How to Decorate Around an Above Ground Swimming Pool

Above ground pools are a great option for those who aren't interested in the expense or permanence of an in-ground pool. They aren't known for their attractiveness, however, and can be a bit of an eyesore. Fortunately, you can use one of a myriad of methods to make your pool more attractive and inviting, from the simple to the complex.

The pool
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Above ground swimming pools can be attractive.

Add a Border

pathway besides swimming pool
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Gravel creates excellent drainage around a swimming pool.

You can easily make your pool more attractive by creating a border around it. Add a border of wood, brick or pavers around your pool at least a foot away from the bottom of the pool. Fill the area between the pool and its new border with decorative gravel or mulch. It creates an attractive visual transition between your pool and the rest of the yard. Porous materials around the pool also allow for adequate drainage so that splashed water doesn't create puddles in your lawn. Even better, you'll be able to skip the weed whacking around the pool.

Create a Walkway

Poolside horticultural background, 3d rendering
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A path makes your pool look more like part of your home rather than an afterthought.

Above ground pools often look like an afterthought simply plunked in the middle of a yard. To combat this appearance, add a walkway from your home to the pool. Choose brick or concrete pavers for your walkway. These surfaces are comfortable to walk on in bare feet and won't have wet swimmers dragging mulch or dirt into the house with them. A walkway is practical and enhances the look of your pool.

Stack Stones

Natural stone makes an excellent pool surround for above ground pools. Stack flat rocks up against the sides of the pool, wrapping it to create a natural look and hide ugly exterior pool walls. Stone also can be used to make a natural staircase leading into the pool. If your budget and space allow, make a relaxing patio around your pool by adding a single layer of stone on the ground around the pool and adding some patio furniture.

Start Planting

Home various flowers in pots. Design Italian courtyards
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Planters add a pop of color and can be clustered around unsightly pool equipment to quickly hide it from view.

Adding plants around an above ground pool is a beautiful way to decorate. You can place mulch around your pool and add plants directly into the ground or make use of planters. Planters allow you to move plants, and they fit nicely on the pool's decking if it is wide enough. You can also build wide steps into the pool and place planters on the steps. Planters are extremely helpful in cooler climates, in which you need to close your pool for the winter since you can bring them inside during cold weather and use them again the next summer. If you choose to plant directly in the ground, choose shrubs and flowering plants whose roots aren't strong enough to damage the pool. Trees, too, add an attractive look and create shade.

Build a Deck

Pool Deck and Railing
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Pool decking can be as large or small as you like.

Decks are often built around above ground pools and add both beauty and usable space to a yard. They also make above ground pools look more like their in-ground counterparts. Large decks can accommodate deck furniture and create a beautiful lounge area as well as granting easy access to the pool. Wood decks are popular but must be frequently treated and resealed to protect them from water damage. A better, but more expensive option, is to build the deck from composite materials that look like wood but won't suffer damage when splashed and dripped on. Whatever material you use, be sure it has a bit of a textured surface to avoid slips and falls on a wet pool deck.