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This cabana, with its solid roof, has both an open-air and a sheltered feel. The structure houses a bath and changing rooms, a snack bar, gas grill, refrigerator, and a cozy seating area. An old jukebox inside provides water music.
A pool house gives swimmers a place to change, freshen up, and enjoy a snack or drink. Such a structure is convenient for pool parties, saving guests the trek from pool to house in dripping swimsuits -- and saving you the hassle of cleanup after the party. This one includes a bar, a bedroom, and a bath.
If a pool house seems like too much of an investment for a seasonal-use structure, give it the size and strength to serve as guest quarters year-round. This columned version includes a bedroom, bath, living area, and kitchenette.
Placing a pool or spa close to a deck strengthens the outdoor potential of both. This multilevel deck is a destination of its own and a corridor to the pool. The hot tub is close by, too, but the deck's structure helps screen and seclude it from the house.
A weathered wood pergola works well with a variety of pool styles. The structure visually connects the pool's sides and provides shade for alfresco dining. The in-pool table adds a space to sip and soak.
This pavilion has a formal, traditional look that is in keeping with the pool style. The tropical plantings, however, create romance and mystery. With columns next to palm trees, the area feels less like a backyard pool and more like a hidden pond in the jungle.
An open pergola creates a feeling of enclosure without blocking the warmth of the sun or views of the stars. Plantings above and around the pergola increase the privacy. Be careful to choose species that don't drop leaves and berries or attract birds -- all of which can mess up the spa and deck area.
This look combines a reflecting pool with palm tree landscaping. From the 2006 New American Home at the International Builders' Show, Las Vegas.
A corner of your yard may be the perfect place for a sheltered hot tub. This version includes tall evergreens and a fence that create a sense of privacy.
Drapery panels hide the support posts for this elegant poolside cabana. The open-air room includes a bar with stylish furnishings. The black awning fabric picks up on the color of the pool tile and has withstood more than a decade in the elements with virtually no maintenance. A waterproofing treatment on the fabric guards against leaks.
Even a small building adds to the fun of having a pool. Whether you choose to install a bathroom, a small kitchen, or even just a couple of changing rooms, make it a structure you'll enjoy looking at whenever you're entertaining or using the pool area.
A handy outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and patio are perfect for entertaining at poolside. Umbrellas provide a bit of shade for dining in front of French doors that open to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Ideal for small yards, long, narrow pools are used for fitness swimming and require minimal space. This one also serves as a reflective landscape feature.
Size and space limitations may determine the shape of your pool. Here, a curving rounded design for the pool and spa gives the square backyard a beautiful focal point.
A hybrid of a pool and spa, swim spas have water jets that allow the swimmer to swim against a constant flow of water. Ideal for small yards, they can also be heated for dual use as a spa and a swim spa.