17 Sparkling Pools
Lowcountry Pool with Marsh Views
The see-through steel cable fence enclosing the pool deck is just right for soaking in the marshy views of this Lowcountry locale.
Concrete pavers set in the saline pool provide a path from the house to the porch and allow the water's edge to hug the building.
Magnificent Miami Pool
Attention to detail integrates this pool with the overall landscape. Soft, cool grass runs right up to the water's edge, creating a more natural environment than harsh concrete would. Tiles on the pool's floor color the water a deep blue. A trio of coral stone fountains topped with variegated false agaves adds color, texture, and the sound of splashing water.
Urban Pool Retreat
This lap pool is bordered with luscious greenery making it resemble a river.
This pool house boasts an open-air living room with all the comfort and attitude of its indoor counterparts.
Poolside Container Garden
Whether you're dining al fresco or dangling your feet in the water, this pool draws you into a lush canvas of textures, colors, and flowers.
Year-Round Pool House
This homeowner wanted an outdoor fireplace. By putting it under the porch, the family can use the fireplace and the pool house year-round even when it's too cold to use the pool.
Large ‘Medjool' palms flank this pool to offer some shade, while the trunks add a layer of contrasting tone and texture against the white walls. Underfoot is Dominican shellstone, a type of limestone found in the Caribbean. The stones are loosely packed and sand set. Spaces between them are seeded with green dichondra to soften them visually.
You can mask the chatter of neighbors and drown out road noise with running water. The trickle of running water can also make a space seem cooler than it really is, and a simple fountain may be all you need to get the same effect.
Secret Lap Pool
This courtyard lap pool acts as a reflecting pool as much as a place for exercising. The sound of water adds serenity to outdoor areas.
Lush Poolside Deck
For extra drama, this homeowner added spiky and vertical plants, such as ornamental grasses and caladiums, to her pots. Group several containers together in prominent locations around the pool, and stagger heights, if possible, as done here on the steps.
Glorious Pool Oasis
Jets of water arch gracefully from both sides of the pool, lending elegance. Italian cypresses form stately columns. When the pool jets are off, the water mirrors the trees and gazebo. The gazebo's wooden arch perfectly frames the view of the pool and house.
Besides several seating areas, this courtyard offers a fully functional outdoor kitchen. A shallow plunge pool offers a great place to cool off on hot summer days.
Low Maintenance Pool
The maintenance list for this back yard is short enough to fit on a sticky note. Native plants and natural material make upkeep a breeze. No sweeping beds of azaleas or rows of fussy flowers here. Elevated 2 feet above grade, the pool offers a commanding view of the landscape.
Natural Pool Oasis
This space is a shining example of how water features and gardens can work well together. A long, narrow, rectangular lap pool is set into the middle of the yard. The shape provides plenty of room for swimming, while the location makes it the centerpiece of the design. Dark ribbons of dwarf mondo grass fill the cracks between flagstones. The mondo grass creates a cooler, less reflective surface and reinforces the natural-looking appearance of the space.
Exotic Tropical Style Pool
Designer and homeowner Muffie Faith of Elizabeth Stuart Design was inspired by Thailand and nearby Pawleys Isaland, SC when creating this Tropical Style Pool. Windmill palms that stand like architectural columns delineat the pool house entrance.
Pristine Emerald Pool
Giving an old pool new life meant salvaging shrubs, adding grass, and losing lots of concrete. New steps on either side of the spa make it easy to enter and exit the narrow pool. A tea olive hedge creates a fragrant backdrop for the simple wooden pergola at the far end of the pool.