Skip to Content

Pool Design Ideas to Transform Your Backyard Oasis

There are various pool designs, such as free-form, rectangle, and square. Your pool design should transform your backyard into an oasis that is as much fun as it is aesthetically appealing. When picking a pool by design, it’s essential to consider whether it will fit in your backyard and still be functional.  

According to research done by Market Data Forecast, the swimming pool market value will rise to US$3.99  billion by the year 2028. The same source notes that the demand for residential swimming pools will increase considerably. This means that many people will become new pool owners. As a new pool owner, it might be challenging to find an attractive pool that fits your budget and allows you to enjoy all its great features. 

There is no reason to worry if you find yourself in this challenging situation.  I’ll share a few tips on how I transformed my backyard pool into a beautiful oasis, and I did an excellent job of it, even if I have to say so myself.

I will discuss some key features of pool landscape designs in this article, various pool designs, and how to create a beautiful backyard oasis. Read to the end because, as usual, I will end by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about pool designs. 

What Is a Pool by Design?

A pool landscape design that will fit perfectly in your backyard is a plus for your oasis. The pool design should embrace the natural elements in your backyard while also harmonizing with your home. After thoroughly inspecting your backyard, you can establish the available area and how close to your home you want the pool to be. 

Nowadays, swimming pools are in most American households., the resource that connects consumers to home improvement professionals, produced a graphic representation of the number of residential swimming pools by city per capita in 2021 using data from Lending Tree, the online lending marketplace. 

Photo credit: Fixr– Cities with most swimming pools

So, what are some key features of pools by design?

  • Your pool should comply with all the local building codes and regulations. As they differ from state to state, do your research.
  • The size should be sufficient to meet your needs and manageable to maintain. Maintaining at least 10 feet of clear space around your pool is a good rule of thumb for maintenance and safety reasons. 
  • Consider the circulation system. The system is responsible for circulating the water and keeping it clean. Hence it’s important to know the best pool pumps.
  • You must take the pool landscape into account. Collaborate with a qualified landscape architect to develop the ideal poolscape. 
  • The size and shape of the pool will depend on how much you want to spend. Consider the price of supplies, labor, energy, and continuous maintenance. 
  • What unique features would you like to incorporate into the pool’s design? Specific features like decks and waterfalls only work well with particular pool designs. As a result, the features you choose at this point will eventually define the pool’s design. 

Types of Pool Designs

There are numerous pool designs from which to choose. Each pool design has advantages and disadvantages. Decide beforehand whether you want to use the pool for swimming, exercise, or as a gathering place for parties. Selecting the ideal design will then be simpler. Let’s look at the three main pool designs.

Rectangle Pool Designs

If you don’t have a lot of space in your backyard, you can go for the minimalist rectangle pool design. It is long and thin. The rectangular pool also has a sleek design. These pools have clean lines and a modern look. They allow you to maximize your backyard space for other activities. 

A rectangular fiberglass pool is the best option for an inground pool.  Fiberglass is durable and requires minimal maintenance. Compared to other simple pool designs, a fiberglass rectangle pool has a classic look and is more affordable. It is a non-porous material with a smooth gel coat finish that doesn’t support mildew or algae growth. Compared to concrete pools, they are also less prone to cracking or chipping. 

Rectangular pool designs have the advantage of fitting in any kind of setting. Therefore, you can customize it to fit perfectly in your backyard, regardless of size.  


  • Fiberglass, vinyl, or gunite materials make pool construction simple. Customized or complexly constructed pools require more planning, digging, and construction. Building a rectangle pool is considerably easier and more practical, thus saving you time and money. 
  • Compared to other shapes, rectangle pool designs with flat walls and straight edges are easier to clean. Debris and dirt are least likely to lodge in the smooth pool edges. If you use an automatic pool machine cleaner, it will be easier to maneuver in the rectangular pool. 
  • Making the most of the available space in a rectangular pool is easier. It offers broad open swim lanes and additional swimming space if you enjoy swimming laps. 
  • Compared to other pool designs, a rectangle pool makes it easier to supervise young children. The kids can’t hide because the rectangle-shaped pool’s corners are easily visible. 
  • Due to its basic shape, finding a pool cover for your rectangular pool should be easy enough. The cover prevents dirt, leaves, and other materials from falling into your pool, keeping your pool clean. You won’t have to use many chemicals to clean the pool, saving you money.

However, if your pool water has turned green, there are several ways to make it clear.


  • The rectangular pool’s sleek contours are too open to provide seclusion or privacy
  • Rectangular pools need more creativity since they are visually dull and too predictable.  
  • The pool might not accommodate other natural features in your backyard. For instance, you must reduce the size of the pool if a tree you want to maintain blocks one side of the pool’s proposed location. 

Free-Form Pool Designs

Free-form pool designs have a more “natural” pool shape. Unlike the more traditional square or rectangular pool designs, the free-form pool has an irregular shape with curves or flowing lines. The most popular free-form design is the kidney-shaped pool.  

Most free-form pool designs blend well with a home’s existing natural landscape. It will blend flawlessly with your backyard’s natural curves. The free-form pool’s naturalistic design will particularly appeal to kids. 


  • They give your backyard oasis a more natural look and rustic feel. The pool design makes adding features such as grottos and waterfalls easier to make your pool more fun.
  • Thanks to their curved pool design, you will have seclusion in your backyard away from those nosy neighbors. 
  • You can build a free-form pool in either a small or large backyard. Because of the pool’s design flexibility, you can create one that fits your backyard oasis.


  • Getting accessories for free-form pool designs, such as solar or pool covers, can be challenging. 
  • Due to their sophisticated and complex pool design, which would require more materials and labor hours, they are typically more expensive to build. 
  • Since they frequently incorporate water features like waterfalls, slides, and fountains, they might need more work to maintain and clean.  

Square Pool Designs

Square pools have sides of the same length and right angles. Since they are not swimming-friendly, they are less popular than the other two pool types. They have flat bottoms and are better suited for relaxing and cooling off. They work well if you want to build a small pool for decorative purposes.  


  • These are perfect if you want a shallower area where people can relax. 
  • You can make a smaller square pool next to the main pool for those who feel uncomfortable swimming in the main pool, i.e., older people and persons with moderate disability.
  • Capable of being constructed in smaller sizes, allowing you to make the most of your yard area. 


  • The pool does not provide the same space or design options as the free-form pool.

How to Transform Your Backyard Oasis

After settling on a simple pool design – if your backyard is small or a complex one if your backyard is large – the next step is beautifying the surrounding areas. You don’t want just a place to swim but somewhere where your friends and family can relax, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun. 

Here are some suggestions for improving your backyard pool oasis:

Install a Water Feature

Running water, especially outdoors, has a way of bringing about calmness. You can construct a simple or complex waterfall depending on the size of your backyard and budget. Incorporate fish or other water animals within the waterfall for added beauty.

If you have younger kids, you can install an above-ground pool near the main one for easy supervision.

Ample Shade

Providing a shaded area around your pool is crucial. If your backyard has a tree, you can construct the pool near it. Around the tree’s base, arrange some cozy chairs. You can also put up a roof extension or a pergola. 

Construct a Deck

If you don’t already have one, building a deck will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard oasis. Build a deck that is especially suited to your backyard. You can place furniture on the deck for people to sit or lie on. 

Think about raising a portion of the deck and constructing an area for entertainment. Include some plush pillows, small tables, and a weatherproof outdoor television.

Hang Lights

Why not plan for pool parties that last well into the night during the hot summer? When the sun sets, outdoor string lights will add an elegant charm to your party. LEDs will save you money because they use less energy and last longer.

For convenient lighting, there are many outdoor light fixtures with remote controls. The evening pool party will be merrier with some color-changing lighting included. 

Gorgeous Greenery

Add some lush greenery to give your backyard pool sanctuary a more natural feel. If you want to replicate the beauty and serenity of the beach in your backyard, grow some tropical plants.

Consider growing flowers, herbs, and plants that repel insects from your backyard pool area. Petunias, citronella, bails, and lavender are natural pest controllers. They should, however, be compatible with the local climate. 

Plants, trees, and shrubs can serve as a natural privacy wall and give your backyard pool oasis a more natural fee – however, plant only those that require low maintenance and are not too big when fully matured.


You can easily transform your backyard oasis by picking a suitable pool design. Once you establish the size of your backyard, you can choose from square, free-form, and rectangle pool designs. Your pool design style will depend on the specific features you want. 

How can pool landscape design enhance the overall aesthetics of a backyard?

A pool landscape design makes the pool look attractive. Adding plants, flowers, lighting, and water features will give the pool an eye-pleasing appearance. 

It offers safety, which is a requirement by regulatory authorities. A fence must surround the pool to safeguard children and older people among others. Thanks to pool landscaping design, erecting a fence without obstructing scenic views from your yard is possible. 

A landscape design includes several elements to keep the entire pool area effective and functional. Your pool’s landscaping can include exercise spaces, barbecue pits, and entertainment features.

Pool landscaping can also raise the value of your home. Although the pool alone increases your property value, a lovely landscape design increases the value even more.

What are the advantages of choosing a rectangle pool design?

One of the main advantages of a rectangular pool is ample swimming space. It has straight sides and big, open swim lanes, perfect for lap swimming. Because of its uniform length, several swimmers can swim laps together. 

A rectangular pool will fit no matter how big or small your backyard is. 

It can take up a small space and leave you enough space to engage in other outdoor activities. You can add a barbeque and cocktail stand next to the pool. 

What are some popular elements of simple pool designs?

The ease of usage is a popular element of simple pool designs. You want an easy and enjoyable time swimming.

Simple pool designs easily fit into most people’s budgets. They don’t require a lot of money for materials, labor, and construction. 


  • Josh Callagan

    Josh Callagan is a seasoned swimming pool specialist and a prominent authority in pool maintenance and water management. With several years of hands-on experience in the swimming pool industry, Josh profoundly understands the intricacies involved in pool design, construction, and maintenance.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.