Style Guide: Finishing Touches of Pool Decor

Assistant Home Editor Todd Childs explains how to give your pool area a polished appeal.


Hi. I'm Todd Childs, Assistant Homes Editor with Southern Living. You know, it's the little things that make your poolside space seem well planned and pulled together. Don't neglect the details. The pool is the star, but a supporting cast of fun details makes for a showstopper. [MUSIC] Whirlpools and spas are a natural companion to pools, but seamless integration is important. Sleek, modern stepping stones separate this hot tub from the pool. A gap of a couple of inches allows water to spill over into the pool, and makes the look elegant and contemporary. [MUSIC] A really cool alternative to a hot tub is a goldfish pond. Mimicking the undulating shape of the pool, it blends perfectly, and makes the two seem like one large body of water. The footbridge beautifully conceals the wall that separates the two. [MUSIC] Use containers planted with grasses or blooming plants to visually soften the hard lines of square or rectangular pools. Plants add a natural element to pools that truly make them feel like an oasis. [MUSIC] Not all great poolside spots are actually by the pool. This shady spot is actually tucked away below the spillway of this infinity edge pool. It's a clever treatment for a sloped lot, and along with the sound of the splashing water, is a relaxing escape. [MUSIC] Pools aren't just great during the day. Think about lighting the area around the pool. A wall with a lighted niche reflects in this plunge pool, and creates beautiful reflections that are perfect ambient light for nighttime entertaining. [MUSIC] An elevated sitting area makes for a great vantage point for watching the kids, or just looking out over the pool. Having an adult area nearby while the kids are playing is a nice feature. And the fireplace makes chilly evenings enjoyable. Of course, it's not all fun without the function. However, it is possible to hide those unsightly necessities, like the drain. Thin brick pavers mounted to the drain cover creates a seamless surface, and really looks great. Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes the simplest thoughts can make the biggest splash. For more ideas on achieving poolside perfection, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine, and be sure to visit
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