Pool Surrounds: Shade Shelters and Sun Lounges
December 21, 2017
This is the third post in a four-part series on designing your pool surrounds. Today we’re talking about how to maximise comfort in your surrounds through the shade, sun lounges, and poolside structures.
Incorporating shaded areas into your pool surrounds is a must for ensuring that there are comfortable areas to relax and socialise both in and out of the water. Simple ways to add shade include installing an awning (fixed or retractable), pergola, gazebo, or shade sail to keep the sun off of seating areas. You can even plan to landscape palms into your design in areas where you’d like to add shade. Umbrellas are another excellent shade option, especially because they are portable and can be moved to shade sun lounges or outdoor dining tables.
Whether it’s an all-season pavilion or an open, breezy cabana, a poolside structure creates an excellent space for relaxing or entertaining guests by the water. A structure can be a simple covered seating area or daybed to lounge and read or to have the kids to take an afternoon nap after hours of swimming.
It’s also possible to build a more elaborate structure that acts as an extension of your home. A kitchen area could be outfitted with a barbeque or wood-fired pizza oven, inspiring delicious meals with friends by the pool. Adding a toilet and shower to your structure allows guests and children to change in and out of wet clothes by the pool, preventing puddles from getting into the main house. You could also add a lounge area with a big screen television, creating a perfect place to watch sports or a great hangout area for teens. Incorporating a bar fridge (or even a full wet bar) into your design will prevent having to run to and from the house to prepare drinks when unexpected guests drop by.
Installing bi-fold doors in your pavilion gives you the option leave them wide open during the steamy summer months or close them up in winter to keep heat inside. Even with a structure that can be sealed up in winter, an outdoor heater or firepit is still a great idea to keep the space warm and inviting all year long.
A sun lounge area is another great spot for kids and adults alike to relax after a swim, and it doesn’t necessarily need to hold a lot of chairs—even a 2 X 2-meter space can house a couple of lounges comfortably. A sun lounge area can be an extension of the paving surrounding an inground pool or even just a flat, grassy area adjacent to the pool. Timber decking also works well as a sun lounge area and can add a nice contrast if the rest of the decking is done with pavers. An excellent location for a sun lounge area is on the opposite end of the pool from your home, so you can look out over the pool and appreciate the design.