15 Patio Fountains That Ooze Tranquility
Forget the pool. I’ll take a fountain, please.
'Tis the season for outdoor improvements, and if you're anything like me, you're looking for a small-scale installation that makes a large-scale impact. When it comes to an outdoor space, nothing compares to the wow-factor of a water feature. The soothing sounds can completely transform your atmosphere, and a trendy style can completely transform your design. I personally love a good fountain — they can be simple or elaborate, budget-friendly or totally extravagant. I've rounded up 15 of my favorites for inspiration. Scroll through, and see what you think.
1: Modern Stone
Tiered Recirculating Water Fountain
Add the soothing trickle of water to your deck or patio with this recirculating modern water fountain. Water pumps through three tiered basins, with the second basin lit from within by an LED light. Set it up once and enjoy it, because this fountain is made from weather-resistant stone resin.
Weather-resistant stone resin makes this three-tiered fountain a practical choice for an uncovered patio.
2: Terra-Cotta Triplet
Dual Courtyard Fountains
After passing through the courtyard doors, you are welcomed by dual fountain features that frame the walkway and provide a tranquil feeling upon entry into this private space. Finding the right glass waterline tile for fountain and spa was difficult since we wanted it to be complementary to the antique brick and terra cotta paving colors, but the Bamboo Blend (Weave Series from Walker Zanger) provide the right balance of color, while also providing enough of a highlight.
Three terra-cotta fountains coordinate beautifully with the Mediterranean style of this courtyard designed by Drew Sivgals.
3: Ice Blue
Klopf Architecture chose a watery ice-blue hue for this tile fountain, playing up the soothing qualities of the water feature.
4: Simple Elegance
White and Wood Modern Exterior With Fountain
A mix of materials—stone pavers, wood and glass—make up the exterior of this refined modern home. In the center of the front courtyard sits a simple, elegant fountain.
Sometimes simplicity is best. M. Barnes & Co. opted for a small, clean-lined fountain to accent this sleek, modern home.
5: Climbing Foliage
Lush ivy trails up this gorgeous stone fountain, making the structure blend effortlessly with the rest of the landscape design.
6: A Touch of Nature
This earthy stone fountain spills into a bed of river rock, adding a natural touch to the contemporary patio.
7: Old World Charm
Mediterranean Courtyard with Old World Fountain
An Old World fountain mounted on the wall of this kitchen courtyard calls to mind a Spanish estate. Concrete pavers add cobbled texture and nuanced color to the Mediterranean-style patio. A pair of potted olive trees flank the fountain.
Scripps Networks, LLC
An Old World-style fountain pairs with potted olive trees to make this Mediterranean patio feel like an old Spanish estate.
8: Stacked Stone Stunner
Thanks to its interesting shape and substantial height, this fountain serves as a focal point, helping to round out the landscape design.
9: Urban Zen
Modern Urban Flowing Fountain Feature
Zen like and modern, this flowing fountain is a unique and soothing feature to be added to this outdoor urban retreat designed by Iverson Signature Homes.
KuDa Photography 2015
Fountains aren’t just for sprawling backyards. Here, Iverson Signature Homes designed an outdoor retreat with a streamlined fountain for an urban residence.
10: Brilliant Backdrop
Spanish-Inspired Courtyard With Classic Fountain
Bright blue tile make a striking backdrop and add a burst of color to this cozy, beautiful outdoor space. The Spanish-inspired water fountain creates a soothing ambiance for the elegant courtyard.
Dan Piassick, Piassick Photo
Though this Spanish-inspired fountain is beautiful in its own right, the bold blue tile backdrop helps the water feature pop.
11: Industrial Vibes
Intriguing Fountain Feature From Natural Rock Container on Enchanting Neutral Patio
A cage of stones decorates this patio and features a water fountain creating natural motion in the calm design. Neutral tones and warm lighting give it a zen and inviting feel.
Warwick P Hunt
Designed by Studio H Landscape Architecture, this intriguing fountain features water flowing from an industrial, cage-like structure filled with natural stones.
12: Instant Ambiance
This large, smooth stone softly spews water, creating a calm, soothing atmosphere.
13: Stylish Color
This gorgeous blue fountain adds a trendy burst of color to a romantic courtyard.
14: Balancing Act
Round River Stones in Patio Fountain Encourage Interaction
A fountain composed of round river stones serves as the centerpiece to this serene patio. The stacked stones create a visual balance, but they can be adjusted to the homeowner's preferences. Changing the stone pattern also creates different sounds with the water, thus encouraging the homeowner to interact with his or her environment.
Colin Conces Photography
Designed by Sun Valley Landscaping, this river stone fountain is adjustable. Moving the stones generates different sounds with the water, allowing the homeowner to create a unique experience.
15: Effortless Integration
Modern Terrace With Stacked Stone Water Fountain
A stacked stone water fountain is the focal point in this backyard garden. Below, large pavers surround a small pond leading to an elevated terrace. The multi-level yard allows for fun and intriguing travel through the lush landscaping.
Sage Design Studios, Inc.
Sage Design Studios integrated this stacked stone fountain into the hardscape design, ensuring it flowed effortlessly with the patio’s elevations.
What You'll Need
37-gallon heavy duty trashcan with lid / forty 10-1/2-inch x 7-inch x 3-1/2-inch tumbled stone bricks / twenty-six 7-inch x 7-inch x 3-1/2-inch tumbled stone bricks / seventeen 7-inch x 3-1/2-inch x 1-3/4-inch tumbled stone bricks / 1/2 HP Sump pump with 1-1/4-inch hose / two 12-inch lengths 2-inch pvc pipe / 22-inch plastic flower box / 1-1/4-inch bulkhead / 1-1/4-inch thread adapter / two 1-1/4-inch street 90-degree elbow pipes / 1-1/2-inch x 48-inch perforated angle iron / 22-inch x 39-inch piece pond liner / 26-inch x 7-inch aluminum flashing / silicone sealant / two 1-1/4-inch hose barbs with clamps / 24-inch x 24-inch metal lath or heavy screen / 24-inch x 48-inch slate slab / shovel / level / tape measure / drill with 2-1/2-inch and 1-1/4-inch hole saws / tin snips / utility knife / jigsaw
Dig Hole and Place Reservoir
Select a location and orientation for your fountain. Check with utility companies before digging, then use a shovel to dig a hole just large enough to hold your 37-gallon trash can, leaving a rise of about two inches at the surface. Use a level to make sure can rests evenly. Fill any gaps around the can and cover with lid while working to keep dirt out. This trashcan will serve as a reservoir from which water will be drawn and returned when the fountain is operating.
Build Bottom Riser Tier
Using tumbled stone, create a riser tier 39-1/2 x 21 inches, with a long side resting 1 inch from the reservoir at its midpoint. Tumbled stone found at your local hardware stone is designed to provide a variety of configurations that will result in uniform dimensions. Press firmly to set tier and use a level to confirm it rests plumb and level.
Establish Pass-throughs for Water and Power Lines
Remove the tumbled stone resting at the edge of the reservoir and dig a 3-inch-deep trench from the reservoir to the open area inside the riser. Repeat this process on the long edge opposite the reservoir. Measure down 1 inch from the lip on the reservoir at the midpoint of the riser and drill a hole using a 2-1/2-inch hole saw. This hole will be used to create a pass-through for water and power lines from the sump pump.
Add five more tiers of tumbled stone, using a level to confirm the riser remains square and level. Vary stone configuration of each tier to create a patchwork look. Finally, add a seventh layer, using 7-inch x 3-1/2-inch x 1-3/4-inch tumbled bricks to create a centered, half-height 24-1/2-inch-wide spillway gap facing the reservoir, as shown.
Thread Plumbing and Power
Use a hose barb and clamp to attach hose to the sump pump. Push the hose and power cord from the sump pump through the raceway into the riser. Drape the hose over the top of the riser and push the power cord through the rear raceway of the riser where it can be plugged into an outlet to provide power to the pump.
Shape Mounting Bracket
Starting at one end of 48-inch-long perforated angle iron, measure and mark points at 5-1/2 inches, 13-1/2 inches, 34-1/2 inches and 42-1/2 inches. Using a jigsaw, cut one edge of the bracket at marked points and fold into a rectangle with a 10-inch open gap on one side, as shown. Trim edges as needed to allow a secure fit inside the riser. This bracket will rest inside the riser and is used to support the diffuser.
Seal Diffuser Assembly
Once desired flow is achieved, turn off pump. Lift and drain diffuser and thoroughly dry diffuser, water barrier and scupper with a towel. Use silicone to line edges where the diffuser meets the water barrier and press diffuser firmly back in place. Turn up front edge of water barrier, draw a line of silicone on the top of the scupper and press barrier back in place. The silicone acts as a seal, keeping components in place and preventing water from making contact with the stone or flowing inside the riser.
Cut and Place Reservoir Screen
Use tin snips to cut a half-moon of lath or heavy screen that meets the edges of the trash can lid and extends at least 3 inches beyond the center of the lid. Place screen on lid to cover the hole. This screen allows water to flow freely into the reservoir while limiting debris.