12 Pool Decor Ideas to Make a Splash

by Drew Henry

What better way to cool off during the summer than with a glistening pool? Don’t settle for the inflatable kiddie pool this season. Instead, design a backyard showstopper to make your pool the new neighborhood hot spot. The LiLi Tile Team shares 12 pool design tips to make a splash this summer. Get ready to dive in! 

Dive into Our 12 Pool Design Tips 

Do your design research before jumping off the high dive into a backyard pool project. For example, did you know you can install cement tile outdoors to personalize your patio? These 12 pool design tips cover everything you need for your pool design, from materials to bonus upgrades. Just remember to bring your sunscreen and towel! 

1. Pick a Pool Shape to Complement Your Home and Yard 

First things first: Decide what shape and size to make your pool. While it might sound like an easy decision, you need to account for the style of your home and the size of your backyard. For example, a sleek rectangular pool would feel right at home outside a contemporary home, and a curvy lagoon pool would create an oasis for a Mediterranean-style retreat

2. Create a Large Enough Space for Seating 

Although you may be eager to swim laps, you can’t forget about space for lounging. Reserve enough room in your backyard hardscape design for a spacious poolside patio. After long days of swimming, you’ll want a spot to kick back and relax. 

3. Throw in Some Shade 

Summers can be hot, which is one of the reasons why you want a pool to begin with. Plan to create shady spots on your pool patio through umbrellas, pergolas, or roof extensions. Some shade will make your deck much more enjoyable on a hot day. 

4. Research the Best Materials 

Do your research before selecting materials for your pool and deck. For example, while you can install cement tiles in wet areas like outdoor patios and showers, their porous design doesn’t make them suitable for submerged use in pools. However, you can use LiLi Glaze Tiles along water lines inside pools and fountains. The right material for your application will make all the difference in the longevity of your design. 

5. Make the Pool Deck Fun (and Safe) 

As you’re doing your material research, create a pros and cons list for pool deck options so you can pick the best material for your design. For example, wooden decks can splinter, and some porcelain tiles are too slippery to use in wet areas. However, cement tiles are water resistant, less prone to slipping, and highly durable for outdoor use. Plus, there are colors and patterns to match any design scheme. 

6. Add a Water Feature 

Building a water feature that empties into the pool adds another layer to your backyard design — sound! Create a zen-like feel with a babbling fountain or tranquil waterfall for the ultimate relaxation zone. Design an elegant glazed-tile fountain or a nature-inspired rock formation to complement the overall look of the space.  


7. Select Tiles to Glisten Off the Water 

When selecting tiles for inside the pool and around the waterline, think about designs and colors that will complement and glisten off the water. A basic white subway tile might fall flat in your vibrant pool design. We designed our LiLi Glaze Tiles to complement water features, and we created colors to accent the water, such as Marine Blue, New Aquamarine, and Crystal Navy.   

8. Incorporate a Swim-up Bar 

Crank up the backyard party! Incorporating a swim-up bar creates a unique feature reminiscent of your favorite resort. In addition to making a fun space to hang out, how cool would it be to play bartender in your own backyard? Finish your design in a coordinating tile to unite the bar and pool spaces to ensure flow. 

9. Add Lighting for Night Swims 

Keep the party going after watching the sunset. Adding ambient lighting to your pool and patio design will set the mood and allow you to utilize your new space into the night. Consider adding lighting inside the pool, around walkways, and in task zones like your outdoor bar and kitchen. 

10. Design an Outdoor Kitchen 

What pool party is complete without a backyard barbecue? Level up your grill-master game with a custom outdoor kitchen design. Position your outdoor kitchen in a spot close to the pool and patio but far enough from the house to allow for easy ventilation. Finish your design with a stunning cement tile for the backsplash and walls. 

11. Install Planters 

Pools and patios require a lot of hardscape design and planning. However, you can’t forget about the landscape! Install planters around the pool for added softness, beauty, and natural color. Complement your plantings with nature-inspired tile designs, like our Flora tile


12. Rinse Off in an Outdoor Shower 

After a long day of swimming, it’s nice to rise off the chlorine before relaxing on a lounger with a drink in hand. Installing an outdoor shower and private dressing area can help reduce foot traffic inside the house (and the puddles that come with it). Position your outdoor shower in a secluded area not too far from the pool and finish your design in a vibrant, water-resistant cement tile. 

Make a Design Splash This Summer

These 12 pool design tips give you everything you need to make a design splash this summer. If you want more backyard inspiration, check out our blog on backyard makeover ideas to complement your new pool. Just remember to invite the LiLi crew over for the first pool party! 

We want to see your outdoor space! 

Make sure to follow us on Instagram for more tile trends and design tips. Need some extra help? Give us a call! We love sharing our thoughts on the latest trends and answering any cement tile questions you have.   

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