Having a swimming pool built in your backyard is an exciting move, and it provides you with a wonderful design feature which adds aesthetic value as well as functionality to your property. But getting your pool landscaping right takes care and consideration, as it can make all the difference to the appearance and usability of your pool.
Here’s everything you need to know about pool landscaping, and why it matters so much.
What is good pool landscaping and why is it important?
Pool landscaping refers to the design of the area around your swimming pool. This includes choices such as paving, fencing, furniture, lighting and plants, all of which can enhance the design of your pool and add to its functionality and safety.
A well-landscaped pool area will take into consideration the ways in which it will be used, so that it fulfils all your swimming, relaxation and entertainment needs, as well as being beautiful to look at from both outside and inside the home. By getting the landscaping right, you can make your pool the centrepiece of a stunning backyard which caters for your lifestyle and is attractive in daylight and at night-time, all year round.
Good pool landscaping can even increase the value of your property. A swimming pool can be an attractive feature for prospective home buyers, but they are much more likely to view it positively if it looks well-cared for and if the area functions well. If they see a well-maintained, beautifully designed backyard, this immediately makes them think you have taken great care of the property, so they will be more inclined to offer a higher price. They are also more likely to fall in love with your property at first sight – and first impressions count!
Because of these important factors, pool landscaping is something you need to consider carefully when planning your pool. Here are some essential tips for getting it right.
1. Build your landscaping around the pool
Your pool is the most expensive element of your backyard, so it should be the centrepiece of your yard’s design. It is important to choose a pool design which suits the architectural style of your home, so that when the construction and landscaping are complete, your entire property will look like a perfectly unified whole. There are many different pool designs to consider: rectangular or round, straight edges or curved, or even a custom design for a truly unique feature. Looking at the style of your home will enable you to make the best decision about the right pool design for you.
The design of your pool will dictate many important elements of your landscaping. For example, the tiling you choose around the pool area should coordinate well with the colour you have selected for your pool’s interior. Remember, the colour of the pool water will appear to change from day to day, depending on the light and the weather conditions, so it can be a good idea to keep a few samples next to the pool for a few days to see which tiling works best in different conditions.
Your pool design will also determine the type and positioning of lighting you need around the pool area, to highlight the pool itself as a standout feature, and make the whole space highly functional and attractive after dark. The right lighting can truly bring your landscaping design to life, so it is worth talking to a specialist about the different effects that can be achieved.
By making your pool the main element of your landscaping design, you can build a space which meets all your usage needs and looks beautiful from all angles, at all times of day and night, and in all conditions.
2. Consider the size and shape of your backyard
A good pool landscaping design will make the best possible use of the available space. If you have a smaller backyard, the pool is likely to take up the majority of the space, so an extremely efficient design is needed. Don’t go overboard on the fixtures and fittings, as too many bulky items can make the space look cluttered. Your design will be more attractive and a lot more functional if you leave more open space.
Allowing plenty of space is key whatever the size and shape of your backyard. Your poolside should be a place where you can relax with family and friends, so the design needs to keep this in mind.
Remember also that you will be looking at your pool landscaping every day for many years to come. The design needs to look good from inside your home as well as outside. Make sure that the pool is in a position which looks attractive through your windows, and that the landscaping is planned to give you advantageous views from the house. Looking out over a beautiful backyard will make you more inclined to spend more time outdoors and get the most out of your pool!
3. Put safety first
Putting safety first is essential when planning your pool landscaping. By law, you must have pool fencing which meets Australian Standard AS 1926. This stipulates that you must have a fence or barrier of at least 1.2 metres high all around your pool, so that the pool cannot be accessed directly from your home. This fencing must also be surrounded by a Non-Climbable Zone of 900mm on all sides, so there must be no large objects within this zone which a child could climb to get over the fence.
Because of this, you need to consider the positioning of your poolside furniture very carefully. Objects such as chairs and tables must not be placed within the Non-Climbable Zone, so you must ensure your landscaping allows enough space for this.
You should also think about the practicality of supervising children in the pool. Even if you don’t have children, you could decide to sell your home one day, and potential buyers will be looking for a design which is as child-friendly as possible. Your landscaping should keep all lines of sight as clear as possible, so that children can easily be supervised from all angles while they are in the pool.
4. Think about your entertainment needs
A backyard pool has a wide variety of uses. It’s great for health, fitness and relaxation, but it can also provide you with an ideal entertainment area, especially during the summer months, when pool parties and barbeques provide the perfect settings for catching up with friends. This means you will need to think about your entertainment needs when planning your pool landscaping.
A paved area with seating is a great advantage, and this needs to be large enough so that everyone can feel comfortable and relaxed at your gatherings. You might also want to think about cooking facilities. These can range from a simple barbeque to a full outdoor kitchen with an oven, grill, sink and even a fridge, so you can still be part of the action even while you are preparing the food for everyone.
If you are serving food, it also makes sense to provide tables, so your guests can comfortably eat outdoors. You will need to think about the right amounts of fixtures and furniture to fit within the space, and consider the styles you like, to create a poolside area which is a relaxing and attractive area for entertaining.
5. Talk to your family
You and your family are going to be using the pool more than anyone else, so the landscaping design needs to be carried out with all of your specific objectives in mind. What will make the space as relaxing as possible for you and your loved ones? Does the design offer peace and privacy? Is there sufficient space for the kids to play?
You might want to include elements such as outdoor lounges for comfort, or even a pool house where everyone can get changed after using the pool, to save dripping water through the house.
All of these elements need to be discussed with those who are going to be using the pool regularly, so it is important to talk about the landscaping with your family while you are planning your design. They might have considered some factors which you have not thought of, so everyone’s ideas need to be heard. This way you will create a highly functional space which works well for everyone.
6. Plan the aesthetics
Once you have established the functional elements of your pool landscaping design, you then need to think about the aesthetics. You will get much more satisfaction from your pool if the landscaping looks attractive from inside and outside the pool.
The design of your pool area needs to take the surroundings into account. One of the most enjoyable aspects of swimming is feeling as if you are part of nature while you are in the water, so you need to think about the natural forms you want to see around you. Some pool owners choose to create a forest-like effect by adding rockeries, ferneries and water features, to make it feel as if you are swimming in a secluded lake. However, you may prefer a more modern, streamlined look, with a few planters dotted around the poolside area to add some subtle natural touches.
Again, you can take inspiration from the architectural style of your home, and the plants that grow in your backyard and your neighbourhood. Choosing the right plants will make all the difference to the overall look and feel of your pool area. It will also influence other elements such as your lighting design.
Selected Pool Landscaping Ideas
Want more advice about pool landscaping?
The most important thing about your pool landscaping design is that you like it. Your backyard is one of the most critical elements of your property, so it should reflect your personality, lifestyle and tastes. This way you can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.
However, pool landscaping is a difficult thing to plan, especially if you have no previous experience. Most new pool owners appreciate a little help when planning the design of their poolside areas. If you would like some more advice, the team at Compass Pools Australia are always happy to help. Please contact us for more information.