Setting out on your pool design project is an exciting time…finally your dream is becoming a reality! But you are likely to have all sorts of questions to ask and choices to make before making your final decision about the design of pool which will fit your backyard beautifully and give it the ambience you crave. Read on to find out what questions you need to ask before you select your plan, and to understand what the go-to pool designs are right now.
Planning is key
First of all, planning is key. There are many considerations to take into account before you settle on a pool design, as well as lots of questions to ask!
Let’s start with the basics: what is the ground like in your backyard? If it’s a level surface, then you are on to a winner, as constructing an in-ground or above ground pool should be possible.
If your property is set on sloping land or a hillside, or a particularly rocky or uneven surface, you may think that you face a challenge. But do not despair – above ground pools are perfect for this situation. A fibreglass shell for an above ground pool, for example, can be installed securely on this type of terrain. Here, Compass Pool Australia’s Maxi Rib technology comes into its own, providing a strong and durable structure ideal for this situation.
Next, think about where you plan to position your pool within your plot. Many pool owners go for central positioning to make their pool the centre of attention. Others will place it near to their house, to create a seamless transition from house to backyard to pool. Of course, you may also need to think about how your pool installer will access your backyard and how this can affect positioning.
Finally, give some thought to how you intend to use your pool. There are some great options for families, such as the lap pool with its wide, easy access ledges, that are ideal for children or not so confident swimmers. Of course, the primary function of a lap pool is to provide unobstructed lap swimming, so this is a highly versatile option for many families.
If your backyard is particularly compact, a plunge pool could be a good option for you. These small, deep pools take up the minimum of space but still provide an environment for gentle exercise, or when customised with jets, can double up as a spa.
What happens next?
Onto the final stages of preparation before you can really get stuck into your backyard design ideas.
Get in touch with your local council to find out about approval requirements, and check out your site map to find out whether there are any cables or pipes running underneath your pool area.
You will also need to avail yourself of the safety regulations for your area, which you will be able to find on your local building authority website.
Once you have gathered some pool ideas, get in touch with your local authorised Compass Pools Australia pool builder, who will be able to efficiently install your above ground pool with the minimum of hassle.
Best small courtyard design ideas
When it comes to courtyard designs, size certainly shouldn’t matter. In fact, if your backyard comprises a small courtyard then you have plenty of scope to create a wonderful oasis incorporating a tranquil pool.
Given your courtyard’s compact dimensions, the ideal pool design for you is a plunge pool. This small, deep pool will allow you space to swim, exercise and relax. Available as in-ground or above ground options, they are a versatile way to achieve your dream of having a pool in a small space.
If you have a modern-build house, a contemporary, straight-edged design could be for you. Surrounding tiling in neutral tones will enhance the fresh, modern feel to this design. Opt for some leafy plants in pots placed at intervals around your pool for a really luxe look – try palms and hibiscus for a really lush feel.
Good small backyard designs also take into account proximity to your neighbour’s property. There are lots of clever features you can incorporate to give your pool area a more private feel. If your pool area is right up against your neighbour’s perimeter, an elevated deck, for instance, can detract the eye from their fence or wall and provide an attractive view and a feeling of spaciousness.
Plunge pools suggest luxury, so why not recreate a spa look in your courtyard? Place comfy seating around the edges of your pool, and keep the colour scheme of surrounding tiling neutral and calming. You can even add jets to your pool to make it into a sumptuous experience.
For a soft, appealing look, opt for a plunge pool shell with a rounded edge. The 4.5 Courtyard model by Compass Pools Australia is made for this look. When it comes to landscaping, you can really indulge your imagination here. Go for romantic, flower-bearing plants around your pool area such as agapanthus and bromeliad for colour and structure. Add height with grasses or bamboo, and mix in features such as rocks and natural materials to complete the wild, romantic look.
Best contemporary ideas
If cool and contemporary is your style, there are endless pool designs you can choose from.
For this kind of look, you’ll find that shape is key. Clean, straight lines work really well to convey an up-to-the-minute look, best epitomised by the infinity pool. These ideal pools trick the eye into thinking that your pool goes on forever, creating a feeling of freedom and luxury. You may be surprised to learn that infinity pools are achievable small backyard designs, as even a small rectangular pool can provide the basis for this stunning look.
The lap pool is another design that is rapidly gaining popularity. As their name suggests, they are suitable for swimming laps and are long and narrow in shape. Compass Pools Australia offers a number of lap pool designs, for example, the Fastlane, the X-Trainer, and the Vogue. You can complement this clean and stunning design with a water feature emptying directly into the pool or a deck with glass surround for an ultra-modern look.
Another way to incorporate a modern vibe into your pool design is to create a sleek seating area adjacent to your pool. You can achieve this with decking, or with clean, neutral tiles. Add some comfortable seating with cushions in accent colours, some strategic lighting and even a fire pit for warmth and focus, and you have a desirable, modern look for your backyard which will be the envy of your neighbours!
Best family pool ideas
When you think of a classic swimming pool, images of lazy summer days spent with the family splashing about and having fun spring to mind.
Create a classic swimming pool look with a family pool from Compass Pools. Their Contemporary pool shell is perfect for all the family, providing depth in the centre and shallow areas at both ends – great for pool games. Large steps and bench seating at both ends means the pool is fully accessible for all the family. From 8.3 to 10.9 metres, this model is good for a medium-sized garden.
If you are tight for space, there are also plenty of options for small backyard ideas. The Vogue model comes in a range of sizes, with the smallest measuring 7.15 x 3.0m. It also boasts a step ledge where kids can rest, a perimeter rail to provide support and anti-slip steps and flooring for safety.
Make the surrounding area appealing for all the family with some effective pool landscaping ideas. Deck jets add fun and excitement to your pool area. They are jets fixed on the decking next to your pool creating jets of water that spurt into the pool. You can even backlight them for some extra fun after dark!
You can also have fun with coloured lights around the pool, or strings of fairy lights around your decking area to create a magical atmosphere.
A covered lounge area overlooking your pool is also fantastic for all the family to use. Providing shade and a place to rest, this is a wonderful resource for families with small children. And once they get that little bit bigger, mum and dad can supervise them from the comfort of their lounger!
Of course, if your pool is intended for small children’s use, you will need to be ultra-aware of safety regulations. You will require fencing on all sides, and beyond the fencing, there has to be a safety zone of 900 mm minimum around the pool. You mustn’t place any large objects there which could be used by children to climb over the fence.
Best nature-inspired ideas
Nature lovers can really run wild with their passion when it comes to planning a swimming pool.
Even a small plunge or courtyard pool can be landscaped to reflect a wonderfully natural look to it. Fill in the surrounding area with rocks and gravel, planting grasses or succulents in the spaces in between to give an impression of an organically created environment.
For a truly stunning look, add a waterfall that empties into the pool, mimicking something you may stumble across in the natural world. You could go for a rocky waterfall, which will look as natural as possible as the water trickles between the nooks and crannies. Or, for the more ambitious, what about an infinity waterfall? This links two levels of pools so that the upper level cascades into the lower one, creating movement and interest. This is a great small backyard idea as it makes the most of space going upwards when surface area is at a premium.
Planting the adjacent garden area with specimens that attract birds, insects and butterflies is another way to feel at one with nature while you are relaxing in your pool. Acacia attracts butterflies and insects, while the pods provide food for seed-eating birds. The luscious blooms of the New South Wales Waratha will attract birds in abundance to your pool area, while the Red Flowering Gum flowers exude nectar making beautiful exotic birds such as parrots flock to it in droves. Plant rice flower bushes too, which will add structure and shape to your wildlife area and attract colourful butterflies.
The final word
Whichever look you go for, it’s a good idea to start planning way before you want your pool installed. Use Pinterest to capture and sort pools by design, and see if you go and see some examples of pools to get an idea about what might work for you. Above all, enjoy the planning stages and remain open-minded as to what design would work for your backyard…you may be surprised at what inspiration you find!