Modern pools for small backyards

Modern pools for small backyards DEFAULT

If you have a backyard available, you have two options: landscape it into a beautiful garden, or make a relaxing swimming pool to cool off.

You can have both if you turn it into a small pool. A small swimming pool is a great idea if you have limited space at home but still want to have beautiful exterior and outdoor space. After all, there are many swimming pool ideas that have smart shapes that can help you to save space.

One of the great things about installing a swimming pool is that we can customize it according to our preference. And we can also do that even if we have small and limited space.

Using the irregular shape of pools is recommended for the small living room because the pool is dependent on the shape of your yard.

Some advantages of having a small swimming pool are that it is economical to operate. They can be heated more effectively too and are easier to clean and maintain.

Today we are going to share with you these small swimming pool ideas. Come and take a look at how gorgeous these small pools can be with the right lighting, landscape, and furniture!


Elegant Swimming Pool

small swimming pools ideas

Your Swimming Pools

The selected lighting materials used in this small pool make this area stand out from others. Its designer has created a rather modern look with this pool design.

Melbourne Pool

exterior design

Here is a small swimming pool that possibly adds more life to the exterior. The backyard is quite simple too with plants on one side and a single comfortable chair beside it.

Backyard Small Pools

pool yard

Dick Oatts

The shape of this small home pool complements with the available space in the yard. Its bright blue tiles adds a splash of color in the backyard. The designer has divided the pool into two, adding more personal space for the owner.

Wells Pools

swimming pool area

At night the serenity and peaceful place may be available in this swimming pool area. The wall at the far side of the pool looks great with the mosaic tile at the center with water flowing.

Happy Slate

backyard designs

Happy Slate

The designer obviously made use of the limited space in the backyard just to provide cool and fresh area in the house. The designer has added some stone-tables right at the center of the pool with an area for eating.

Wells Small Pools

unique little pools

Here is the total alluring and unique little pool in the exterior that is one of the best spot in the house. The designer have artistically landscaped the backyard. It’s brick-walled pool looks gorgeous and compliments the long chairs and the stone basin at the wall.

Cool Water Pool

little pool design

My Cool Water Pool

The client may certainly consider this small swimming pool as one of the best space in his house. The designer has made use of an irregular shape for its pool and placed it in the corner with plants behind.

small swimming pools ideas


Here is a another view of the pool at a different angle.




The splash of the water falls installed in the side of this swimming pool adds a nice touch to this area. The designer has given enough space to add lounge chairs and a small table for the user to enjoy.

Wooden Deck Small Pools


The coolness and freshness of the water in this cute pool complements with the open space in the backyard. The designer has added a glass wall around it to separate the area from the rest of the backyard.

Dick Oatts Pools

enclosed pool

Dick Oatts

This small pool is enclosed with this fence to separate it from the other parts in the house. The designer has added pen lights on the poo to add light to the area at night.

Caribbean Pools Spas

natural design

Caribbean Pools Spas

The sound of the waterfalls in this pool definitely adds more life and connection to nature. The designer made the pool look very natural with it mosaic-like tiles and waterfalls.

Small Lap Pool

small lap pool

This small lap pool is enough for swimming enthusiasts who wish to practice his swimming activities at home. The designer have complemented the color of the pool walls to the wooden fence of the backyard. The lounge chairs are also of the exact hue of the tiles.

Tropical Private Pool

elegant swimming pool

Tropical Private Pool

The designer has added vertical lines around the pool making it appear bigger. The tree at the side adds an effective focal point to the area too. While sitting in the living space you may take the full advantage of this elegant swimming pool outside.


small swimming pools ideas


The lights installed in the pool side make this area more luxurious and romantic. It’s overlooking view is quite irresistible and the designer has added some small trees around it to match the view.

Avenue F Backyard Lap Pool

Avenue F Backyard Lap Pool The backyard lap pool at Avenue F may be small but it is pretty functional as it is designed as a lap pool. Its surrounding area is tiled with pebbles in between.

Claremont Residence’s Rectangular Swimming Pool

Claremont Residence's Rectangular Swimming PoolClaremont Residence’s swimming pool is situated on large and open backyard. Its pool is quite simple with gray tiles on the other side to add a natural look. The designer has put up a glass wall to separate the pool from the rest of the garden.

Feldman House Infinity Pool

Feldman House Infinity PoolFeldman This House infinity pool looks lovely at night with the enticing and relaxing color of the house and the rest of its facade. The pool is elevated and was designed as an infinity and lap pool.

Atrium House’s Pool Waterfall

Atrium House's Pool WaterfallAtrium House’s Pool Waterfall is truly remarkable and unique. Despite the small space, the designer was able to create a simple rectangular pool with a wood-coloured flooring at the side.

Redwood Clad Curved Pool

Redwood Clad Curved Pool This Redwood Clad Curved Pool is situated at the centre of the house where the master bedroom has a direct access to the pool. Its curved shape softens the otherwise edgy look of the courtyard.

Enticing Pool with Mountain View

Enticing Pool with Mountain View The pool from this LA home adds an intimate look to the modern design of the structure. Its size is not too big, however, that it does not take away the attention from the facade and the view.

Waterfront House Cute Pool

Waterfront House Hidden Pool The small but inviting pool at this waterfront house in Sydney looks intimate with its small but cozy space. The designer has put the small pool at the front and designed it simply so as not to take the attention from the view. Just imagine swimming here while enjoying the views of the beach!

Two Storey Bungalow Long Pool

Two Storey Bungalow Long Pool This Two Storey Bungalow Long Pool looks interesting and perfect for those who loves taking a lap around the pool. The designer has placed some plants on one side of the pool (adding a refreshing feel to the area) while opening up the pool to the rest of the living room.

24th Street Residence Modern Small Pool

24th Street Residence Modern Small Pool This modern pool at the 24th Street Residence looks great with the edgy and modern facade of the house. The light in the pool compliments the lights in the house where the wall are mostly glass.

Deronda House Edgy Pool

Deronda House Edgy Pool This small pool at the Deronda House looks edgy. The designer has used geometrical shapes here to math the modern and edgy look of the facade of the house.

Etesian House Blue Pool

Etesian House Blue PoolEtesian House Blue Pool looks gorgeous with its blue tile and serene light. The designer has designed the pool in a minimal way so as not to take away the attention to the facade. Its simple design adds a nice touch to the garden.

Badger Mountain House Simple Rectangle Pool

Badger Mountain House Simple Rectangle PoolBadger Mountain House Simple Rectangle Pool blends well with the open area of the backyard and the rest of the landscape surrounding the property. The designer added a nice little ramp on one side. There area is minimally designed in colors of gray concrete.

La Jolla Residence Box Pool

La Jolla Residence Box PoolLa Jolla Residence Box Pool looks serene with the lush greenery in its surroundings. The designer has made the pool using dark colors of tiles. A jacuzzi on the side was added for the owner.

Casa Atrevida Above Ground Pool

Casa Atrevida Above Ground PoolCasa Atrevida Above Ground Pool looks pretty unique. The pool and the area has a rather tropical vibe that makes you think of beach and island.

Peruvian Beach House Geometric Pool

Peruvian Beach House Geometric PoolPeruvian Beach House Geometric Pool looks inviting with its simple yet cute design. The designer has designed it to be above the ground and as an infinity pool.

Casa Xixim Glassy Pool

Casa Xixim Glassy Pool This gorgeous photo of the Casa Xixim Glassy Pool makes this cute pool looks glassy and elegant. The pool is quite simple with the white concrete surrounding the pool. This matches the white and simple facade of the house.

Renovated Heritage Home Dazzling Pool

Renovated Heritage Home Dazzling PoolRenovated Heritage Home Pool is quite dazzling with its bright blue tile and emphasised extensively with its dark pool lining. The shape of the pool looks edgy and compliments the unique exterior of the house.

Robinson Concept Home Beautiful Pool

Robinson Concept Home Beautiful PoolRobinson Concept Home’s small pool looks great with the lighting on the pool and the wall. The designer has separated the pool from the house with a glass frame and added some green plants on the wall for a fresh look.

Medina Residence Concrete Pool

Medina Residence Concrete PoolMedina Residence Concrete Pool is simple with its gray concrete surrounded by pebble and small stone. This design adds an outdoorsy and natural look to the pool.

Monte Vista Personal Pool

Monte Vista Tropical Pool This Monte Vista Personal Pool is the house’ second and much smaller pool. It is designed like a bigger jacuzzi. The blue tiles look amazing and completely steals your attention.

Brise House L-Shaped Pool

Brise House L-Shaped PoolBrise House L-Shaped Pool is a relaxing space to the open and modern space of the house. The designer had added some concrete division on the pool for the owners to sit on and relax.

House Sar Woody Pool

House Sar Woody PoolHouse Sar Woody Pool looks amazing with the woody-color of the house. Its shape also matches the edgy shape of the facade.

Split-Level Home Spotted Pool

Split-Level Home Spotted PoolSplit-Level Home Spotted Pool is simply designed with spotted tiles. The pool is rather relaxing, topping it with such a gorgeous view.

Casa Sal Minimal Pool

Casa Sal Minimal PoolCasa Sal Minimal Pool is long and narrow, with blue tiles that match the ocean view outside. The owners can have a relaxing dip while watching the gorgeous landscape.

These brilliant designers were able to exhibit their own style and design on how to take the full advantage of the available space.

Hopefully, we have provided you enough inspiration with this variety of swimming pool designs and styles to choose from. These pool ideas will certainly make your house more sophisticated and neat. You can also apply the different shapes of a pool if you want to.


Looking for small back pool ideas? Well, we have you covered. Installing a pool when square footage is limited might seem like an impossible task. If you are dealing with a small, narrow or just awkwardly shaped backyard, how and where do you squeeze in a swimming pool? It just takes some creativity.

And if you are clever about it, you shouldn't have to sacrifice all your outdoor space to add a pool. A small pool is usually considered to be around 12 feet, and can even go smaller if you just want a plunge pool to cool off in. 

'If you have a small garden, there are various options for adding a water leisure product to your garden, and the plus is that even if you need to opt for a small pool, it doesn't mean you are restricted to using it as a plunge pool.' advises SPATA (the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association).

'There is no rule, for instance, to say that a pool needs to be rectangular. Nor one that requires it to be symmetrical. If you have got an awkward garden space, a pool can be created to fit within it. If your garden is long but not especially wide, it is possible to have a pool designed to act as a swimming lane effectively. A lap pool can fit into surprisingly tight spaces while still being a lovely addition to your home.'

So shapes can make all the difference too. Long narrow pools are very on-trend right now, giving a very modern Med vibe to any size garden. Circular pools can work well in small backyards too and are perfect for corners, plus look beautiful when tiled and can almost be built into the landscaping of the garden for a very natural, rustic look. 

So if you are tempted to add even the tiniest of pools to your small backyard, let these gorgeous gardens (plus expert advice) inspire you to get started on a new project.

'The first thing that you need to consider is where your property lines are, what are your property line setbacks to a pool or spa, and whether the pool equipment must be within the setbacks or can sit on the property line.' advises landscape architects Janice Parker.

'This seems like a small detail but can make a big difference in your design. With every pool small or large comes pool equipment and zoning restrictions! Once you know the ‘buildable’ envelope on your property for a pool, you can start to consider what kind of a pool will fit and look right in that space. Do not forget to consider that your pool needs to be fenced according to state and federal law. Think about this carefully, as it will affect your space in a small yard.'

Now you should consider the orientation of the pool and sitting areas. There is nothing nicer than evening sun on the pool – so a western orientation is optimal. I always look to have reflections in a pool – so siting a pool where a large tree will create reflections is important for the best ‘Monet’ effect.'

1. Go long and narrow

(Image credit: Boca do Lobo)

If you have been blessed with a narrow small backyard, it actually couldn't be easier to add a pool. It's important to think that swimming pools, especially in a smaller space needn't be tucked away, out of sight, they should be a key feature of the garden, working with the surrounding hardscaping and landscaping.

See how in this small backyard, the pool in front and center, it sits so naturally with the very architectural design of this modern garden as well as echoing the shapes and style of the house. Plus, rather than just being a simple rectangle, the pool flows into the gaps in the garden again, blending it even more with the patio. 

2. Double up a pool as decoration 

(Image credit: Architect Lionel Morrison / Photographer: Charles Smith)

In a small backyard, a pool needs to work hard. You're going to be able to see it from all angles so it needs to be decorative as well as functional. By avoiding the blue tiles that are usually synonymous with swimming pools, this tiny pool almost looks like a water feature, with its still waters reflecting the garden that surrounds it. It actually makes this small garden seem bigger as it doesn't break up the patio and bounces more light around the space. 

3. Blend a plunge pool into the landscaping

(Image credit: Noah Webb,

Plunge pools are a great option in small back yards, sure you won't be able to do many laps, but they provide the perfect space to cool off and provide a lovely feature too. Plus, if you add in fountains you add that instantly relaxing sound to your garden.

In this 1950s L.A villa, a plunge pool sits subtly amongst pale stone raised beds and Mediterranean style planting which adds texture to the surrounding area giving in a more natural appearance. 

4. Make a small pool a water feature

(Image credit: Janice Parker)

Be inspired by this small backyard pool idea and double up your pool as a subtle water feature. 'The best gardens all start with an internal and external simple focus. This is what creates the ease and the elegance of a design layout. I love adding a water feature in the pool– something to draw your attention and make the space inviting and relaxing.' says Janice Parker. 

5. Make it moody with dark tiles

(Image credit: Murray Fredericks)

Ditch the traditional blue and opt for dramatic dark tiles. This is ideal for smaller pools as much like in small rooms, using a dark color can expand the space and make it look bigger and deeper. And isn't there just something so glamorous about a black pool? It looks wonderful contrasted with the pale sandstone patio of this fabulous Australian home design by CplusC architects.

6. Embrace minimalist industrial style 

(Image credit: Mathew Williams)

Surrounded by concrete walls and stone slabs, this small urban garden has a very paired-back industrial feel and a simple rectangular pool fits perfectly in with the minimalist style. 

And look at the positioning too. The positioning of a small pool can make all the difference when square footage is limited. Floating a pool in the center of your garden will only work if you have enough space to them be able to comfortably move around the pool, so having a pool closer to the house, as can be seen here, leaves plenty of room on one side for loungers. 

7. Opt for a raised pool

(Image credit: The Agency)

In this small backyard, a small pool fits seamlessly into the raised decking, adding a small plunge pool while still allowing plenty of space for loungers, day beds, swing chairs, and even a lawn. Instead of tiles this small pool is white-painted plaster, very chic, and mirrors the white cladding of the house too. 

When deciding on pool deck ideas make sure you think practically as well as considering the overall look. You want to pick an option that's safe, suitable for the climate of your home, and is durable. 

8. Go right up to the edges

(Image credit: Armelle Habib)

When space is tight, don't waste it on a pointless edge around your pool, make the most of unused corners, and go right up to the edge of the yard's boundaries. Be sure to soften the walls using climbing plants so the pool feels less small and boxy, and plants just make for a nicer view than a solid wall when you are in the water. And see how the wall has been painted white to blend with the white interior or the pool, again making the boundaries feel less solid and creating the allusion of a larger space. 

9. Choose a circular design 

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

If your backyard has a more natural, rustic feel to it, sticking a blue square in the middle of it just won't work, so instead of going for a softer approach with a circular plunge pool.

Be inspired by this Cotswold farmhouse, and surround a pool with stones to create a secluded spot for a dip. Not only will this add some privacy but blends the pool area in with the surrounding landscape. 

10. Think about hardscaping 

(Image credit: Courtesy of House + House Architects)

In a small backyard, the hardscaping and choice of paving or decking around your pool are key, as chances are whatever your choice it's going to take up the majority of your space. This gorgeous garden makes a strong case for crazy paving, it has a lovely natural look to it that works both with the style of the property and the simple,  planting of the dry garden. 

Again, see how the use of a narrow pool elongates the garden and tricks the eye into thinking the space is larger. 

What size should a pool be in a small backyard?

'There is no minimum size for a small swimming pool.' says Janice Parker. 'For a small swimming pool, I would recommend 20-15 feet long by 8-6 feet wide – you want to be able to fully extend an adult body comfortably. There are variations – a pool that will fit 8 people on benches – comfortably, is 8’ x 8’. This can be versatile and yet fit well into tight spaces. Plunge pools that can be heated or be chilled can be 5’x 10’. It is all a question of how you want to use the space. If you want to swim, 20 -30’ long will be comfortable.'

How much does a small pool cost?

'A small gunite in ground pool will generally add a minimum of $40,000 to your budget. Even if the pool is small, and using less resources than a large pool, you will still need the full set of equipment, plumbing and electrical scopes of work. You will be required to have pool safety fencing and most likely some masonry work near the pool.' advises Janice Parker.

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33 Small Swimming Pools With Big Style

On a small or narrow lot, where do you put the pool? With the challenge of density and less room to build, homes and properties are being reconfigured or just shrinking. Architects and builders can use vertical real estate—climbing up or digging down—to pack more living space onto a narrow lot. And everyone is rethinking the ever-popular swimming pool. For many, the answer is to go smaller. That way, you get the pleasures of a pool—exercise, refreshment, relaxation, an attractive water feature—without building a standard 20- x 40-foot in-ground model complete with pool house.

Smaller pools are popping up in unexpected places. Some are located in the front yard, as part of an enclosed entry courtyard, while others are off a wing of a house or wedged in a central courtyard patio area, surrounded by the rest of the house. In colder climates, small pools fit better than large ones when they're built indoors. Most stay in the backyard, which may be smaller than the one in which you grew up. And some are more petite to allow other elements, like patios, decks, and outdoor kitchens be part of the landscape. 

They go by different names: spools, plunge pools, cocktail pools, and wading pools.

While it will take fewer materials and less time to complete a more diminutive pool, don't think it will cut the cost of your project in half. Many small pools have water features and are a focal point, which requires attractive materials like stone and tile, designed and applied by an expert. If you're determined to install a pool, consider the popular round stock tanks or above-grounds, which are sunken into or surrounded by decking.

Let's take a look at 33 different small pool designs that feature homes and properties of varying sizes and styles.

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Backyards for small modern pools

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