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Pool deck ideas for your backyard

By Gianna Huesch

Updated: October 31st, 2021

Designing your dream pool? Whether you’re thinking of an inground or freestanding pool, get some inspo with our pool deck ideas

Enhance your enjoyment of your pool with a gorgeous deck to make lounging poolside look and feel luxurious. But are you restricted to timber or are there more options… Spoiler alert – there are a lot more options to choose from, which is why we put these pool deck ideas together to help make the best choice for your yard.

Decking is a functional landscaping element that adds plenty of usable space to the area surrounding your pool. It creates a frame around the pool and a safe path around the circumference as well as assisting with drainage. But it also lets you create zoned areas for relaxing and entertaining around the pool area. You can plan your deck to accommodate furniture for relaxing and dining. And add overhead structures for shelter like pergolas and cabanas or even just umbrellas.

With the right choice of décor your pool deck can become the perfect place to chill. Just add plenty of natural and organic fibres in your soft furnishings and have a peaceful colour scheme. Amp up the atmosphere with things like water features, bistro lights and patio umbrellas.

Now, let’s make a splash with these pool deck ideas.

1. Rise up

One of the best things about pool decks is they can make your less-costly above-ground pool look like an inground one. This is achieved by ‘sinking’ the pool into a level platform extending from the house. With the right choice of fencing, your pool area can become a much-loved, private outdoor relaxing space. Give it spa vibes with all the creature comforts you could need, and you’ll never know you once hated above-ground pools.

2. Driftwood dreams

To get the perfect sun-bleached, weathered timber look, one trick is to wash down regular Merbau decking with chlorine. This speeds up the fading. (Merbau is a popular, durable brown-toned decking board that’s ideal for outdoor use.) Wrap the decking all around the pool and continue up for fencing to create a really seamless look.

pool-decking-seating
Source: Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

3. Tiny pool

When you’re working with a tiny space, maximise it with glass fencing. The pool area becomes a tranquil space to view from the house when you add leafy plant life, too. (For expert help with glass fencing from somewhere near you, search here.)

4. Pave the way

While timber is always gorgeous, so are natural stone pavers around the pool. Pavers keep things lovely and cool underfoot and deliver a classic, streamlined, minimalist aesthetic. The use of pavers works especially well to blend with a home’s exterior walls. This helps create continuity between the indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

pool-decking-white
Source: Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

For more inspo on pavers, you might also like to view our article on paving ideas.

5. Round above ground

Rather than being an eyesore, above-ground pools can actually be very attractive. They can provide a nice sculptural element for your backyard. Consider a gorgeous plunge pool constructed from a concrete water tank. The material contrasts beautifully with timber fencing and surrounds.

(Need help with your pool fence installation?)

6. Tropical flair

Add a series of lush plants to your pool deck to create that resort oasis aesthetic. Banana leaf plants are guaranteed to evoke tropical vibes. And housing them in massive statement containers always looks stylish.

7. White hot

Durable and cost-effective, concrete remains a popular choice of pool decking material. When painted dazzling white it evokes the Greek Islands. Just build in a waterfall at one end, plant scented foliage plants and add a row of lanterns for atmosphere.

pool-decking-contemporary
Source: Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

8. Take the plunge

OK, so you may not have the expansive views of a resort oasis. But even if you lack a stunning view, you don’t need a lot of space for a plunge pool. (Looking for an expert in plunge pool construction? Start your search here.)

9. Backyard infinity pool

Have in mind an infinity plunge pool overlooking nature out on the back verandah? Then timber is the obvious choice of decking material to blend in and to work those rainforest eco-lodge vibes.

10. Corner cabana

Make the most of a boring pool corner by installing a small wooden deck, adding a roof frame and some trellises to create a little cabana. It will provide shade and shelter and help protect your outdoor furniture and décor from the elements. But it will also add all the summery resort vibes to your pool area. And training a beautiful bougainvillea up one side adds so much charm.

11. Timber touches

Even if you have a concrete pool, adding touches of timber decking (such as at the ends) will give it luxe feels. The contrast in materials also adds more visual interest. Make sure all your timber decking is comfortable underfoot by finding someone to take care of your deck sanding.

pool-decking-timber
Source: Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

12. Small but stunning

Even a tiny pool can add so much luxury to your home. You may not be able to swim laps in it but how relaxing would it be to dangle your legs in on a hot summer’s arvo. Natural timber decking adjoining a paved/concreted pool area gives a lovely organic touch. Perfect for blending into your backyard greenery.

13. Pebble trim

Define your pool with pebbles or rocks. Creating a mosaic circumference adds a little interest to an otherwise plain area. And pebbles always bring a little seaside flavour to any pool space.

14. Coastal chic

Rock a strong Hamptons vibe with pale-coloured timber decking. It’s a modern, clean and endlessly stylish look. Glass pool fencing can keep things airy and minimalist and allow views of the pool area from the house.

15. Add a glass balustrade

Enable a seamless transition to your pool area by adding a glass balustrade to your pool fencing. Frameless balustrades look chic and close off your wet zone while maximising views. This allows you to enjoy viewing the activity in the pool from other parts of the home or from the alfresco dining area.

16. Pattern and texture

Mixing materials in your pool deck area is not only functional (as different zones have different uses and needs). It’s also aesthetically pleasing too. The interplay of textures, patterns and colours create visual interest. Meanwhile the overall look remains clean and simple. So go ahead an freely combine materials like timber, metal and concrete.

17. Whitewashed

Whitewashed timber decking makes a bold statement and brings plenty of coastal vibes to your pool area. You’ll get that Mediterranean coastal look—think blinding-white Santorini island style. Along with muted, neutral colours, natural timber and organic décor—it all adds up to one simple yet stunning space.

18. Decking with floor pouffes

Choose really comfy and cosy outdoor seating to really make the most of your pool deck area. There are weatherproof and durable options galore. But floor pillows always look inviting arranged around a gorgeous rug. Go for patterned or leather pouffes for that chic Moroccan courtyard aesthetic.

19. Be creative with seating

When you have a narrow pool deck, you may want to establish clearly defined zones rather than have it all descend into a free-for-all. Lay out formal seating in a number of configurations for flexibility. You could also build seating directlyinto the deck to define zones. As always, adding outdoor cushions and throws makes things even cosier.

pool-decking-square
Source: Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

20. Moody and modern

Add sleek soft furnishings for a chic contemporary look. Why not explore darker tones in the timber decking and seating area, for drama and sophistication? A glass-walled pool and black steel awnings can contribute to the streamlined, minimalist look.

pool-decking-dark
Source: Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

21. Soak cool

Aboveground, freestanding pools have really come a long way. No longer resembling plastic kiddie paddling pools, they come in so many materials and styles. Consider a smart miniature soaking pool made of economical fibreglass plastic that looks like concrete. It can feature a Bluetooth sound system, underwater LED lights, spa functions with massage. You can even find them with built-in bench seating for numerous people.

22. Go for lushness

At the other end of the scale from clean minimalism, create a Boho, travellers’ paradise aesthetic. Choose natural-hued pool tiles, planting drooping vines, frangipani and other tropical jungle plants. And surrounding your pool with weatherbeaten, raw-looking timber decking. Sprinkle in some wooden trays, cotton hammocks and large terracotta planters. And you have the perfect pool deck for lazing away a summer’s afternoon.

pool-decking-tiled
Source: Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

23. Decks are for seating

One great thing about pool decking is that you can creates built-in, designated seating areas for your pool space. You might have timber decking surrounding your pool which incorporates seating ledges. Or you might simply have an extended concrete slab, where you can just throw down a massive floor cushion next to the pool.

24. Small but sophisticated

If you only have a small yard, break up your deck with levels—and that’s easy to do with an above-ground pool that essentially creates levels. Having a multilevel outdoor space makes it seem larger and more interesting. And it helps integrate it seamlessly with your home and other elements of your backyard, like a lawn area.

pool-decking-small
Source: Photo by Kazuo ota on Unsplash

25. Minimalist and contemporary

If you love a modern home, you’ll want your backyard space looking equally up to date. So continue the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic of your contemporary interior by incorporating a neat, square, concrete plunge pool. Finish in a dark-toned cement to contrast with the paler pavers.

26. Add an outdoor shower

Give your pool deck an instant spa makeover with a chrome rainfall outdoor shower. Add a pebble-adorned drain and some oversized tropical plants for contrast. So simple yet so stylish.

27. Get the beach club look

You can very easily create that Hamptons vibe in your own backyard. Just add ssome white timber deck chairs, a white or cream beach umbrella and container plants. And then finish with a scattering of bright, geo-pattered cushions and towels.

pool-decking-hamptons
Source: Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

28. Mix your materials

Elevate a very simple small rectangular pool to having a chic, architectural look with a blend of textures and materials. Such as a wood-veneered concrete wall, a bold planting of succulents and grasses, concrete raised garden beds, and ocean-hued pool tiles. And, as a focal point, a fountain that helps mask street noise and lights up at night.

pool-decking-mix-materials
Source: Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

29. Go white + bright

A quick and easy way to add Mediterranean zest to your concrete above-ground pool is to paint everything white. Then add colour bursts with vibrant flowering plants and soft furnishings in blues and neutrals that evoke sea and sand. Decorate with timber, pottery, tiles and stones. Key characteristics of Mediterranean style are freshness, vitality, light, and elegance.

31. Go round

Round pools follow a more natural, organic shape than linear rectangles and squares. So they especially suit a rustic, Boho or even a Japanese style garden aesthetic. What about a series of interconnecting circles with the seating on a raised circular decking platform? To come up with a unique pool deck design, why not collaborate with a pool decking expert who can work out the logistics of something like this for you.

pool-decking-round
Source: Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

32. Travel without moving

If you can’t get to Morocco, let Morocco come to you. All it takes is plenty of teal, marine and navy geo tiling, palms and banana leaf plants. And a chill-out zone of some kind, featuring organic décor in all white or neutrals and aqua.

pool-decking-moroccan
Source: Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

What’s the best pool deck material?

Pool deck design options are really wide-ranging, with many patterns and styles possible in a wide range of materials. So how to choose? Your decision will take into account not only your personal aesthetic preference but the cost, the longevity and the safety of your chosen material. You want a sturdy structure that will last, made from a safe, non-slippery material. It’s ideally heat-reflective, and will blend with your other backyard hardscaping materials.

Traditionally, inground pools were constructed with concrete, bricks, tiles or pavers. There are certain advantages to these materials. For example, concrete is a nice smooth surround. And it goes well with particular design styles, including mid-century modern and contemporary.

Tiles look enticing but are best used in the pool itself as highly glazed ones become very slippery. The least slippery choice for decking is unglazed terracotta. On the other hand, natural stone pavers not only look luxe but are textured for better slip resistance. You can also get interlocking pavers made from concrete which resemble stone or tile . These are more cost-effective than flagstones.

Finally, timber decking has always been sought after for pool decking. It just gives that gorgeous, natural look and feeling beautiful underfoot. Depending on your budget, there are many wood varieties to choose from. Everything from hardwoods to treated pine timber decking to composite decking (a mix of wood and synthetics).

But nobody says you have to stick to just one material. And decking that incorporates mixed materials can be visually pleasing, For example, mosaics in a paved concrete area or river rocks in grooves alongside another material.

I hope my selection of pool deck ideas has given you some inspo for building a gorgeous pool deck. If it’s something you think you might want to DIY, we’ve got a handy six-step guide on how to build your own DIY deck. Otherwise, your best bet is to find a local expert in pool decking to sort you out. Let me know how you go!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna

I'm an interiors writer living in coastal Australia and discovering all the joys of DIY renovating.

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