Dive into summer – a professional overview on pool planning

Just like summer bodies are made in the cooler months, so are summer gardens – now is the time to start planning your backyard pool, says Landart director Matt Leacy

Matt Leacy, creative director and founder of award-winning landscape architecture firm Landart, gives you the key aspects of pool planning to make sure you're summer-ready with a stylish and safe oasis right at your doorstep.

1. Designing Your Dream Pool – creating an idyllic escape

A well-designed pool not only provides a cool respite but also enhances the overall aesthetics of your outdoor space. 

Consider these design elements to create your dream pool:

  • Size and shape: Choose a size and shape that complements your backyard layout and accommodates your family's needs.  Location of your pool should also be a key consideration – consider putting your pool in unused areas of your garden to draw everyone to these areas rather than front and centre.  Also consider fencing and how you will keep your pool safe but also looking good. Keep in mind that even if you only need a small pool the proportions of the overall space need to be considered.
  • Materials and finishes: Explore a range of materials such as tiles, stone, render and concrete for pool surfaces and finishes that match your desired style.  These will all have varying prices points so budget will also be a factor – but pool design has (thankfully!) moved a long way from the standard fibre glass pools – in the one colour option – of the 80s and 90s.
  • Water features and lighting: Incorporate waterfalls, fountains, or LED lighting to add an enchanting touch to your pool area.  Lighting can really set the mood of an outdoor space of an evening – which is when a lot of summer entertaining takes place.  Uplighting of structural plants or large trees creates impact and festoon lighting can help create a fun party vibe.
  • Landscaping and surroundings: Integrate lush greenery, strategic planting, and stylish furniture to create a harmonious and inviting atmosphere.

Leacy emphasises the importance of integrating the pool design seamlessly into the overall landscape: "A well-designed pool should feel like a natural extension of your outdoor space, blending harmoniously with the surrounding environment."

2. Logistics and practical considerations – turning vision into reality

Before diving into your pool project, consider the logistical and practical aspects to ensure a smooth implementation. Safety should be the top priority, and regulations are strict. Consider the following:

  • Fencing and Visibility: Install a compliant pool fence with self-closing and self-latching gates and ensure clear sightlines from your house to the pool area. Fences don’t have to be an eyesore. A beautifully designed fence can act as an elegant divider between your swimming and dining space, and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of our outdoor oasis.
  • Permits and Approvals: Familiarise yourself with local council regulations and obtain the necessary permits and approvals for pool construction. Ensure proper plumbing and electrical connections are in place, and consult professionals to meet the required standards.
  • Maintenance and Sustainability: Plan for regular pool maintenance, including filtration systems, water treatment, and cleaning equipment. Incorporate energy-efficient equipment and water-saving features to reduce the environmental impact of your pool.

3. The finishing touches – enhancing your pool area

Take your pool area to the next level with these creative and functional additions:

  • Outdoor entertainment: Create a dedicated space for outdoor entertainment, including seating/lounge areas, dining zones, or even an outdoor kitchen or bar.
  • Shade and shelter: Install shade structures, pergolas, or umbrellas to provide relief from the sun and create comfortable lounging areas.
  • Landscaping accents: Enhance the pool area with well-placed plants, garden beds, and decorative elements that complement the overall design.  Ensure that plant choice takes into account how roots will grow and potentially interfere with pool plumbing and tiling or concrete, and also the all-important mess and leaf drop off into your pool.
  • Poolside lighting: Incorporate ambient lighting options, such as pathway lights or underwater LED fixtures, for a magical evening atmosphere.  There are also a lot of coloured light options to help set the mood … whether it be a relaxing, low-key evening or more of a fun party atmosphere you’re after.

Leacy emphasises the importance of creating a multifunctional space: "Consider the lifestyle aspects of your pool area, ensuring it caters to both relaxation and entertainment needs.  

"And if you have young children ensuring it’s easy to get out of is another safety aspect that should be considered."

By considering the design and functional aspects of pool planning, you can create a stunning and safe backyard oasis that will make  summers unforgettable. 

From designing an idyllic pool, to adding those finishing touches, your pool area will become the ultimate summer retreat for relaxation and fun.

"A well-designed pool area can truly transform your outdoor space, providing endless enjoyment and creating lasting memories for you and your loved ones," says Leacy.

"Outdoor kitchens and pools are now considered a key design element with most of our homeowners – whereas previously they used to be more of a luxury inclusion.”

More pool ideas here

Designed by: Matt Leacy

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Jason Busch

08 Oct, 2023

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