Poolside decorating ideas

Our summer season can be short in Canada, so we want to ensure that we take full advantage of sunny days in our backyards. While we think about our gardens and patios first, having a gorgeous poolside retreat can help turn your outdoor space into a calm, tranquil oasis. Here are some of my favourite swimming pool decorating ideas.

Compliment your surroundings

Balance is the key to a great design, so ensure the poolside area and the actual pool look unified. Also, choose materials and colors that match the style of your house.

Create a beach-style brunch spot

You don’t have to be on holiday to enjoy a relaxing breakfast or brunch in the fresh outdoors. Set up a casual, beach-style area around your backyard pool with a dining set made from light wood and oversized outdoor-friendly throw pillows and cushions. Add pops of colour to your tableware with a linen tablecloth in a soft pastel shade or dishware.

Lounge poolside

You can mimic those luxurious pool area lounges in high-end hotels with a few easy additions to your poolside area. Add an outdoor chaise or daybed by your pool for daytime lounging and a small fire pit or fire table for an evening drink for those warm summer nights. Don’t forget umbrellas – practically speaking, they’re great for creating shade on sunny days but also look very chic. I also love adding a rustic rug (in natural fibres), so my feet aren’t always on hard concrete or grass.

Grilling station

Nothing says summertime better than a great grill, and when it comes to backyard meals and summer parties, grilling is the optimal way to celebrate the season. Invest in a quality grill and a great arsenal of grill accessories, and set up a station in your backyard that has its own space and doesn’t interfere too much with the rest of your decor and backyard. Metal bar tables and stools are fantastic for prep and lounging with friends while you watch the grill, and you could even go so far as to add outdoor heaters so your guests feel warm when those evenings start to cool off. My family loves Bocce, so we’ll throw out a set on the lawn so we can play and enjoy some playful fun when friends come by.

Do tiki right

Tiki bars can be corny, but you can add plenty of sophistication to your pool area with a stylish bamboo bar and tasteful decor. Floral accents in Hawaiian-themed prints and motifs can be used sparingly – in seat cushions and barware – whereas adding traditional backyard torches adds a nostalgic island flair.

Champion nature

I always want nature to take centre stage, so when designing my backyard and poolside décor, I always start with natural fibres, like jute rugs, a wooden dining set, chairs, lush green plants, and exotic florals. String lights can add a lovely warm glow that doesn’t feel too forced in an outdoor space, and cozy hammocks in raw linens or mesh chairs don’t overwhelm and add to the feel of being immersed in nature. You want to ensure that whatever you do in decor, design, or landscaping doesn’t obstruct any surrounding views of natural beauty.

Add plenty of potted plants.

Potted plants can transform an otherwise plain area of outdoor space. Cluster pots together to get the feel of a garden bed or use stands to vary the height. Place potted plants at the end of a bench, on both sides of a door, gate, or beside pool furniture.