15 Patio Fountains That Ooze Tranquility

Forget the pool. I’ll take a fountain, please.

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'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

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.

Photo by: Hayneedle


Weather-resistant stone resin makes this three-tiered fountain a practical choice for an uncovered patio.

2: Terra-Cotta Triplet

Dual Courtyard Fountains

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.

Photo by: Jeri Koegel

Jeri Koegel

Three terra-cotta fountains coordinate beautifully with the Mediterranean style of this courtyard designed by Drew Sivgals.

3: Ice Blue

Patio with Blue Tile Fountain

Patio with Blue Tile Fountain

A close-up view of one of the renovated patios off of the living room reveals a blue tile studded fountain with contemporary outdoor furnishings and a beautiful redwood fence as the background border.

Photo by: Klopf Architecture, www.klopfarchitecture.com

Klopf Architecture, www.klopfarchitecture.com

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

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.

Photo by: Dan Piassick

Dan Piassick

Sometimes simplicity is best. M. Barnes & Co. opted for a small, clean-lined fountain to accent this sleek, modern home.

5: Climbing Foliage

McCaull Garden Fountain

McCaull Garden Fountain

This is a fountain at Highlands garden with green vines growing on it.

Photo by: Photo Credit: Mary Palmer Dargan

Photo Credit: Mary Palmer Dargan

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

Modern Neutral Patio With Water Feature

Modern Neutral Patio With Water Feature

This patio features a stone fountain that flows into a pebble-rock bed, and a small seating area, perfect for a chat or a nice meal.

From: Chad Robert

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

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.

From: Deena Castello

©Scripps Networks, LLC

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

Natural Stone Water Fountain

Natural Stone Water Fountain

A natural stone water feature brings tranquility and contemporary style to this fenced overlook with a valley view.

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

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.

Photo by: KuDa Photography 2015

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

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.

Photo by: Dan Piassick, Piassick Photo

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

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.

Photo by: Warwick P Hunt

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



A large, smooth stone serves as the base for this serene fountain in a contemporary courtyard.

This large, smooth stone softly spews water, creating a calm, soothing atmosphere.

13: Stylish Color

Water Works

Water Works

A cobalt blue vessel was kitted out as a subtle water feature and sits in a flower bed out front.

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

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.

Photo by: Colin Conces Photography

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

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.

Photo by: Sage Design Studios, Inc.

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.

DIY It: Build a Waterfall Garden Fountain

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Your neighbors won't believe you built this gorgeous backyard water feature yourself.

Make a Stone Waterfall Garden Fountain

A well-placed water feature adds beauty and elegance to any yard or garden. This self-contained waterfall takes up little space, but has a big impact. Bring beauty and tranquility to the yard with this weekend DIY project.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Level Ground

Use dirt from hole or paver base to level the ground around the reservoir and tamp down thoroughly. It is important the ground be firm and level to establish a sturdy foundation for the fountain riser.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Insert Raceway

Place a 12-inch length pvc through the drilled hole, hanging roughly 2 inches inside the reservoir. Bury pipe and replace tumbled stone above. Place a second piece of PVC in the trench opposite the reservoir, bury and replace tumbled stone.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Finish Riser

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Attach Bulkhead to Diffuser

Use 1-1/4-inch hole saw bit to drill a hole in the bottom of the flower box 3 inches from a short end. Push bulkhead though the hole and secure with nut. Attach thread adapter to the bulkhead inside the box.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Assemble Diffuser

Attach a street 90-degree elbow to the thread adapter facing the center of the box and finish with second street elbow facing downward. This box will rest inside the riser and serve as a diffuser, alllowing water to pool and flow freely over the spillway to create a waterfall.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Place Sump Pump

Set sump pump in the bottom of the reservoir (pump may be placed on a paver to reduce debris intake, if desired). Water will pump through the diffuser and flow over the riser, returning to the reservoir in a closed system cycle.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Measure Water Barrier

Place the mounting bracket in the center of a 22-inch x 39-inch piece of pond liner and mark points inside each corner.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Cut Water Barrier

Use a utility knife to cut a large "X" in the liner from marked points. This waterpoof sheet will be used to create a barrier between the diffuser and the riser to prevent overflow.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Insert Mounting Bracket

Place mounting bracket in riser so that the open side of the bracket rests on the back of the riser and the long edge rests inside the spillway (bend as needed to assure a secure fit).

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Attach Diffuser

Lay the water barrier over the mounting bracket and pass the hose through the hole. Attach sump pump hose pipe to the bulkhead on the bottom of the diffuser (flower box).

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Mount Diffuser

Set the diffuser inside the mounting bracket, making sure the water barrier extends beneath the lip on all sides. The diffuser will pitch slightly forward in the space to allow water to flow smoothly though the spillway.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Shape Scupper

Along one long side of aluminum flashing, mark points 1 inch from each end. Along the opposite edge, mark points 1-1/2 inches in. Use a pencil to connect the points at short ends. Bend flashing 90 degrees along pencil lines. This “scupper” will rest in spillway to direct water flow.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Place Scupper

Center the scupper in the spillway beneath the water barrier with the tall edge at the rear of the spillway. The outer edge should rest evenly along the outside edge of tumbled stones.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Fill Reservoir

Use a garden hose to fill the reservoir with water, stopping about an inch below the pass-though pipe.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Cut Reservoir Cover

Use a jigsaw or utility knife to cut away half of the trashcan lid, leaving a three inch edge to create a half-moon thorough which water may flow. Place the lid topside-down on top of the reservoir.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Place Cap

Once silicone seal has completely dried, turn the pump back on to confirm water is flowing correctly. If no further adjustments are needed, place a 24-inch x 48-inch slab of slate on top of the riser to cap.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Landscape It

Place rocks of varying sizes around the edges of the reservoir to obscure screen and add native plants around the site to accent its natural beauty. Avoid placing rocks under the water flow to prevent splashing that will slowly drain the system.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Light It Up

Consider accent lights to showcase this beautiful fountain after twilight.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp


This peaceful fountain may run full-time or put on a timer to flow only at peak times. To maintain, check water levels occasionally and top off as needed. Drain fountain during winter months to prevent damage to pipes.

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

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