Pool patio ideas: 14 looks for chic poolside spaces

These pool patio ideas will inspire you to create a stylish setting for sunbathing and socializing

pool patio ideas: bridgman dining furniture near pool
(Image credit: Bridgman)

In our book, almost every pool needs some stylish pool patio ideas to go around it. A pool isn't just for swimming in, after all – it can be the focal point of a beautifully designed zone that's kitted out for sunbathing, entertaining, or even cooking.

Whatever pool ideas you're going for – small, large, modern or timeless – you can be sure that there's a way to elevate the surroundings. With the right furniture, styling, and materials, you can create a practical and enjoyable space that looks fantastic.

We've brought together lots of gorgeous looks to inspire your own pool patio ideas, plus advice from the experts, too.

Transform your backyard with these 14 pool patio ideas

You're bound to find something you love in this mix of pool patio ideas – whether it's a color-coordinated set-up, a contemporary chill-out zone, or a space that's fun for all the family.

1. Curate a Zen-like space

go modern furniture by pool

(Image credit: Go Modern)

A cohesive color scheme will instantly elevate large and small gardens alike and can really transform the mood. For your poolside space, consider a calming palette of leafy greens against neutral stone and timber materials, just like in this Zen-like zone above.

When completed by minimal yet beautiful furniture, it's the perfect space for some serious chill-out time. We're big fans of the oversized planters, too, which offer a pop of colorful blooms for an eye-catching contrast.

Not too sure on green? Soft blues or warm pinks and corals can also have a calming effect when used alongside pale, rustic backdrops.

2. Zone your patio around your pool

pool with zoned patio

Create different areas for different uses

(Image credit: Andrea Rugg/Alamy Stock Photo)

When considering your pool landscaping ideas, one of the most important things to plan is how you want to use the space. Then, if you have enough room, you can split your poolside area into different zones depending on their uses.

It's an ideal approach for those who love to entertain or have large families (or both). Position the pool as the centerpoint of your plot, then arrange a dedicated dining zone, lounging zone, and even a fire pit zone around it, just like in this backyard above.

3. Cover a seating area for year-round use

raised covered patio with step lights near pool

This sheltered structure makes an inviting entertaining space

(Image credit: Elliott Kaufman/The Image Bank Unreleased/Getty Images)

Having a covered space nearby – whether that's a fully-fledged pool house, a gazebo, a pergola, or a smart garden building like this one – is super practical. Not only can it be used for changing, or taking a shaded break from the sun, but it can also be used for hosting guests once the night draws in.

And speaking of nightfall, don't forget to add some outdoor lighting ideas to your pool's surroundings, too.

'Sitting around a pool as the sun goes down, or taking a moonlight dip has got to be one of life's pleasures, I reckon,' says Tina Mahony at Go Modern (opens in new tab). 'So, you need some mood lighting to accompany this treat (or at least to see what you're doing).'

Recessed lighting can be perfect for a sleek and subtle effect, and is particularly good for illuminating steps, as seen here. However, unless installed by a qualified professional, electric, wired-in lighting and water can be a dangerous mix. 

Tina suggests going for battery-powered lamps as an alternative. 'Look for designs that use rechargeable batteries and check how long they'll last – a good design will last at least five hours. Other design pluses are lights that are dimmable and operated by remote controls or user-friendly apps, including timers and battery life indicators,' she adds.

4. Keep it comfy with a stylish sofa

bridgman patio furniture near pool

A comfy seating spot with furniture from Bridgman (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Bridgman)

Part of getting your pool patio ideas right is picking the best garden furniture for the space. A corner sofa will provide ample room for everyone to lounge after a swim, and a coffee table is useful for placing drinks and snacks.

Don't forget to bring in a source of shade, too. 'It may seem obvious, but picking the perfect parasol for your space is essential,' says Francesca Hadland of Bridgman (opens in new tab)

'Though practical, parasols also provide a stylish finishing touch for all poolside set-ups. For smaller patios, opt for a parasol that can be placed within a dining table to shade yourself and your guests from the sun as you dine. Or, choose a larger cantilever parasol that you can rotate to find the shade as the day draws on.'

5. Design a family-friendly space

pool patio with waterfall and play area

Keep the kids entertained with waterfalls and a nearby play area

(Image credit: TerryJ/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Pools are a brilliant addition to family garden ideas, offering space to swim, splash around, or simply sunbathe on an inflatable. 

If yours is to be enjoyed by everyone, be sure that there is something to suit all needs. Think sun loungers for the grown-ups, a nearby play zone with climbing frame to keep kids busy in-between swims, or a BBQ set-up for gathering around together at the end of the day, for instance.

We love the addition of palm trees in this plot too, which add to the fun and fresh feel. The blue mosaic pool against the pale paving also looks fabulous.

6. Cook up a storm next to your pool

outdoor kitchen near pool

Create a hub for entertaining around your pool

(Image credit: Image Supply/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Speaking of post-swim BBQs, if you want to go a step further, how about bringing an outdoor kitchen to your pool patio?

Complete with gas grill, mini-fridge, and even a sink, it will turn the space into a serious entertaining hub. Add a cover, lighting, and a source of heat and you'll be ready for throwing unforgettable alfresco get-togethers any time of year.

7. Keep it timeless and traditional

traditional walled garden with swimming pool

Opt for a country-garden style

(Image credit: Anna Stowe/Alamy Stock Photo)

If you prefer a traditional look, opt for worn stone pavers, brick detailing, and classic seating (you can find our pick of the best sun loungers in our buying guide).

Neatly clipped topiary and red brick walls will add to the country-garden vibe. Add a climbing rose or honeysuckle nearby for extra fragrance and color. A smart yet understated parasol won't go amiss, either.

8. Add an outdoor grill station

fireplace near pool

This statement structure is sure to turn heads

(Image credit: Andreas von Einsiedel/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images)

Draw the eye with a stunning grill station – whether that's a built-in pizza oven or an outdoor fireplace that can have cooking accessories added when needed. 

This set-up is perfect for romantic poolside dining, complete with a cobalt-blue wall, practical log storage space, and lanterns that will twinkle as evening falls. Giant outdoor beanbags are great additions for a pool patio too, enhancing the laid-back vibe.

9. Mix rustic and modern features

sofa by go modern furniture near pool

The Tribu Senja modular outdoor sofa by Go Modern (opens in new tab)makes a striking focal point in this space

(Image credit: Go Modern)

Pick an outdoor sofa in a neutral hue and you can customize the look of the space easily with a mix of colorful cushions. Footstools and poufs are versatile additions that will enhance the relaxed tone.

Pair the scheme with pergola ideas overhead for shade and shelter. This particular structure and the rustic wall contrast beautifully against the contemporary paving, modern furniture, and sleek pool.

10. Use different textures in your poolside scheme

OKA furniture on pool patio

A stylish space featuring outdoor furniture from OKA UK (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: OKA UK)

Outdoor-suitable rattan has to be one of our favorite textures for garden furniture and we doubt it'll be off of our radar anytime soon. 

Mix with ceramic vases, glass hurricane lanterns, woven cushions and even a touch of outdoor-suitable velvet for a  scheme that's oozing with style. If you stick to a pared-back color palette it won't feel OTT either – instead, the setting will seem soothing and luxurious. Ideal for a pool patio, whatever its size.

Looking for more styling advice for small patios? Our guide has plenty.

11. Match your paving to your furniture

bridgman sofa set near pool

(Image credit: Bridgman)

Another way to create harmony with your pool patio ideas is to pick furniture to match your paving. Take this chic gray scheme, for example.

The bright white grout between pavers brightens the look and complements the cushions, while the pops of turquoise add an uplifting sense of fun. It's simple yet certainly effective.

12. Set up a dining space

poolside dining set from bridgman

This dining set is from Bridgman (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Bridgman)

'A dining set is a must-have for much-needed refreshment breaks when you've finished your swim,' says Francesca of Bridgman. 'We recommend choosing a stylish yet space-saving set with stackable chairs for easy storage after summer is over.'

We love how this parasol complements the paving underfoot, too, while creating an ample amount of cooling shade. You can find more outdoor dining ideas in our feature.

13. Go for a sunken patio

pool patio featuring paving from artisans of devizes

(Image credit: Artisans of Devizes)

Terracing a sloping garden and adding a pool is the perfect way to optimize the space. Plus, the surrounding walls will provide a degree of shelter from the elements, as well as boost the privacy levels.

The limestone paving looks beautiful in this space, contrasting against the rustic brick boundaries and inviting pool. Minimalistic furniture ties in with the sleek diving board, adding an element of contemporary cool.

14. Plant plenty of blooms around the zone

pool patio designed by Your Garden Design including Buscot limestone in an etched finish from Artisans of Devizes

(Image credit: Your Garden Design/Artisans of Devizes)

The swimming pool, barbecue and bar area in this plot have been given a cool and contemporary look with limestone paving in an etched finish. 

Pockets of planting soften the scheme as they line the space, providing texture, life and color. We adore these timber raised garden beds, but you could always just use a collection of oversized planters for a more versatile approach.

Meanwhile, the row of espaliered trees adds subtle privacy, as well as defining the area as more of an 'outdoor room'.

What furniture should you use for your pool patio?

One of the key things to consider when planning pool patio ideas is the furniture. And not only does it need to be practical, but it also needs to look the part. 'Choosing garden furniture for your pool patio is all about creating the most relaxing environment for your family and friends to enjoy in all types of occasions from dining to lounging,' says Jonny Brierley, CEO at Moda Furnishings (opens in new tab). 'There are many options to choose from, with everything from sun loungers and corner sofas to casual dining tables, so it's important to think about the size of your space and how many people will be using it.'

'Choose furniture that's waterproof,' says Francesca of Bridgman. 'From the frame to the cushions, opt for premium pieces that you can relax on straight out of the pool, without worrying about rusting or ruining them.

'Sun loungers are a tried and true addition to any poolside patio, but they aren't always the best way to use your space,' she continues. 'For pool parties and large garden gatherings, choose a waterproof modular sofa set to offer your guests a comfortable and spacious place to relax and chat. Innovative outdoor sofas are perfect for modern gardens in need of a touch of contemporary style that we'll be seeing a lot more of in the future.'

Tina Mahony of Go Modern shares her tips, too: 'If your pool area is near the house, you'll probably want to replicate your inside style outdoors. And if you're an ultra-contemporary kind of person then it makes sense to continue that onto the patio, using complementing shades and textures that make the indoors flow seamlessly to the outdoors.' Don't forget to use similar paving ideas for your interior and exterior too, for a truly harmonious feel.

bridgman sofa near pool with outdoor rug

Pair an outdoor-suitable sofa with a colorful garden rug for extra style points – this set-up is from Traumteppich (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Traumteppich.com)

Tina continues: 'The next thing to bear in mind is the weather resistance of the materials used. Near a pool, furniture is going to be exposed to splashes of chlorine or salt water, or even bucket loads of the stuff if people are climbing out dripping wet and throwing themselves onto it. 

'The material used on patio sofas and chairs is all-important. Look for stain repellent/resistant fabrics that won't fade if they're exposed to chlorine or UV rays.  At the other end of the scale, fabrics should also be mold- and frost-resistant (for those keen all-year-round swimmers). Outdoor fabrics come in a beautifully wide range of patterns and textures now and even feature outdoor velvet.

'Also check what fillings have been used for cushions,' Tina continues. 'The best all-weather cushions should retain their bounce and will have been made from innovative quick-dry fillings made from, for example, natural and polyester fibers. The seams should be welded as well as sewn, so if a drop of water does manage to get through, it drains away rapidly.

'Check out the material used for frames too,' she adds. 'All-weather, high-tech materials, such as powder-coated aluminum or electro-polished stainless steel, 316L and 304L are ideal for use near pools. The treatment of the steel concentrates chrome, nickel and other materials into the surface improving the corrosion resistance and leaving it with a lasting bright finish.'

Need some top tips on how to clean outdoor furniture for keeping it looks its best? Our guide has lots of useful advice.

bridgman furniture near pool

A modern dining area featuring furniture from Bridgman (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Bridgman)

What paving is good for a pool patio?

When it comes to the pool patio itself, you have several choices. Many people opt for pavers – whether natural stone, concrete, or porcelain – for a smart finish. Some prefer to choose poured concrete instead, which can be stamped or even colored for an eye-catching effect. All have varying degrees of durability and come at different prices, but one thing you'll need to be sure of is the one you choose is slip-resistant when wet. You may also wish to consider how heat reflective the materials are – concrete tends to be more comfortable underfoot during hot weather, for instance.

Alternatively, you might prefer the natural look of timber or timber-effect (and easier-to-maintain) composite decking. Again, just ensure you pick one that won't cause slip hazards. You can find more info in our pool deck ideas guide.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day.