17 Ways to Pretty-Up an Above-Ground Pool

Give your splash pad a stylish spruce up — just in time for summer with these above ground pool ideas.

June 05, 2020

Do you love lounging around on hot, summer days in your above-ground pool, but hate the way it looks in your yard? You aren't alone. While above-ground pools boast a ton of positives (budget-friendly, easier to keep clean), they simply aren't as aesthetically-pleasing as their in-ground counterparts. But that doesn't mean they can't be! Whether you're searching for ways to spruce up your current pool's look or are on the hunt for inspiration before you buy, we've got you covered with eye-catching above ground pool ideas to fit any size budget or backyard.

Lovely Lounge Space

Photo by: bossliving.com


A built-in wood bench lined with outdoor cushions adds style and extra seating to this plain, rectangular pool.

Add Style With Tile

Photo by: DDB Design Development & Building

DDB Design Development & Building

If your concrete pool is looking a little worse for wear, give it a sleek, modern update with a splash of black mosaic tile and eye-catching uplighting.

Above-Ground Concrete Pools

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Light It Up

Photo by: theglossynest.com


For peaceful evenings or small parties by the pool, soft lighting such as lanterns, candles, tiki torches, string lights and more are a lovely and inexpensive way to glam up your outdoor oasis. Just don't forget to extinguish all flames before you call it a night.

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Thoughtful Landscaping

Landscaping Around an Above Ground Pool

Landscaping Around an Above Ground Pool

Photo by: trevi.com


DIY-friendly and easy on the eyes, it's no wonder lush garden landscaping is the most popular way to pretty-up an above-ground pool. To pull off this look like a pro, edge out your flower bed first, install easy-to-maintain plants like shrubs or tall grasses, then cover with mulch for a clean look and to boost plant life. (Don't forget to spray for ants and termites regularly!)

Pool Landscaping Ideas

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River Rock Landscape Edging

Photo by: Shutterstock


No matter what type of above-ground pool you own (round, rectangular, s-shaped), edging around your pool with inexpensive river rocks or pea gravel is a gorgeous and quick alternative to traditional garden landscaping.

Japanese-Inspired Framework

From Dumpster Gets the Glamour Treatment

From Dumpster Gets the Glamour Treatment

You'd love to have a backyard swimming pool but are deterred by the costs. Is there an affordable option? If you happen to be New Orleans based architect/designer Stefan Beese, there is a solution. Witness his step by step transformation of a dumpster into a stylish aquatic feature the whole family can enjoy.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Image courtesy of Stefan Beese, www.beesign-la.com

Would you believe that this pool used to be a dumpster? Architect Stefan Beese took a few cues from traditional Japanese bath design to transform this former trash receptacle into a gorgeous backyard focal point.

Edison Lights + Chill Spots

Get maximum pretty with minimum effort by surrounding your pool with cozy outdoor bean bags and twinkling antique-style string lights.

One With Nature

Minimalist Above Ground Pool

Minimalist Above Ground Pool

Photo by: Desert Balance Design

Desert Balance Design

If your backyard is already pretty rad, let nature do the talking. This sweet pool's only decoration is a simple access walkway that extends out from the back porch. Pro tip: Keep tree roots in mind when choosing a spot for your pool.

Amazing Abutment

Abutting your above-ground pool (or butting it up against) an existing structure, then paneling it with wood is a great way to get the in-ground look without the cost of digging up your yard.

Budget Landscape Lighting

Solar Landscape Lighting for Above Ground Pool

Solar Landscape Lighting for Above Ground Pool

Photo by: doughboypools.com


Light up the night for less by installing inexpensive solar landscape lights into the flower bed around your pool's perimeter.

Fenced In

Photo by: Hawk Hill

Hawk Hill

Say it with me: above-ground pools can be stylish. With a little creativity, these savvy homeowners built a home (and a hiding spot) for their bright blue pool by surrounding it with fencing and ornamental grasses, then building a small, shady deck out of 2x4s and cinderblocks. Brilliant!

Summer-Friendly Amenities

Photo by: Crestwood Pools

Crestwood Pools

A triangular sun shade, flagstone walkway and sparkling center fountain add fun, summery style and function to this corner oasis.

Decked Out

Pool Deck

Pool Deck

A wood deck around an above ground swimming pool.

Photo by: Chiya Li

Chiya Li

Great for entertaining and lounging, decks offer an endless variety of style options for permanently integrating your above-ground pool into your landscape design. Check out a few of my favorite below.

Above-Ground Pool Decks

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Stacked-Stone Surround

Beautifully Aesthetic Pool Created with Ledger Stone

Ledger Stone Creates Optimal Visual Space

Ledger stone was chosen for its colors, pulling from the natural tones of the pool's surroundings, creating an indulgent visual space on every level.

Photo by: Darren Edwards

Darren Edwards

Feeling ambitious? Although many stacked-stone pools are made custom, you can achieve a similar look by building your own stacked-stone retaining wall around the perimeter of your pool. If you aren't so sure about your stone-stacking skills, however, call a pro.

Wood Panels

Style Around an Above Ground Pool

Style Around an Above Ground Pool

Photo by: B. Jane Gardens

B. Jane Gardens

Glam up an average pool deck by hiding the contents below with wood paneling. If you paint the panels white, it almost looks like shiplap!

In the Reeds

Above Ground Pool With Tiki Bar

Above Ground Pool With Tiki Bar

Photo by: Jeanette Sumruld

Jeanette Sumruld

Is your blue pool a backyard eyesore? Give it a facelift by trimming inexpensive reed fencing to size, then attaching it to the pool's exterior with twine like the ladies over at Crafty in Crosby did here. Oh, and the poolside tiki bar? It used to be an old wood palette. See the full tutorial here.

Integrated Design

Choose the Design and Location for Your Deck

Luxurious and Contemporary Wrap-Around Deck

Two sets of French doors connect the great room to a warp-around deck, which is elevated 10 feet above ground level to offer stellar views. This luxurious outdoor space offers seating, dining, and even a pool.

Photo by: Eric Perry ©2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Eric Perry, 2012, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

The above-ground plunge pool from HGTV Dream Home 2013 sits flush against the side of the 10-foot-high back deck, boasting uninterrupted views of South Carolina's Kiawah Island.

Luxury Above-Ground Pools

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