Photo Gallery: Perfect Pools

There's no greater summertime luxury than lounging poolside in your own backyard. With a few design flourishes, the experience can be even more glorious. Get inspiration from top landscape designers such as Ron Holbrook and André Boisvert, and see how they add summer style with sleek lounge furniture, gorgeous gardens, beautiful patios and more!

Get more outdoor design ideas with our Small Backyards photo gallery, or check out our Gardening & Outdoor Living guide.

  • Eric Lamaze's Palm Beach Pool

    Large lounge chairs add a touch of luxe.

    Palm Beach's year-round warm weather allows for gorgeous pools. "We tore the landscaping down and started over," says Eric. "We do it very simply. Here in Florida there are lots of flowers and colours to choose from, but we like it plain green — really simple and clean."

    See more celebrity homes in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home May 2014 issue.
    Photographer: Pamela Purves
  • Romantic Garden Pool

    Create a lush oasis inspired by the French countryside.

    Nestled in the middle of a wild country garden, this small cottage pool glistens like a gemstone. A garden gate covered in clematis and surrounded by lush hydrangeas adds charm, while sleek loungers keep the look modern. The owners were inspired by Monet's gardens in Giverny, France.

    Source: House & Home May 2014 issue
    Photographer: André Rider
  • Stately Garden

    Classic landscaping epitomizes outdoor elegance.

    A beautiful greenhouse at one end of the pool draws the eye to the foot of the backyard, creating a symetrical vista. A garden shed can fulfill the same purpose, while storing supplies. An allée of crabapple trees on the right frames a dramatic approach to the structure. Behind the wall on the right side, the purple border of fairy fan-flower adds a shot of colour.

    Source: House & Home May 2013 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
  • Palm Beach Loggia

    Plant climbing vines to accent a bare façade.

    At designer Sloan Mauran's bungalow in Florida, the loggia is a true indoor-outdoor space with an open-air living and dining room — perfect for entertaining.

    Discover more stylish vacation homes. Plus, see inside Sloan Mauran's Toronto home.

    Source: House & Home December 2012 issue
    Photographer: Kim Sargent
    Designer: Design, Sloan Mauran, Sloan Mauran Interior Design; architect, Thomas Kirchhoff, Kirchhoff Architects; landscape architect, Keith Williams, Nievera Williams Design; general contractor, Timothy Benitz, Benitz Building.

  • Sprawling Backyard

    A neglected yard transformed into a private resort.

    "The homeowners of this gorgeous plot wanted intimate spaces that were comfortable enough for the family, but stylish and elegant enough for entertaining," says Maureen Sedran of Mark Hartley Landscape Architects. To that end, the team designed and installed a 12-by-35-foot saltwater pool, as well as a multilevel yard that gradually descends in stages from the house. The pool's deep, shimmering blue gives the whole yard a tropical feel.

    Take a video tour of this backyard, plus see more inspiring backyards in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home July 2012 issue
    Photographer: Donna Griffith
    Designer: Mark Hartley Landscape Architects

  • Expansive Modern Yard

    Add tropical flair with splashes of colour.

    Furniture groupings create separate rooms in this Vancouver backyard. When night falls, guests instinctively congregate in the area around the firepit, which acts as an outdoor living room all summer. Lights in the pool, cabana and firepit area cast an ethereal glow.

    Discover more outdoor rooms in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home June 2012 issue
    Photographer: Kim Christie
    Designer: Architecture and landscape design, Tony Robins, AA Robins Architects.

  • Modern Tropical Courtyard

    This Dominican Republic retreat blurs the boundaries between outside and inside.

    A covered wooden walkway surrounds the interior courtyard of this Dominican Republic getaway, linking all the rooms that open onto it. Lush greenery and stately Royal palms frame the slate-lined reflecting pool and fountain.

    See more Warm-Weather Vacation Homes, plus more from this Dominican home.

    Source: House & Home May 2012 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
    Designer: Architecture, Selman & Associates; construction, Anton Casanovas, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

  • Dominican Republic Getaway

    An outdoor bar echoes the infinity pool's graphic simplicity.

    At Monica and Michael Belcourt's sleek, modern getaway home in the Dominican Republic's luxe Casa de Campo resort, all the principal rooms along the front of the house open onto the pool area, which offers spectacular views of the Caribbean across a sprawling lawn.

    See more Warm-Weather Vacation Homes, plus more from this Dominican home.

    Source: House & Home May 2012 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
    Designer: Architecture, Selman & Associates; construction, Anton Casanovas, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

  • Low-Maintenance Pool & Patio

    An entertaining space for a busy young family.

    These homeowners wanted to turn their overrun English garden into an effortless escape, so they actually swapped their lawn for a flagstone patio. Meredyth Hilton of Artistic Gardens raised the hot tub so its edging could provide extra seating. Its warm water flows into the pool — an economical way to heat it — in a waterfall effect. Hilton chose local Credit Valley flagstone for the pool surround and patio because it has a slightly gritty finish to prevent slipping. The pool's Indiana limestone coping was carved into smooth, bathing-suit-bottom-friendly edging. Jets, operated by remote control, provide hours of amusement for kids, and a soothing water fountain sound for adults.

    See more inspiring backyards in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home May 2012 issue
    Photographer: Donna Griffith
    Designer: Meredyth Hilton, Artistic Gardens

  • Eastern Townships Home

    An expansive lakefront yard.

    This gorgeous escape in Magog, Quebec, is home to a family of six. Homeowner and interior designer Alyson Wood wanted a nautical, Ralph Lauren-inspired look. Surrounded by bluestone pavers, the large, elegant pool balances the size of the house and echoes its classical style.

    See more homes from Quebec's Eastern Townships, plus see more inspiring backyards in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home May 2012 issue
    Photographer: Monic Richard
    Designer: Alyson Wood

  • Michael Bublé's Pool

    A glistening pool with a breathtaking view.

    Michael and his wife, Luisana, spend most of their time on the home’s deck, which wraps around the entire house, offering sweeping views of the city. The deck is accessible through glass doors from the open living area and principal bedroom and features a large pool and a firepit.

    Source: House & Home November 2011 issue
    Photographer: Joe Schmelzer
  • Cottage Garden Pool

    An Arcadian backyard oasis starts with a lush lagoon.

    After their three kids left home, homeowners Mike and Sandra Lawrence enlisted landscape designer André Boisvert to convert their conventional pool into a garden lagoon. Boisvert took out the slide and most of the cement paving, planted right up to the edge with lilacs, lilies, low-growing cedars and the odd rose bush, and then laid stone for a sitting area.

    Source: House & Home October 2011 issue
    Photographer: Angus McRitchie
    Designer: André Boisvert

  • Provence-Inspired Pool

    A black concrete basin makes pool water look steely blue-grey.

    The sophisticated pool garden creates a grown-up setting, with a sitting "room" shaded with a barn-beam pergola. Eventually, wisteria vines will form a ceiling.

    Source: House & Home July 2011 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
    Designer: Sheilagh Crandall of Gardens by MsPlants

  • Nantucket Patio & Pool

    A gracious seaside retreat.

    An expansive loggia, accessed by French doors from every room, and a widow's walk overlook the pool of designer Matthew Sapera's summer home.

    Source: House & Home July 2011 issue
    Photographer: Eric Roth
    Designer: Matthew Sapera Fine Homes

  • Elegant Pool And Water Wall

    A low stone wall doubles as a place to sit or set a drink.

    A shady ipewood deck at the foot of the water wall is a secluded spot to enjoy views of nearby Lake Ontario. For a loud-yet-soothing splashing sound, the water wall was built of rough, split-face Algonquin limestone laid in a staggered and recessed pattern.

    Tour this backyard in our Online TV segment.

    Source: House & Home October 2010 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: William Mockler and William Mockler

  • Lake Ontario Views

    A symmetrical pool layout evokes resort style.

    Built on a slope, the tiered terrace steps down to an infinity-edge pool, drawing the eye to the water and trees.

    Source: House & Home October 2010 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: Landscape architect, Ron Holbrook

  • Modern Indoor Pool

    Sky-high windows and sliding glass doors make the pool seem like it's outside.

    Toronto architecture firm 3rd Uncle designed this modern home for a busy family of five, and the pool offers a serene escape year-round. The 16-foot saltwater reef tank to the left is visible from the living room as well, and casts a soft glow from the pool back into the house at night.

    Source: House & Home October 2010 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Cool & Curated Back Patio

    A colourful poolside dining area greets guests with style.

    Trend expert Karen Von Hahn's patio is perfect for entertaining large crowds. An aluminum railing on the back deck overlooking the pool adds a dockside feel. The oversized table was made from a 19th-century French iron gate welded onto a custom steel base. Its glass top keeps the look airy and water-like. The tropical table setting features vintage wood plates and colourful lilies, adding whimsy to this elegant dining area.

    Source: House & Home August 2010 issue
    Photographer: Stacey Brandford
  • Resort Style Poolhouse

    Spare architecture and a crisp palette shine.

    You'd never know this cottage was in Ontario and not the tropics. The soaring peaked roof of the pool house has a dramatic silhouette against the sky. Wood decking frames the pool like a boardwalk, and fiberglass sofas add a glam note.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Ron Carter

  • Calming Pool Oasis

    Green stools add bright pops of colour.

    The pool at architect Ron Carter's cottage is simple and stunning. Set on a high point of land, it has expansive views of the rolling hills surrounding Orangeville, Ontario.

    Source: House & Home July 2010 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Ron Carter

  • Saltwater Lap Pool

    A limestone wall creates a striking architectural feature.

    In this idyllic backyard pool area, a large crab apple tree offers shade, while the columnar cedar is reminiscent of a sculptural cypress tree.

    Source: House & Home May 2010 issue
    Photographer: Ted Yarwood
    Designer: Anthony Belcher

  • Richard Florida's Backyard

    Modern DWR loungers and a sparkling pool give a hotel-chic, LA vibe to this outdoor space.

    Landscape architect Mark Hartley designed the flagstone deck to look rough and natural, like it had been there for years.

    Watch a video tour of the house and see even more pictures in the April 2009 issue.

    Source: House & Home April 2009 issue
    Photographer: Michael Graydon
    Designer: Landscape architect Mark Hartley

  • Joe & Kimberley Mimran Poolside
    A neoclassical exterior overlooks a vast saltwater pool.

    Fashion designers Joe Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran pose in their Toronto backyard. The home's exterior, along with the terrace and cabana that surround the pool, are made of Indiana limestone with a patina finish — to make the home look older than it is. The focal point of the backyard is the 50-foot-long pool, surrounded by an axial garden design with symmetrical sightlines from the loggia.

    Source: House & Home September 2008 issue
    Photographer: James Tse
    Designer: Architect, Gordon Ridgely; landscaping, Ronald Holbrook.

  • Neoclassical Exterior & Pool

    Grey slate tiles make the pool water look deep blue.

    The neoclassical façade of fashion designers Joe Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran's house — designed by architect Gordon Ridgely with landscaping by Ron Holbrook — is elegantly clad in Indiana limestone. The terrace uses the same material for a seamless look.

    See more photos of the Joe Fresh Style and Pink Tartan designers' house in our gallery and in the September 2008 issue.

    See more of Ron Holbrook's landscaping projects in our photo gallery.

    Source: House & Home September 2008 issue
    Photographer: James Tse
    Designer: Architect, Gordon Ridgely; landscape architect, Ron Holbrook.

  • Tiered Backyard With Pool

    Wide, shallow steps leading down to the pool double as extra seating for summer entertaining.

    This Toronto home is perched on a steep grade down to the beach, so architect Sharon McKenzie designed several terrace levels to make the yard more livable. 

    Source: House & Home June 2008 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
    Designer: Landscape design, David Mather; architect, Sharon McKenzie.

  • Modern Backyard Pool

    Lush landscaping and a contemporary design create the perfect spot for barbecue parties.

    Cast-concrete walls and decks surround this angular backyard pool. A waterfall feature provides a focal point and square stepping stones create a path to the other side of the yard.

    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
  • Sprawling Urban Oasis

    Two large oak trees were the inspiration for this backyard's symmetrical design.

    Landscape architect Ron Holbrook wanted classic architectural details to define this Toronto yard. Two pavilions draw the eye outward from the house. A gravel area with bistro table is a casual spot to snack after a swim, with comfortable lounge chairs flanking each side of the pool. In the foreground, an upper terrace offers a more formal dining area for entertaining.

    Source: House & Home April 2004 issue
    Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
    Designer: Landscape architect, Ron Holbrook