11 pool deck ideas for a supremely relaxing space

These pool deck ideas have it all – the looks and the practicality you need to enjoy your well-deserved post-swim relaxation

A pool deck area with natural swimming pool and hammock
(Image credit: Amanda Patton)

These pool deck ideas are for backyards big and small, and for every style you can imagine. From ultra-contemporary minimalist designs to tiny pool decks for small urban backyards, there's bound to be a design that you can incorporate into your outdoor space. Already have a pool deck and want to enhance it? We have some ideas for cosmetic enhancements, too. 

Deck ideas with a pool for country backyards, back porches, and city courtyards? Yes – and more.

1. Small backyard? Add a small plunge pool

A small round pool surrounded by natural decking

(Image credit: Artisan Landscapes & Pools)

If you're looking to integrate a pool into small decking ideas, then you should think about where a pool might fit in an existing deck, rather than trying to build a deck around a pool that's too large for your space. 

This gorgeous small round pool integrated into a natural backyard deck has been created by Artisan Landscapes and Pools (opens in new tab)

2. Surround a gray deck with bright color

A bright blue mosaic tile pool with gray wood deck

(Image credit: Bonick Landscaping)

If your deck is gray or blonde, you can really go to town with bright color around your pool. While bright or dark wood will hold its own, lighter deck shades look best with a bit of contrast. And your pool provides plenty of opportunities for creating a bright finish. 

This gorgeous pool deck area in Dallas has been created by Bonick Landscapes (opens in new tab). We really like the interplay of colors and textures here – the light gray, matt wood of the deck and the shimmering turquoise of the pool tiling. The matching lounger cushions provide an impeccable finishing touch.

3. Incorporate a pool into a decked porch

A pool on a decked terrace overlooking a woodland

(Image credit: Burr & McCallum Architects)

If you are blessed with a large porch, you could consider transforming it into a decked pool area. 

This striking design is by Burr & McCallum Architects (opens in new tab) who explain that they 'included a porch that works simultaneously for tennis watching and pool lounging, and utilized an existing steep slope dropping away from the tennis court to avoid a code mandated pool fence.' A clever transformation without the need for too much new construction. 

4. Narrow pool deck? Choose minimalist loungers

A narrow pool deck area with slimline loungers

(Image credit: Dawson & Clinton)

If space is at a premium but you still want to be able to relax on your pool deck, you'll need to be picky with your sun loungers. Slimline, zero-gravity designs without bulky frames will suit a narrow space best. 

We really like the stylish, ultra-minimalist loungers used on this narrow pool deck designed by San Francisco-based Dawson & Clinton (opens in new tab).  

5. Break up the space into multiple relaxation areas 

A pool deck area in warm wood with additional seating area

(Image credit: Apex Pools)

There's so much more potential to pool decks than the traditional 'deck around the perimeter' design. We can't stop admiring this clever zoned pool deck designed by Apex Pools (opens in new tab). The deck has been broken up into multiple platforms with distinct seating arrangements, one with a bench and fire pit. 

You can create a similar effect even if you do have a conventional pool deck. Take advantage of fence ideas or garden screening ideas to create a secluded relaxation area. Add modular patio furniture for a truly luxurious look.    

6. No space on deck? Consider adding an above-ground pool

A small concrete above-ground pool next to a wood-clad home and deck

(Image credit: Clayton Korte)

If there is no space on your deck for even a small pool, or the construction of your deck will not allow for a pool (for example, because you have a floating deck), you may want to browse some above ground pool ideas. This option still allows you to have a pool and a deck – they'll just be separate. 

This beautiful, contemporary home and pool have been designed by Clayton Korte (opens in new tab)

7. Add tropical plants for a natural effect

A warm wood deck with pool and tropical planting

(Image credit: Skale Building Design)

Tropical planting is one of the hottest backyard trends at the moment, and a pool deck is a perfect candidate for the jungle look. Palm trees are a perfect match for a decked area around a pool and can be grown in containers or straight in the ground as shown in this wonderful example by Skale Building Design (opens in new tab)

8. Plant a tree for enhanced privacy

A double daybed on a pool deck with large tree

(Image credit: Talenti)

If your pool deck is exposed to a road or neighboring backyard, a large tree to create privacy is a must. 

Choose a fast-growing acacia, palms, or citrus trees (climate permitting), or go for a more traditional tree species. 

Just be aware that anything deciduous will eventually shed leaves into your pool, so be prepared for the extra cleaning come fall. 

9. Make the area night-friendly with lighting

A pool deck with parasol and fairy lights

(Image credit: KooPower)

Love an evening swim, or simply want to be able to enjoy a drink by the pool in the evening? Cue garden lighting ideas. Fairy lights woven onto your garden parasol, a few candles on the bistro table – your pool deck has been transformed into a cozy evening space.

10. Create an outdoor room feel with soft furnishings

A pool deck area with outdoor rug and wing chair

(Image credit: MYFACE)

A pool deck that's as comfortable as your living room? Achievable – just invest in a comfy hanging chair and water-resistant outdoor rug, scatter a few outdoor pillows, and...you'll never want to go inside come summer. 

11. Consider a natural swimming pond with a deck

A green swimming pool with deck and hammock

(Image credit: Amanda Patton)

Amazingly, this contemporary-looking pool deck designed by Amanda Patton (opens in new tab)features a natural swimming pond rather than a traditional swimming pool. The result is the perfect balance between a natural and a formal look – we especially admire the interplay between the light deck and the deep green color of the swimming pond. 

Natural swimming ponds have advantages – they're more environmentally friendly and the water is filtered naturally, without the use of chlorine. If your outdoor space permits it, it's definitely worth considering. 

What is the best material for a pool deck?

Mike Reedy, the owner of Quality Built Exteriors (opens in new tab), tells us that 'if money is no object, the best material for a pool deck is a natural stone. It’s also the most expensive. Case in point: I poured 4,000 square feet of concrete at my house, with the intention of adding pavers over it. Just basic pavers will be $15,000, and mid-grade pavers is $35,000. If I go with natural stone, it’s $150,000.'

What is the cheapest pool decking?

It's concrete. Reed says that it's usually two to one the cost of a deck. The pros are that 'it costs the least; it might not get as hot as dark composite wood decking; it won’t splinter like real wood; and you can design it with stamped patterns, colors and shapes; and stamp it.'

The cons are that 'it’s going to crack, and it will discolor over time and not hold color like composite wood. But it can be a good intermediary step, since you can always add pavers to it later, because concrete is a much better base than gravel.'

Anna is Content Editor at Real Homes. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. At Real Homes, she covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

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