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35 Stunning small pool ideas that you’ll in your backyard

By Elise Hodge

Updated: July 6th, 2021

Finally, the summer pool solution for small backyards!

With summer just around the corner, you’re probably dreaming of hot days in the sun, enjoying BBQs with family and friends, and heading to the beach. But without a pool, it’ll be hard to fight off the heat. The good news is that you don’t need a huge space to have a pool. In fact, you can have a tiny backyard and still enjoy a refreshing dip. That’s why we’ve compiled 35 incredible small pool ideas to show you how. Ready to be inspired for your Summer renovation? Read on!

1. Among the trees

This Bali-inspired pool looks like the perfect place to lay back and relax with a good book in one hand and a refreshing drink in the other. I love how the thin pool is surrounded by lush greenery with palms bowing down over the edges. And my favourite part of this area is the little gazebo – you could simply slide off the edge and into the pool. It’s the best tropical garden design!

Tropical small pool with green tiles
Source: luanagoncalvesarq

2. Surrounded by wood

For those who like things a bit more simple, this spa-style pool takes the cake. The rectangular structure is built into the surrounding timber deck. This would make it great for a summer pool party!

plunge pool with timber decking
Source: crecer_entre_las_flores

3. Pool with a view

Wow. Isn’t this absolutely breathtaking? While travel is somewhat restricted at the moment, we can only dream of visiting destinations like this. But while we can’t hop on a plane, it doesn’t mean we can’t take inspiration from these dreamy destinations.

I particularly love the curved shapes of this pool. First, there are curved steps that guide the swimmer into the pool. And then there are the showstopping rainbow-like curved arches that lead out to the view of the city. How amazing!

Glamorous skyline pool
Source: designwanted

4. Courtyard pool dreams

Fancy a trip to Morocco? Me too! In the meantime, why not take inspiration from this stunning pool area. The heroes of this design are the patterns. So if you’re planning on recreating something like this, go all out with mosaic tiles, monochromatic colour schemes, and plenty of greenery. You’ll feel like you’re in paradise in no time!

Small pool in a courtyard
Source: prepsea

5. Enjoy the mountains

If you’ve got a mountain view (or really any view for that matter!), make the most of it by positioning your small pool in the right spot. I can only imagine how lovely it would be to relax in this pool early in the morning or late in the afternoon as the sun is setting… the colours would be divine!

Round small pool ideas
Source: The Joshua Tree House

6. Plunge pool

Got a thin space between your house and the fence? No worries! This otherwise unused space can be transformed into a perfect plunge pool. After all, you don’t need a huge pool to get the benefits of cooling down on a hot Summer’s day.

Lap pool alongside the house
Source: Pinnacle Plus

7. Checkered pool

Here’s another pool that’s giving me all of the Moroccan vibes. I love the checkered pattern of the tiles that carry on from inside the pool to the outside area too but if it’s a bit too much, check out these other paving ideas. Plus, the timber chairs with the striped cushions add an interesting contrast to the overall design!

Pool tiling ideas
Source: Kahilee

8. Cacti galore

Plants are always a good idea, especially when you can keep them alive… If you wouldn’t call yourself much of a green thumb then cacti are the plant for you. Layer them around your pool in pods. The best thing is that you’ll hardly have to water them because they’re so low maintenance!

And if that doesn’t do it for you, there are always native garden plants as well that would fit in just as well.

Desert inspired pool landscaping
Source: zebodeko

9. Perfect outdoor area

Modern home? Check Timber decking? Check. Now all you need is a lush pool to enjoy. And this one takes the cake! It’s blue and oh-so inviting. Plus, I love the addition of strategically potted plants around the edges… They make for a natural environment.

See how you can create your own patio oasis with a swimming pool builder.

Pool area with seating area on timber decking
Source: Brandon Architects

10. Concrete plunge pool

Only got space for a tiny pool? Don’t stress! A small plunge pool like this one will do the trick. While they come in all sorts of materials (we’ll look at more options soon), this one is made out of concrete! And it’s tiled with thousands of tiny dark blue tiles to create a pool that looks deep and calming.

Small concrete plunge pool
Source: Little Red Barn Doonan

11. Structured

If you’re a minimalist at heart, then you’re bound to love this small pool design. I love how it uses creative shapes like ovals carved out of the brick wall. And the three simple steps into the pool create a warm welcome. This looks like the perfect place to spend a sunny summer’s afternoon.

Small pool
Source: Studio Bright

12. Potted palms

How lush is this pool area? I love how the palm trees add so much detail to this tiny space. This is proof that you can have a gorgeous, relaxing pool area even if you only have a tiny backyard. And I love how the palms have all been potted in white pots to create consistency with design.

Small pool with potted plants
Source: Hotel Esencia

13. A place to sit

If you’ve got a pool, you’re going to want a place to sit and relax when you’re not swimming. Or, a place to read a book and watch the kids as they splash around! You don’t have to go all out with marine-safe outdoor furniture, particularly if you don’t want to overcrowd a small space. That’s why these simple egg-shaped chairs are absolutely perfect.

Square small pool with ledge seating
Source: Falling Waters Landscape

14. Down the stairs

Create a lovely entrance to your pool area by adding stairs! This is a great way to create levels and layers in your space. And these stairs add a blend of Greek/Bali vibes. Plus, I love the addition of the foliage hanging down from the roof and dotted around the perimeter of the pool.

Small pool in a courtyard of a terraced house
Source: Riverwood Building Company

15. Create a fence

When planning your pool area, you’re going to need to factor in pool fencing! While it is an important requirement that keeps the little ones safe, that doesn’t mean it has to look bland and boring. Create something interesting with a mix of materials like timber and steel. I love how the timber fencing on the left has slats through it so you can see through to the pool area from the other side!

Small pool with a bbq area
Source: Area Design Mag

16. Blow up

Need a quick fix? Something to cool you down over the hottest summer weeks? Then a blow-up pool is the perfect solution for you. The great thing is that you can find blow-up pools in all different shapes and sizes, so you’ll be able to fit it in your space. After you’ve done this, add in a lilo, a blow-up swan and a few chairs to bring it all together.

inflatable pool
Source: Art

17. Gate it with glass

Here’s a great gate idea – glass! This is the perfect solution for those of you who want to protect your view of the backyard or anything else, for that matter. Glass pool fencing is so elegant and they create a seamless transition from your pool and deck area to the rest of your space.

Glass pool fencing around above ground pool
Source: theralux

18. Above-ground small pool ideas

Go the DIY route and use a large industrial-style above-ground pool like this one. It’s the perfect simple solution for all of your hot-weather needs. Plus, it won’t cost you as much money as an in-ground pool.

Small pool
Source: ameliycom

19. Stock tank

Here’s another budget-friendly option – a stock tank. Yes, this is something that’s used to provide drinking water for animals like cattle or horses. Stock tanks can range in size from 100 L to over 5500 L and typically are made of galvanised steel. And the best thing is that they come in so many different sizes, so you’ll be able to find one that meets your needs!

Small tankkd pool
Source: Stock Tank Store

20. House to backyard

What I love about this space is that it is truly seamless. With indoor-outdoor homes which allow us to enjoy the best of both worlds. The back deck flows perfectly onto the pool area, so you could enjoy a BBQ, splash around in the pool, then head back inside for drinks. If you’re looking for more ideas for how to create this kind of experience, check out these decking ideas.

Modern backyard rectangle pool
Source: Cronulla Pools

21. Lush oasis

This small pool area has been styled to perfection! And while it does remind me of Bali, it could certainly be recreated anywhere. I love how the large concrete walls break up the pool and create interest. Plus, the addition of the burnt orange and beige ceramic pots add a stylish touch.

Small pool
Source: Charlotte Taylr

22. Cottage style

Have a cottage garden like this one? Consider using high-end materials to uplevel your space. One of the best choices for this kind of design is stone. It’s not only timeless but it always looks sophisticated.

Hamptons cottage backyard small pool
Source: Paul Williger Architect

23. Hole in the ground

This small pool design is proof that there is hope for those of you who have tiny backyards. I love how this pool just does the job that it needs to do – providing a simple place for its owners to cool down and relax. Plus, it’s handy that it’s right next to the outdoor eating area, creating a seamless in-ground pool space!

Small pool
Source: jewelboxbahamas

24. Surrounded by greenery

The greener the better, in my opinion! And while this pool area is fairly typical of the modern pool area, it’s made resort-like with so much greenery.

So here’s a hot tip: Build in a long planter box along the horizontal edge of your pool area. This will serve as a great place to plant heaps of greenery and let it grow wild with the help of professional landscape designers.

Landscaping around a small pool
Source: Cronulla Pools

25. Greek-style small pool

Greek design is one of my all-time favourites. I just can’t get enough of the striking combination of stark white with cool, calming blue. And this tiny pool takes the cake, for me! It’s proof that you can create a gorgeous, relaxing pool area even if you only have a tiny space. And that space could simply be a rooftop or a tiny backyard.

Small pool in Santorini Greece
Source: oikos_architecture

26. Moroccan style

Here’s another tiny pool – this time, Moroccan style. It exudes lived in, laid-back vibes. And I love how there are so many rustic touches to suit the overall design. First, there are large pots for the cactus and tree. And then there’s a little lantern balancing on the thin edge. Plus, there are interesting outdoor light fixtures hanging down from hooks. And lastly, there’s the tiny timber bench with little potted plants on it – too cute!

Small pool in a courtyard
Source: La Maison Marrakech

27. Spanish style

Wow, wow, wow – put me on a plane to Europe! This small pool area is so interesting – it’s carved into a rocky mountainside. Now, this exact pool is from Spain. My favourite parts of this design are the stairs and levels that have been created inside the pool – they add such a cool dimension! And this is definitely something that you could recreate for your own pool build.

Small pool in Spain
Source: World Architecture Design

28. Mid-century modern

I’m all for this small pool space! I love how the design makes the most of this tiny space between the two parts of the building. I can only imagine that you would be able to look into the pool from nearly anywhere in the house. So when you’re considering your pool build, think about how you want the area to connect with your home.

Mid-century style home with a small pool
Source: LA Times

29. L-shaped small pool

This is one of the more unusual small pool ideas. The L-shapes pool is super interesting with dark tiles around the edging, little round hedges, and gravel to finish off the outline. Plus, I love how the fun leafy succulents have been placed in different areas around the pool. There’s so much greenery, and it’s gorgeous!

L-shaped pool
Source: Alka Pool

30. Reflecting pool

This pool area may be small but it sure is effective. Apart from the thin design of the simple pool, reflecting materials have been used for the surrounding stone to create a gorgeous glow. And I love how there are multiple seating areas with gorgeous white lie-back chairs to the right and fun mustard-coloured sofas on the left.

Pool area
Source: Jacobsen Architecture

31. Miami fresh

This space exudes Miami cool… The pool is actually square cut and made out of a gorgeous Florida coral stone. And dramatic blue pool lights have also been incorporated into the design to enhance the colours even more. This would be a sight to see in the evening!

Pool area
Source: Craig Reynolds

32. Colours of the desert

This style is distinct, using touches of vintage or mid-century modern outdoor furnishings with southwestern materials. If you’ve got a beautiful view that you want to protect, make sure you use low-to-the-ground hardscape and furnishings so you can enjoy it! And the thing I love the most about this pool area is that it is slightly elevated above the ground. Those blue mosaic tiles are to die for!

Mosaic tiles on a rooftop pool area
Source: Prideaux Design

33. Terraced Tudor style

This backyard reminds me of a glamorous French home. It’s so chic and rustic. My favourite thing about this space is the hedging and white flowers that are dotted around the yard. So take inspiration from this area and fancy up your pool area with your favourite blooms.

Lap pool surrounded by grass
Source: Eberlein

34. Round small pool ideas

Here’s a teeny tiny concrete pool that would provide the perfect place for a quick dip or splash around. I love the simplicity of this design… it’s understated yet does the trick. And I know we’re talking about pools, but I’ve got to make special mention of that fire pit to the right – it looks like such a nice place to cosy up! Pool in the day… sit around the fire at night? Yes, please!

Round pool ideas
Source: Go Plunge

35. Over the edge

Make sure you watch where you’re walking in this pool area! I love how this infinity pool design seamlessly integrates with the surrounding trees. And would you look at that view? It’s breathtaking! So if you’ve got a view, why not consider an infinity pool. Even if it’s only small, it’ll certainly be a great place to take in the view.

Small infinity pool ideas
Source: Raven Inside

There you have it, 35+ amazing small pool ideas. I personally loved all of the creative DIY pools like the above-ground options and stock tanks. It’s so nice to realise that there are options out there like this and that they can suit any kind of backyard. And I also loved all of the pool designs that included plants around the fencing – I’m a sucker for anything that makes me feel like I’m in a lush rainforest!

What about you? Which small pool designs were your favourites? I’d love to hear. Comment below and let me know!


Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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