How to Make Your Pool Look Luxury Without Spending a Fortune

luxury pool ideas

How to Make Your Pool Look Luxury Without Spending a Fortune

Having a luxury pool design in your backyard is the ultimate luxury. But maintaining a pool can get expensive fast, especially if you want it to look like it belongs at a five-star resort. By using some smart tricks and taking on a few DIY projects, you can transform your pool area into a luxurious oasis. From adding simple yet elegant lighting to installing a water feature or updating your pool deck, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that will make your pool area look like a million dollars.

One way to achieve a luxurious look for your pool is to be creative and resourceful with your design choices. By making small, impactful changes that complement your luxury pool design, you can elevate its appearance and ambiance to a whole new level. With a little effort and ingenuity, you can turn your backyard pool into a stunning retreat that you and your guests will love to spend time in.

Use Lighting to Set the Mood

One of the easiest ways to make your pool look luxurious is with mood lighting. String lights along the fence or in the trees surrounding the pool. Go for a romantic look with Edison bulbs or get fun with colorful, retro bulbs. You can find affordable outdoor string lights at any hardware store.

For an elegant touch, install underwater pool lights. These aren’t too pricey, especially for an LED model. Underwater lights illuminate the pool in vivid colors and create a glamorous ambiance at night. Place a few around the pool for maximum dramatic effect.

Outdoor sconces placed around the patio area also add sleek, stylish lighting. Opt for black, metallic, or bamboo fixtures for a high-end vibe. Use smart bulbs to create custom lighting scenes to match your mood.

Spruce Up the Pool Deck

The area surrounding your pool is just as important for creating a luxury look. Start by giving your pool deck a makeover. Replace old, cracked concrete with new concrete or flagstone in a natural stone or slate pattern. Use pebbles or tiles to create a mosaic design for a unique, one-of-a-kind look.

Add some shade and style with an outdoor rug, a chic umbrella, or a pergola or gazebo structure. Use spotted palms, citrus trees, or other lush, tropical plants to liven up the landscape. Arrange the plants in modern, matching pots for a polished look.

Top it off with nice patio furniture in a coordinating color scheme. Go for durable all-weather wicker, wood, or aluminum choices. Get plush cushions in bright solids or tropical prints. Don’t forget the small details like throw pillows and accent tables to finish the luxury space.

Install a Custom Water Feature

Want your pool to resemble a lavish resort escape? Add a custom water feature like a mini waterfall, fountain, or grotto. You can DIY simple water features using tubing, pumps, and rocks. Or splurge on a prefabricated fountain with programmable LED lights.

Position your new water feature next to the pool or spa for dramatic effect. The pleasant, soothing sound of the water will make your backyard oasis feel even more serene and luxurious.

Upgrade the Pool House

If you have a pool house or cabana, this is the perfect opportunity to level up its design. Please give it a fresh coat of paint in a trendy, elegant hue like navy, olive green, or burnt orange. For tropical vibes, opt for sky blue or sunny yellow. Add charming wood details like shiplap, barn doors, or cedar trim.

Swap out light fixtures for sleek pendant lights, sconces, or lanterns. Install a stylish new ceiling fan. Dress up the living space with plush furniture and decorate it with vases, trays, pillows, and greenery in a sophisticated style.

The finishing touches like framed art, woven rugs, and towels make a huge difference in the pool house’s appearance. It’s amazing what some new decor can do to make this space rival your living room.

Create a Tranquil Spa Area

Take relaxation up a notch by carving out space for a DIY spa area. Start by placing large, smooth stones or faux rocks around the edge of the pool to define the space. Strategically position outdoor floor pillows and poufs for lounging.

Hang ceiling-mounted or rattan pendant lights overhead to set the mood. Decorate with houseplants like bamboo, ferns, and succulents placed in rustic baskets. Add wood benches, a small table with a candle, and vintage glass lanterns for a cozy, spa-like ambiance.

When not in use, cover the space with a large outdoor rug for an elegant touch. The area will be a welcome retreat and feel oh-so luxurious.

Incorporate Natural Materials

Use natural materials like stone, wood, clay, and greenery to bring a sense of upscale elegance to your poolscape—stack flagstone to make small retaining walls or planters. Use gravel or pebbles instead of mulch for walkways. Add wooden gates, pergolas, and trellises as architectural details.

Terracotta or cement urns planted with ornamental grasses make classy decorative accents. For flower pots, choose unglazed earthenware in neutral tones like brown and tan. The imperfections add organic texture and charming rustic appeal.

Add High-End Touches

It’s the little details that take your pool from basic to luxurious. Invest in plush towels monogrammed with your family name or initials. Roll them neatly and display them in baskets or cubbies. Add a minibar area with a beverage cooler, bar cart, and barstools so guests can help themselves.

Have a pool daybed or hammock for serious lounging. Get a solar-powered pool skimmer to keep leaves and debris out of sight. Use an inflatable drink caddy, sun lounger, or chic floating candles in the pool. The posh touches will make your pool feel like a relaxing getaway.

Maintain the Luxury Look

Once you’ve created your backyard oasis, don’t let it lose that luxury feel. Stay on top of maintenance to keep things looking pristine and working properly. Skim the pool daily, brush the walls, and check chemical levels. Clean any leaves, dirt, and debris from the water immediately.

Hire a pool service if upkeep becomes overwhelming. Treat any cracks, chips, or damaged areas as soon as they happen. Hand wash cushions and umbrellas regularly. Prune trees and bushes to keep the landscape neat. With some consistent TLC, your pool will maintain its high-end, hotel-worthy vibe all season long.

Making your pool look like a million bucks doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Focus on ambiance, invest in key luxury touches, and maintain your backyard escape. Soon, you’ll have a pool worthy of a travel magazine without the outrageous price tag. So grab your sunnies and get ready to lounge poolside in affordable luxury.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some easy DIY projects to make my pool look more upscale?

Some easy DIY projects include adding string lights, painting the pool deck, decorating with potted palms and tropical plants, installing an underwater light, and creating a tranquil spa area with stones, pillows, and pendant lights.

What type of patio furniture helps give my pool a luxury feel?

Look for all-weather wicker, wood, or aluminum patio furniture in a coordinating color scheme. Get plush cushions in solids or tropical prints. Don’t forget accents like throw pillows, accent tables, and matching umbrellas.

What maintenance is required to keep my pool looking high-end?

Daily skimming, brushing pool walls, testing chemical levels, removing debris, washing cushions and umbrellas, pruning plants, and fixing any cracks or damage right away will keep your pool looking pristine. Consider hiring a pool service for convenience.

Should I splurge on any big-ticket luxury pool items?

It’s smart to invest in a few key items like underwater mood lighting, custom water features, stylish pool house updates, plush monogrammed towels, and nice patio furniture. Focus the rest of your budget on smaller accents and DIY projects.

How can I give my pool a luxury feel without completely remodeling it?

You can transform the look without full-scale renovations. Focus on decor, lighting, landscaping, and deck upgrades. A fresh coat of paint and posh patio furniture also go a long way in creating a luxury vibe on a budget.


You don’t need a seven-figure budget to enjoy a resort-worthy backyard pool. With clever lighting, lush landscaping, natural materials, and high-end accents, you can create a relaxing oasis with luxury style for less. Keep your pool looking pristine and invest in key upgrades selectively. A few small tweaks can make a big difference in achieving your desired million-dollar ambiance. Spend more time relaxing poolside, knowing you created an envy-worthy escape at a fraction of the cost.