Backyard Pool Ideas: Best Decorating Tips for a New Pool

Backyard pool ideas for your new entertaining space

Two seating areas split down the middle creates versatility and a traffic path to a dining table beyond

You’ve just built a new pool, and you’re ready to swim, sunbathe, and entertain friends and family. First consider function, then style when outfitting your new space with these backyard pool ideas. We’re sharing our best tips for your new backyard pool.

1. Start with Function

A backyard pool is a big investment, so first and foremost, you’ll want your new space to function for swimming, splashing, and entertaining. Start by creating a furniture plan for the space, then add storage for toys and towels.

Space Planning

Before executing any of your backyard pool ideas, first think about how you want to use the space and address those functions with your furniture choices. We recommend creating a floor plan first using either graph paper or our Room Planner tool.

For most pool owners, you’ll want to have a variety of seating and entertaining areas.

  • Sunbathingchaise lounges are first choices for poolside lounging, but a lounge chair and ottoman can work well too. A pair is a great place to start unless you know you’ll be entertaining a lot, then maybe opt for three or four.
  • Lounging — if you’re snacking and sitting poolside and maybe not swimming, have a seating area with coffee table, side tables, and deep seating conversation sets. These spaces are great for evenings sitting poolside or parents while they’re watching kids swim.
  • Dining — You may not need a dining table right next to your backyard pool, but a dining spot will get a lot of use if you plan to host barbecues for friends and family. How much space you have will likely determine how big of a table you can fit, but also consider how many people you expect to have over at one time. Do you have a huge family or close knit group of neighbors? Expandable tables or a few round ones will help seat everyone comfortably.

Backyard Pool Ideas & Storage

Most new pool owners quickly learn how many trinkets and necessities come with their pool. Plan ahead and find clever ways to store pool toys, towels, and other items.

  • Storage Bin — a storage bin is a great option and can be organized inside with baskets and plastic bins to keep things sorted.
  • Towel Cabanas — a covered towel cabana may make sense for your space if you want to create a focal point and have space for everything you need. We love a towel cabana like this because you can use top shelves for beverage storage when having a party.
  • Shelving — if you’ve got a covered area nearby, an open shelf and cabinet may make sense like this Outdoor Bakers’ Rack. Unsightly pool toys can go in baskets in the bottom, with folded towels or robes on open shelves above.

Divide seating areas up next to your pool by functionNo matter what kind of outdoor storage pieces suit your needs and space, plan to have a mix of open and closed storage for your new backyard pool.

2. Style and Personality

Whether you’ve bought a new house or just finished construction on your new pool, you’ve probably been dreaming of creating a resort feel in your own backyard to be enjoyed anytime you want. Just like your favorite getaway, incorporate stylish and functional pieces that make your space beautiful. Colorful pillows, comfortable seating, and a big umbrella (or several) will turn those dreams into reality.

Mix and Match Furniture Around Your Backyard Pool

Just like you would in your living room, mix and match pieces in your outdoor space to create a layered and interesting destination.

Learn More: 5 Outdoor Decorating Rules to Live By

Start by picking a couple different materials to use throughout the space, then mix collections and furniture styles.

For example, maybe you love teak outdoor furniture. Teak can be your unifying material, but then you can mix cushions, leg styles, and incorporate other accents to give your outdoor room personality.

Add Color and Pattern

As you’re coming up with backyard pool ideas, think about what colors in your yard or garden you want to emphasize. For pools, a turquoise or blue always makes sense because it echoes the colors you’ll have in the water and pool floor. Or if you have a particular flower in your yard that blooms each summer, use that color in cushions or throw pillows.

For your living room, we always suggest picking a color palette and letting that palette guide your choices. It’s the same in your backyard pool area. Once you’ve got that great color you want to use, mix patterns and solids together.

3.  Set the Stage for Entertaining

When you’re the house amongst your friends with a pool, it’s almost guaranteed you become the new gathering spot. Embrace your new role and make hosting easier on yourself with smart solutions. Here are a few of our best suggestions for setting up your space for impromptu parties:

Double dining spots

It may seem over the top, but having two dining spots or at least two big tables in your space adds versatility to your hosting options. One dining table near the grill or cooking area can double as serving when you’ve got a big group. Or you can use both for dining simultaneously when you’re having a larger gathering. Two rectangular tables located in different parts of your space is smart because you can easily bring them together to create one large banquet table.

Entertaining Essentials

Large beverage tubs, coolers, and shatterproof serveware are must-haves for entertaining poolside. Keep a basket stocked with flatware, napkins, and dinnerware so you can easily bring everything out to the pool when guests arrive.

Storage Solutions

We mentioned above how important storage can be when you have a pool, and if you want to entertain regularly, you’ll want sensible storage options that keep your pool tidy and ready for parties at the drop of a hat. Have extra towels, sunscreen, and bug spray on hand for friends who may have forgotten theirs.

Extra Seating

Consider adding extra folding chairs and tables to your outdoor arsenal. They can extend the seating at your dining table or can easily be pulled up to lounge furniture as your party grows.

Once you’ve got your backyard pool setup for the summer, enjoy the space and don’t fret too much about keeping it in perfect shape. It’s meant to be used and loved! The most important element of hosting is your attitude — a relaxed, happy host will make for a relaxed and happy party.

For more outdoor living inspiration, learn more in the following blogposts:

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.

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