Poolside backyards made for entertaining

A collage of pictures showcasing a poolside bar area.

Imagine sitting in the sun by the pool, family puttering around on the deck or splashing in the water on a lazy Saturday afternoon. In just hours, the space is transformed to a festive soiree with friends, complete with twinkling lights and guests mingling around the glittering blue water.

With careful planning and a stellar design team, you can make a backyard pool oasis that is fit for entertaining any size crowd.

A poolside backyard with a patio.

The key element that makes for a great entertaining space is a mix of outdoor “rooms” that flow easily from one to another in a natural, relaxed pattern. Think about what types of entertaining your space might need. A kitchen or serving area with space for seated dining is important, usually nearer to the house or with accessible storage nearby.

A poolside outdoor dining area with a pizza oven.
Beautiful Outdoor Kitchens | Country Living Magazine

Wide open patio spaces that wrap the pool can offer room for larger groups to spread out and mingle, and intimate places encourage conversation, whether it is a lounge area under a shady pergola, or a cozy settee around a fire pit on cooler evenings. Think about the way gatherings drift and flow, and look for a harmonious balance of open areas and smaller groupings.

Take a look at these two projects for some ideas:

In this Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, project from Hummel’s Landscape Inc., the entire environment encourages relaxation. The pool’s soft curves, raised hot tub, and numerous waterfalls make the water both inviting for a swim as well as an aesthetic element of calm.

Poolside backyard with fire pit.

Under the pergola, lounge chairs welcome you to settle down with a book on a lazy morning. The whole area is unified with high-quality hardscape materials from Watson Supply, Inc., bringing the space together with warm, natural stone and complementary slate pavers.

Steps To Resurfacing A Swimming Pool

An integrated lighting system keeps the space welcoming into the evening hours for entertaining or just a late-night dip, and colorful plantings are placed throughout to help tie the space into the surrounding landscape.

For this home in Holbrook, New York, a family of professional bakers wanted an outdoor space that would be an extension of their indoor lifestyle. A fully equipped kitchen and plenty of seats are just the start of this sprawling pool area, that allows the homeowners to cook for a family of 5—or entertain 125.

An outdoor kitchen with stools and an umbrella in a poolside backyard.

The layout smoothly transitions from the raised bar around a pizza oven and state-of-the-art grille to more relaxed recreation spaces, including welcoming lounge chairs and a water slide. The whole pool area is surrounded by local foliage to ease the stone patio into the surround yard, which offers plenty of additional room to stroll or play.

Poolside backyard with a slide.

Both of these homes feature superb pool design and layout, including a blend of hardscapes and softscapes, comfortable lounge areas, integrated lighting, and recreation areas for a variety of uses. In both, functional spaces that suit the individual family’s lifestyles help to make these backyard retreats true extensions of the home, and let everyone feel welcome.

Whether it is family relaxation or a swinging social gathering, a great pool area with flexible spaces can let you entertain with ease and relax completely.

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