountain in a house’s pool
Photo: piovesempre / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

From laminar jets and sconces to waterfalls, water features add an extra layer of elegance and charm to your pool area. In addition, the sound of running water is soothing, and helps block out less-relaxing sounds like airplanes and cars. 

6. Install an Outdoor Kitchen

Keep things simple with a barbeque or design a full prep area with an oven, grill, and tiki bar. Either way, an outdoor kitchen is helpful for pool parties or any day you simply want to enjoy a hot dog in the sunshine.

7. Music Is a Must-Have

Is a pool party a pool party without tunes? If you’ve got the budget, you can install a full outdoor sound system that connects to your indoor system, so long as you have a multi-channel AV receiver or matric for whole-house audio. 

For this, you’ll want to hire a home audio installation company near you. A more budget-friendly option is simply placing wireless outdoor speakers around your pool area; find an amp that can play audio from many different sources, including streaming platforms, CDs, and vinyl.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.