Everyone knows that a pool is a slice of paradise at home! However, utilizing the pool space to create an inviting, comfortable gathering spot can be challenging. Some quick tips can help you to see your pool area with a new eye. Check out five ways to design the ultimate gathering spot around your pool.

1. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

It’s time to think beyond the ordinary grill if you want to create a resort-level experience by your pool. While an outdoor kitchen might seem like a decadent addition, it’s actually highly practical. This feature prevents guests from trekking through your home to access food and snacks during a pool party. Some features to include in an outdoor kitchen include:

  • Built-in grill with side burners.
  • Pizza oven.
  • Sink.
  • Outdoor refrigerator.
  • Counter space.
  • Storage.
  • Lighting.
  • Concealed trash bins.
  • Built-in cooler/ice box for drinks.
  • Ice maker.

An outdoor kitchen should be shaped to create an efficient work triangle. You can even design seating around the outdoor kitchen to allow guests to keep the chef company! While an outdoor kitchen is wonderful during a party, it’s also great for simply cooking dinner on a summer night while watching the kids splash in the pool.

2. Add a Conversation Pit

A conversation pit is a small area that you dig out somewhere near the pool that allows you to relax with a smidgen of privacy. Conversation pits are sunken areas that must be accessed using a few enchanted stone steps. They can be made of brick, concrete, stone, or other materials. Add some comfortable seating, lighting, and a fire pit to create a cozy poolside VIP area. Some beautiful landscaping can also help to turn a conversation pit into a secret garden just steps from your pool.

3. Build a Swim-up Bar in Your Pool

Bring the vacation vibes with a pool design that includes its own swim-up bar. Swim-up bars are fun because they allow people to gather for drinks in the midst of a swim session without leaving the pool. This area actually turns into a great spot where people can “float in place” even when no drinks are on the menu. Of course, the big perk of this feature is that it’s a great way to add value to a home.

What goes into a custom swim-up bar for your pool? Generally, these bars are made of concrete. A setup will include a countertop, barstool seating, and an adjacent serving area on the dry side of the pool. Bars are carefully placed to ensure that the people on the stools only have the lower halves of their bodies submerged. Pool bars can be as simple or ornate as a homeowner chooses!

4. Build a Shade Structure Over a Portion of the Pool

Have you ever noticed how luxurious resorts and hotels often have large pergolas and shelters over a portion of the pool? By contrast, most backyard pools are exposed to the brutal sun. This can make it hard to want to lounge in the water all day. In fact, constant sun exposure may be the biggest reason why you’re not finding your pool to be quite as enjoyable as it could be. It may be time to add a shade structure.

The key to adding a successful shade structure is to only cover a portion of the pool. This ensures that the people who want sunshine can get sunshine. It also allows the sun to heat up your pool. Awnings and pergolas are the best options for creating an architectural statement. In many cases, you can even work an outdoor kitchen into the layout. However, a homeowner lacking the room for a larger structure can consider installing hardware for a shade sail or permanent umbrella to cover a portion of a pool under cool shade. It’s even possible to install special umbrellas that anchor into the pool floor to create “shade circles” that encourage gathering.

5. Add a Cabana

Installing a cabana just a few feet away from the pool is a great way to create a resort experience at home. Unlike a shade structure that covers part of the pool, a cabana is located on the edges of the pool for those who want to stay dry in the shade. Comfortable seating, a mounted outdoor television, a fridge, and other features can make this space feel like a poolside hotel suite! Like the outdoor kitchen, the outdoor cabana helps to keep people from walking through the main house after they’re done swimming by providing a comfortable place to sit and relax that isn’t the living room.

Add a Gathering Spot to Your Pool With the Denver Pool Experts

Laguna Pools has been the leader in all aspects of Denver residential swimming pool and spa design for more than 20 years. Let us help you design a beautiful space using your pool as the focal point. We have the expertise and vision to bring a touch of luxury to properties of all sizes. Contact Laguna Pools today to see what’s possible!