45 Above Ground Pool Ideas to Cool Off With
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Above Ground Pools: Cool Off With 45 Fabulous Landscapes

Sipping cold drinks by the pool is a favorite pastime of mine, plus my kids would live in the water if I allowed it. However, many people pass up the opportunity to install a pool, especially an above ground pool, due to how it may not blend well into the landscaping. Inground pools are often easier to incorporate into a yard, but the cost of installation is often a turnoff for many, as is the repair to your yard after the large equipment needed is gone.

Don’t pass up on your dreams of a pool just because an inground isn’t a possibility. Above ground, pools can look just as elegant and add interest to your landscaping as well. The following ideas provide quite a few unique above ground pool ideas to get both the poolside ambiance and yard elegance you desire.



Inground Hack

Incorporate an above ground into your raised deck to provide an inground feel without the installation cost. This can be done with many existing deck heights and pool styles and gives you plenty of space to sit back and enjoy.



Best of Both Worlds

Even if your pool was an afterthought, you can still install it close to your deck to provide an inground feel. With the proper plants and greenery on both your deck and yard, creating the proper place for rest and relaxation is a reality.



Decking Details

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Why not build a deck around your pool to provide both a place to lounge upon, as well as a more natural way to blend it into your surrounding yardscape? Poolside patios and lighting can complete the look for a perfect entertainment spot.


Brick Walkways

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No need to leave the space around your pool vacant. Elegant brick walkways with room for lounging easily incorporates your pool into your yard design. Add in a few oversized planters and bright flowers to complete the look.


Own Your Space

In-ground pool forms can be used in all sorts of ways, such as this pond and waterfall inspired pool built right into the hillside leading up to an outdoor patio space.



Hillside Advantages

Taking advantage of a hillside for above ground pool forms really is an innovative technique if you are willing to put a little bit of foresight into your landscaping design.



Outdoor Living

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Decks truly are an extension of your living space, so why not make it into a relaxing escape by incorporating a pool into the design? It’s like having the country club in your backyard!


Nature Inspired

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Natural looking pools are all the rage lately, but making your pool look like a natural pond comes with a hefty price tag. Natural stone, neutral colors, and elegantly placed fountains can do the trick for you, however, such as what has been used with this exercise lap pool.


Get Your Swim On

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Swimming is a popular, and low impact way, to stay in shape. Lap pools are fun to incorporate into your home gym, but are often awkward looking due to their rectangular shape, unless you decide to make it a part of your outdoor entertaining area, like this!


Reflecting Pools

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Yet another nature inspired design, this pool form is incorporated into rock walls and landscaping for backyard bliss. Use the pool in a way that it becomes a part of the landscape design and serve more than one function.


Rustic Resources

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Blend existing natural hues in with your pool design to create a rustic look. These private pools look as if they rose from the surrounding landscape to provide relief from summer heat.


Privacy Walls

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If a lap pool seems like a good idea, why not make it a part of your yard boundary as an extension of your privacy wall? This concrete design allows for a continuation of the property line, all while providing a private place to workout and relax.


Backyard Decking

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If you’ve always wanted a deck off your house, but have lacked the proper design for a doorway, consider creating a free floating deck within your backyard to incorporate your pool.


Backyard Relief

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Certain climates just call for a cool body of water each summer. This simple pool has easily become part of the patio walkout with easy accessibility and welcoming cool waters.


nice pool walkway with stone and grass

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Nothing is worse than tracking dirt and grass into the pool unless you are the one who has to clean it all out. A deck only provides so much protection, but stone walkways can protect both your pool and wet feet, from picking up even more debris traveling to and from the water.

*You might also like: 95 Stunning Retaining Wall Ideas




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Complete the look of the mediterranean in your backyard with the clean lines of white stucco, red tiled roofs, and natural hues of rocky cliffs surrounding clear blue waters.


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Nothing is more refreshing than a body of cool, blue water in a dry, desert landscape. This particular pool has the added interest of a plexiglass retaining wall to both mimic the architectural structure of the house in the background, and provide a better view of the surrounding desert colors.


Ocean View

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Pools are a popular additional along the oceanfront to provide further depth to the infinity of the water filled horizon, as well as provide a salt free, cooling experience.


Modern Laps

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Sleek tile and LED lighting is used as part of this modern take on a lap pool to help make it part of the overall architectural design and add further interest to the landscape.



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You don’t have to have an acreage in order to take advantage of a pool of any size. This rooftop lap pool incorporates a simple waterfall design overlooking the city to provide a modern take on a rustic retreat.


Modern Marble

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A hillside is utilized to provide an inground/above ground pool and visiting area with a dramatic waterfall backdrop. This traditional patio area makes bold statement with bold designs and contrasting colors and materials.


Small Spaces

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Just because you have a small outdoor area doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of that space. Pools come in all shapes and sizes, and a lap pool is the perfect size for this long, but narrow backyard.



Personal Touches

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Small urban backyards can look bigger than what they are with proper architectural choices. Tall columns mimic the length of the trees and pool siding to draw the eye upwards, and complete the look of your private oasis.



Natural Contrasts

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The lack of color in architectural design is used for a good reason, especially if shadows such as these are cast against such a vibrant, existing background. Pools can come in all shapes and sizes and often can provide the pop of color needed to complete the look of an outdoor living space.


Sloping Gardens

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Another design that looks as if it was part of the natural landscape, this pool is designed with the surrounding vegetation in mind and incorporates both a wide rock patio wall, as well as deep planters for the continuation of greenery.



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Yet another hillside experience, this pool is embraced by a patio walkway that blends effortlessly into the surrounding lawnscape. Rock gardens allow for vegetation to be incorporated into the overall design.


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Rustic pool placements becomes part of a rural setting through the use of local stone and placement symmetry. Curving patios mimic curving pools to provide a place to cool off after a long day of chores.


Backyard Advantage

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Take advantage of those smaller backyard spaces by claiming them for both a cooling, and visual experience. Material mixing and lighting provides a fun ambiance to enjoy at any time of day.


Serious Slopes

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Sloping lawns truly are an above ground pool’s best friend. You get the best of both worlds through easy access, fun pool siding materials, and the enjoyment of cool waters.


Lounging Bliss

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When incorporating a deck to an above ground pool you don’t have to completely enclose it. A partial deck can provide both compete lounging privacy and easy pool access for both swimming and maintenance. Just watch out for the floating grazing board when you are attempting your cannonball!


Dual Design

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Create a dual purpose design that serves as both a pool by day and lit landscaping fountain by night. Tile is the perfect material to use for lighting purposes due to how it reflects the light for a contemporary look.


Hot Tub Hideaway

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Rectangular hot tub designs are perfect for small yards since they utilize a lot less space up against an angular wall. This particular design uses the yard wall as a way to double it as a disappearing waterfall.


Contrasting Coordinates

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Red tiles splash against the black and white of the surrounding architectural design. This contemporary design is a stark contrast against the forested backdrop for a visually appealing place to relax.


Tri-Level Story

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This tri-level home takes full advantage of it’s various flooring heights. A spacious walkout deck has room for both outdoor and indoor lounging areas, as well as a relaxing poolscape.


Glass Lighting

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Right angles and clear glass create a day and night ambiance to take full advantage of this lap pool. Open floorplans extend to home and yard living areas for year round enjoyment.


Outdoor Living

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Narrow yards should be embraced as this house does with an open patio and narrow pool for year round enjoyment. Decorating to fit the contemporary look completes this simple landscaping to utilize the entire space.


Designer Deck

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A traditional above ground is easily incorporated into this lengthy backyard and provides a walkup deck from a shady veranda. In-ground designs are often difficult to incorporate into hillsides so designs like this are ideal for backyard pools.




Partial Perfection

A partial deck and pool fence is often the perfect solution besides an above ground to add an area to lounge without sacrificing budget. A place to sit and talk, get some sun, or simply provide privacy is easily built at any time after pool installation. Designs like this are ideal for backyard pools.



Pool Protection

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Having a pool requires a certain degree of responsibility both to your family, and your surrounding neighborhood. Lattice and fencing provide a protective barrier and a degree of elegance and privacy.


Flowerbed Landscaping

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Mix and match colors and textures to bring together the varying designs a raised pool can bring to your landscape. The wooden lines of this deck are well balanced by flower bed borders and gracefully draping tree canopies.




Lower Lighting

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This pool lip under lighting is a nice way to light the way each night from pool to home and provide a unique look to your backyard. Adding additional siding to your above ground pool provides you places to add in additional lighting.



Nighttime Ambiance

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Pool lighting is a must, especially when you want to take advantage of the surrounding outdoor living areas you have placed it in. Evening swims for exercise or heat relief are much more enjoyable when you can see what you are doing.



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Match your architectural home lighting to your landscape pathways. Since your pool is so much a part of your landscape design it makes sense to incorporate how it is viewed by both day and night into your plans.



Casting Shadows

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Uniform lighting throughout your yard and pool area provide flow and color interest, even within the dark of the night. These simple lights can be used for directional lighting and to show off sculptures and vegetation.



Lighting Elegance

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Contemporary design takes advantage of long lines and right angles. By night you can highlight these types of architectural plans and enjoy them by an entirely new light.w off sculptures and vegetation.


If an inground pool is an impossibility due to budget constraints, lack of space, or topographical issues, don’t rule out the many different above ground options you may have. Taking advantage of hillsides, creating decking spaces, and using vegetation and pool siding materials creates aesthetically pleasing additions to your landscape. Personally, I love the smaller yard designs and how they utilize the available spaces to make an elegant place to enjoy. Of all these above ground pool ideas, which is your favorite? Can you choose just one? We would love to see how you plan to incorporate these ideas into your yard in our comments below, and as always, please share!

*You might also like: Outdoor Fireplace & Fire Pit Ideas