17 Ways to Pretty-Up an Above-Ground Pool
Give your splash pad a stylish spruce — just in time for summer.
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 design ideas to fit any size budget or backyard.
Lovely Lounge Space
A built-in wood bench lined with outdoor cushions adds style and extra seating to this plain, rectangular pool.
Add Style With Tile
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.
Light It Up
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.
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!)
River Rock Landscape Edging
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Light up the night for less by installing inexpensive solar landscape lights into the flower bed around your pool's perimeter.
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!
A triangular sun shade, flagstone walkway and sparkling center fountain add fun, summery style and function to this corner oasis.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.