8 Poolside Landscape Ideas From AD PRO Directory Projects


The reflective pool stands as though a shadow of the floor-to-ceiling windows of a custom-built dwelling in Paradise Valley, Arizona by PHX Architecture. The airy poolside expanse takes cues from modern museum design, with succulents framed in hardscape akin to paintings on display. “The ‘skylights’ mirror the planter below creating a sundial effect as the shadows move throughout the day,” says Erik B. Peterson, president of Beverly Hills- and Scottsdale-based PHX Architecture. “The landscape areas are controlled and visually artistic,” favoring low-water-usage vegetation like cacti that exude a fitting sculptural quality. Instead of an organic pool design, Peterson adds, which would look out of place here, its lines mimic the home’s.

Poolside landscape by CreativEscapes

Aquatree Designs

Before they had kids, the owners of a single-family home in Richmond, Virginia, traveled extensively, so they were eager to bring that sense of wanderlust to their backyard. Chris Johannsen, owner of nearby landscape firm CreativEscapes, worked with long-time collaborator JDO Pools & Spas on a playful outdoor living space—complete with pool, hardscape, grotto, hot tub, rock wall, lighting, and plant beds—that elicits staycation vibes. Situated on an extreme slope, the property presented distinctive design opportunities, and just like a hotel, there are plenty of loungers that maximize views from various angles. “The grotto holds up the driveway above, so when guests arrive, they have three options to get to the pool area,” says Johannsen. “Go down the rock steps, down the slide, or jump off the waterfall. The resort experience starts as soon as you enter.”

Poolside landscape by Terren Landscapes

Stephen Govel Photography

Originally constructed in 1950 as a pool house for a sprawling ranch in Villanova, Pennsylvania, the architectural treasure compelled Mike Ford to fuse nature and craftsmanship when revamping the outdoor living space. Ford, a designer at Terren Landscapes in neighboring Conshohocken, paid special attention to the materials. “The pool coping and deck made from silver travertine sourced from Turkey were chosen for their beauty and practical benefits, such as staying cool to the touch under the sun,” he says, while the bespoke mix of dark gray and black for the pool bottom generates a lagoon-like effect juxtaposed with a seemingly floating white patio. As for poolside landscape ideas, formal planters give way to boulders and timber frames, intentionally and gradually blending “the man-made with the natural,” adds Ford, “reflecting a desire to harmonize with the landscape rather than dominate it.”

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