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  • Five Ways to Match the Pool to the Landscape Design

    You’re thinking about adding a pool to your property. Maybe you’ve already got a well designed backyard, maybe it’s mostly grass and maybe you’ve done a little gardening and DIY landscaping. If you haven’t already, now is the time to nail down your landscape design. Your pool needs to be a component of that design, so it’s important that you know how you want your outdoor living space to look and feel before you make major decisions about your pool’s size, shape and surrounds. Coordinating the pool design and the landscape design can make a huge difference in how the pool looks, how pleasant it is to use and how much it enhances the value of your home.

    Playboy Mansion Grotto
    Playboy Mansion Grotto

    1. The location of the pool

    Not everyone has the luxury of choosing between separate pool locations, but everyone needs to think about the pool’s size and general placement and how it will synch with the landscape design. Picture your landscape design as a whole. Where will the pool entry or entries be, and where are the important observation points? How will the pool location work with other landscape elements such as alfresco, gardens, cooking areas and garden furniture? How will the design affect circulation and activities when your family is outside? How will things work when you have guests or are throwing a party?

    2. The shape of the pool

    If you have a very natural-looking outdoor space with curved retaining walls and garden beds, then you might want a curvy, natural-looking pool. A plain pool in a round, oval or rectangular shape can be a calm and beautiful focus for a more structured, formal garden. On the other hand, if your property is dominated by hard landscaping—patio stones or pavement—then the pool will definitely be a formal design element. You’ll want to study various shapes in plan view and think hard about how they will look from different angles and vantage points. This kind of modern landscape design can be very striking and sculptural.

    3. The pool surrounds

    Have you thought about what to put around the edges of the pool? Most people like to have a hard surface surrounding at least part of the pool so that they can relax and lay out in the sun. A pool surrounded by greenery looks fantastic, but it can be a challenge to keep the pool clean if it’s adjacent to soil and plants. Think about your options: poured concrete, paving stones, tiles, a wooden deck… each one has its own character and its practical advantages and disadvantages. Which fits best with your overall plan for the area around the pool?

    4. The pool fencing

    You probably already know that in Victoria, pool fencing is required by law. About...Swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers, a Building Commission publication, can give you more details. There are rules about the height, design and access that need to be followed. On the other hand, there’s still room for creativity. The pool fencing can be made of anything from toughened glass to white picket fencing. Wrought iron is a popular choice, too. Many pool owners choose to construct a wall or use a high wooden fence where the edge of their property is near the edge of the pool. Walls, in particular, have a great deal of design potential; water features are easy to add on.

    5. The pool interior colour

    Deeper water is darker blue, and every pool interior will appear darker in a deeper pool. Light pool interior colours reflect more light and heat, making the pool cooler, while dark colours absorb it, making for a warmer pool. In general, the colour of the pool interior you should choose, like the shape of the pool, depends on your overall landscape design. A light pool interior will give your pool more of a cool, classical Mediterranean look. A darker interior is more modern looking. It will mask variations in the depth of the water and give the pool more visual punch.

    The shape, the location, the colour, the pool surrounds, the pool fencing… they all need to compliment the total outdoor space. Every pool needs the right kind of landscaping to help it blend into its surroundings and become a pleasing part of a cohesive design. Before finalising your plans for the pool, make sure that you know your landscape design.

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