Set your pool house up in style so that you and your guests can focus on the most important thing: relaxing. It's swimming season! Perhaps the only thing more luxurious than lounging by a shimmering turquoise pool is knowing that a fruity beverage, a fluffy towel or spare sunglasses are just a few steps away from your chaise. Although a pool house might seem like an extravagant frill, a well-designed version can boost your poolside enjoyment exponentially.
If you don't have the funds to build a pool house from scratch, home centers and other retailers offer premade versions. You can even turn a garden shed or another small outbuilding into a cabana. Follow these tips to keep your pool pad at its peak.
- Pay attention to building codes. Generally, a pool house must be set a prescribed number of feet away from the pool, a figure that's often based on the depth of the water. Check your city or county's building codes to ensure that yours falls within the required guidelines.
- Follow your home's architecture. Your pool house doesn't have to match your home exactly, but it shouldn't look as though it's landed in the wrong yard, either. Be sure its style, lines and proportions complement those of the main house for visual cohesion.
- Plan for both open air and indoor shelter. A wide overhang allows you and your guests to enjoy fresh air while staying out of the sun, but you'll also want an enclosed interior space in case of rain.
- Consider privacy. Guests changing into their swimsuits won't want to feel as though they're on display. Orient the pool house so that it's as private as possible, and include features such as screens, privacy walls, frosted or etched windows, and shades or blinds.
- Include niceties that will keep your home puddle free. If you have to traipse back and forth from your home to fetch cold drinks and fresh towels, that defeats the point of a pool house. Stock it with a mini fridge, snacks, dishware, extra towels and other touches. Add a small bathroom area with a toilet, sink and shower so that guests can rinse off as soon as they get out of the water.
- Build in ample storage. Pool gear can be cumbersome, and it has a tendency to accumulate. Layer in shelving, cabinets and functional furnishings, such as storage benches, to keep your pool house free of clutter.
- Allow plenty of space for entertaining. Parties are half the fun of having a pool house. Outfit it with comfortable seating, cocktail and coffee tables and, if you like, a bar so that you're ready for a fiesta on short notice. Choose stylish outdoor fabrics and other waterproof surfaces — you don't want people to feel as though they can't sit down in a wet swimsuit.
- Don't forget the electronics. A sound system, dimmer-controlled lighting and Wi-Fi go a long way toward making your pool house both pleasant and functional.