Designing A Pool For A Small Backyard | Small Pool Designs


Designing A Pool For A Small Backyard

Downsizing your block doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your dream of a backyard swimming pool.

The growing trend towards more compact block sizes has given rise to a huge variety of creative options for small swimming pools – and even if you’ve ended up with a bit of an odd space for your pool, you will definitely find a solution.

The first rule to remember when it comes to designing a pool for a small backyard is that there are no hard and fast rules!

It’s all about finding a solution that fits the available space, complements your home’s aesthetics, meets your budget and fulfils your practical requirements – but remember, a small pool may require more precise planning and the more effort you invest upfront, the better the outcome will be.

Before you even start on the ‘nice-to-haves’, it’s really important to focus on the technical aspects of your pool construction project. These aren’t necessarily the most exciting things, but they are crucial so you need to spend a bit of time on things like compliance with building codes and local council regulations, boundary restrictions, property protection for neighbours, pool fencing and access for excavation and construction equipment.

Here are some great suggestions for stunning pools in a small backyard:

Simply sensational and functionally fabulous. When your space is limited, the trick is to keep things simple and not try and over-complicate the design with too many elements. You may not be able to use your smaller pool in traditional ways (such as doing laps or diving in) but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in it. A smaller pool can look amazing and be a source of great entertainment, so you probably just need to adjust your expectations.

Integration inspiration. With a compact space, good design is paramount and your pool needs to be in harmony with your home and its surroundings. The pool needs to ‘belong’ in the space and proportion and aesthetics are critical – so it’s really important to take time and care over the planning and design.

Multi-purpose pool space. If you’re designing a pool for a compact block, you should consider something that doubles up as a decorative water feature when it’s not being used as a pool. Aesthetic elements like a feature facade, water wall, subtle fountain or spout, built-in planters and even a fireplace can transform your pool area into a sparkling oasis that’s beautiful to look at all year round.

Plunge perfection. A plunge pool (with safe step ledges on the sides) which relies on depth rather than on width or length, is another great idea for a compact block.

Consider a spa ‘spool’. If your space is limited, you may want to consider installing something that fits in between a pool and a spa – a ‘spool’! This offers the space-saving benefit of having built-in seating, so you can reduce the size of the decking or surrounds, plus you could extend your ‘swimming’ season into the cooler months by installing a pool heater.

Long and lean. What about a narrow lap pool that runs along the side of your home? These can also serve as stylish showpieces, enhanced with clever structural elements such as planters and fencing.

Evaluate your pool’s access. Remember, when you’re installing a pool on a diminutive block, you don’t need full perimeter access to it. In fact, double or even single-sided access is sufficient – and in this way, you’ll be saving on space and on the surrounds too.

Infinity forever. Depending on the position and elevation of your property, you may be able to design a small infinity pool. By blurring the boundaries between the edge of the swimming pool and another body of water (be it the sea, a lake or a river), you can create the illusion of space and make your pool appear larger than it actually is.

Concrete, vinyl or fibreglass? There’s no right answer as to which construction method is best for pools in small backyards – you just need to work out which one offers you the most advantages. A custom-designed concrete pool may give you more flexibility in terms of shape and size and may be a more suitable option in more challenging spaces, but there are lots of compact manufactured products on the market which are worth having a look at.

At Coast Homes, we love a challenge and are always keen to find ways to deliver to our client’s brief on what their ideal custom built home looks like. A great example of our pool problem-solving skills is the ‘Cottesloe Residence’ (pictured). The owners wanted to be able to keep an eye on the kids swimming while enjoying a drink at the bar, so we designed the pool area to be raised, allowing for an unobstructed view. The result was a feature pool that looks fantastic while also fulfilling our clients’ needs.

If you would like to have a chat about a custom built home, please call us on (08) 6241 6777 or email us at

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