30 Best Small Swimming Pool Ideas

Modern home with small pool with infinity edge and wood deck

Just because you have a small backyard doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your own swimming pool. These small swimming pool ideas feature a variety of designs for those with limited space.

There are usually two large factors that usually discourage people from having their own pool, and that is space and cost. Most people consider pools a luxury that only those with bigger spaces can afford, but there are many ways to incorporate a pool area, even if you only have limited space.

Modern engineering and materials have made it easier, and there are many options you can look at, depending on the size of your space and your budget. Below, we’ll explore the best small swimming pools and help you find an idea that may work for your backyard layout.

The house in the picture above has a raised deck area with an inground pool that takes advantage of the raised elevation, placing it in an area with good views. The infinity pool is surrounded by wood decking that matches the color of the wall cladding. Views are also unrestricted as it uses clear tempered glass railings, letting you enjoy your surroundings while cooling off. [toc]

Small Inground Swimming Pools

Any pool under 10×20 square feet in size is generally considered to be on the smaller side. The most costly type is in-ground pools. It requires you to have some space that needs to be excavated in order to fit in a pool area. Depending on the depth and size of the design, the price can vary, but it usually comes out to at least $50 per square foot.

The average price of a small inground pool (10×20) can range from $10,000 and up, depending on soil conditions, depth, and water features. Other additional features will also determine the price of the pools, such as the materials, finishes, and special features (jacuzzi, lights, fountains, etc). It is best to determine your total budget first and then manage your expectations from there.

Many small pool designs have a deep end of less than 6 feet. The soil around your home will have a large impact on cost as well. If the builders hit a rock, the price will drastically increase.

If you feel like excavation takes too much time and costs too much, then considering a raised swimming area would be a great idea, as it also costs less than inground designs. They are easier to install, and some have the added benefit of being easily disassembled/portable, so you can easily remove the pool area during the colder seasons.

For those with a sloped yard, it may be advisable to think about a semi inground pool to integrate with your outdoor landscaping. Fiberglass models can be considerably cheaper and can be hoisted into hard to reach areas using a crane.

Another option you can explore, if you have both space and budget constraints, is plunge pools. These are very small pools, where you can dip/plunge in. It doesn’t have that much space for adults to swim in but serves more as a water feature in which you can submerge yourself and relax.

Depending on location, you can install an inground or an above-ground plunge pool or even integrate it into the design of the garden, somehow making it double as a garden water feature.

Well lit house with tropical landscaping

This small water sanctuary area is accessible directly from the bedrooms and visible from the terraces, making it a great common area for lounging and relaxing.

Small recreational water space ideas should always complement the home’s design. This backyard features modern architecture, while the small recreational water space area also has straight and sharp edges, lines with blue mosaic tiles to make its water color stand out from the earthen hues of the structure.

Small Pool Design

As for design options, there are many designs and styles to choose from, but the best option would be to choose a design that matches or integrates well with the existing design of your house/structure.

Infinity pools and wood decks look great with modern minimalist homes, while a more classic form with stone or terracotta tiles surrounding the recreational water space would better match Mediterranean style homes.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with shapes, curves and different additional features to make your water sanctuary design more interesting.You can use one of the recommended pool design software programs to create a plan that will fit your home’s backyard.

Below are some excellent examples of small recreational water space designs. There are a variety of inground, above ground and plunge recreational water space designs to give you some inspiration for your own home.

Backyard pool with rounded corners

This small water sanctuary has rounded corners for a softer look that in contrast to the straight edges of the architectural design. This gives the recreational water space a more dynamic feel to it despite its small size.

Blue pool with modern tiled patio

Whenever summer arrives and the weather becomes hot and humid, everybody somehow wishes to have a water sanctuary right in their backyard, somewhere to dip in and cool-off the summer heat.

This aquatic playground fits in a small courtyard backyard with ease. Bright turquoise blue tiles helps make this small recreational water space really stand-out against the dark gray tiles around the area. The bright choice of tile color helps pull your attention towards it, therefore making it the focal point of the backyard.

Green bottom pool with brick paved patio

Mediterranean architecture is full of flowing, organic forms and arches, and therefore, this recreational water space was made to complement such architecture.

Placed in the middle of brick pavements, this irregularly-shaped water sanctuary mimics the L-shaped plan of the structure, framing it with terracotta-toned stone tiles and using a deep green color of the tiles inside the recreational water space to make it stand-out against terracotta hues.

Square-shaped infinity pool and outdoor dining furniture

Infinity pools don’t have to be big, in this case, you will see an excellent example of a small square-shaped infinity recreational water space that was strategically located to have a gorgeous view of the horizon.

This small recreational water space area complements the modern minimalist architecture of the house and is just the perfect size for the meager backyard space.

Oceanfront round wading pool with rock border

Placed right by the ocean, this small recreational water space area is more of a jacuzzi-type aquatic playground meant for relaxation and to enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the view.

It was placed on a raised deck just by the sea, and has an irregular round shape, to give it a more natural/organic feel. Surrounding the water sanctuary is the drain, covered with river stones to conceal it.

Rounded pool with slide

This irregularly-shaped recreational water space is made up of multiple overlapped circles, creating a fun and dynamic aquatic shape. The cloud-like aquatic sanctuary area definitely stands-out against the pebble concrete flooring of the backyard.

With the addition of plants and a bright yellow slide, this recreational water space area adds a fun and youthful feel to the otherwise sombre colors of the area.

Decagon pool with black lounge chairs

Placed right in the middle of the backyard garden, this small pool area is surrounded by lush greens and shrubs, as well as a conveniently-located bar area, lounge area and even a swing love seat. The small 10-gon (Decagon) shaped pool area serves as the focal point of the area, being the only bright blue in the middle of greens and yellows.

Small dipping pool with concrete patio

A very small round pool area like this can be used as a jacuzzi for a relaxing warm dip, or it can even appear or function as a small fountain water feature in your garden.

Pool with built in underwater lounge seating and PVC decking

PVC wood decking was used to surround and frame the pool area, giving it a natural and modern look. Despite its limited size, it allows an area for swimming, and another size for lounging, wherein the bottom has a higher elevation and slowly slopes towards the main swimming area. Lights were installed in the pool as well for better night visibility, and built-in benches were also built in the perimeter.

Small above ground pool and laminate floored deck

Even on small rooftops, installing a small pool area is possible. In this example, a platform was built to accommodate the depth and uses wood decking for its sides. The raised pool naturally becomes the focal point of the space, allowing swimmers to have a gorgeous, uninhibited view of the surroundings.

Minimalist designed pool with wood pavers and palm trees

Balance and simplicity are the key points of this small pool area. The design greatly improves the overall ambiance of the space and gives it more personality, especially since the architecture is very minimalist. The rectangular pool is surrounded by wood deck tiles and a couple of trees on both sides, creating a symmetrical balance in the design,

Small rectangular pool with blue mosaic tiles and umbrella

The use of wood deck tiles is a quick and efficient way to create the perfect landscape and flooring for your pool area. This example features a basic, small rectangular shape with blue mosaic tiles surrounded by wood deck tiles.

Since wood deck tiles are simply installed by putting them on a flat surface, this saves you a lot of time when compared to installing pavement or other flooring materials. Just always make sure that it stands on a durable base or framework, and that you use outdoor-grade decking so that it will last for years.

Small lagoon pool with bridge

Going for a fun and organic concept, this small pool area looks more of a water feature, because of the design of its surrounding landscape featuring large stones, plants, and even a small hanging bridge. This gives the pool area a more fun feel to it, rather than being a basic rectangular shape.

Small lap pool with hedge

Following the minimalist aesthetics of the house, this small recreational water space is long and narrow, separated from the lanai only with tempered glass railings.

The flooring material used on the sides surrounding the water sanctuary seamlessly extends until the wall of the inside of the pool, for a seamless, minimalist feel. For added privacy, plants and shrubs were utilized to serve as a natural barrier on the side of the recreational water space.

Pool with irregular curved shape with jacuzzi

A small in-ground recreational water space design which was fixed to a large open lawn area, making it easy to convert into a swim area. The recreational water space has an irregular curvy shape, and is surrounded by wood decking for a more tropical feel to the style.  

Despite the small size, a small corner of the water sanctuary was allotted for a jacuzzi area, its round shape perfectly matching the curvy design of the recreational water space.

Small penthouse pool with covered canopy porch

Placed on a sizeable balcony of a high-rise building, this small recreational water area is afforded with a gorgeous city view. The small rectangular recreational pool is framed with a metal gutter and surrounded by PVC wood decking for a non-slippery surface.

Only half of the aquatic sanctuary is covered with the canopy, and the railings are made of stainless steel and clear glass, giving you an unobstructed view, even while inside the aquatic haven.

Pool with hot tub and round entry

The use of terracotta and cobblestone blend to frame and surround this tiny recreational water space is reminiscent of Old English parks and walkways, giving it a classic feel. The deep blue and white combination of the tiles and patterns used inside the recreational water space also enhances its classic European feel, giving it a classic appeal despite modern materials.

Small infinity pool overlooking the ocean

This small villa definitely took advantage of its excellent vantage point from the sea and installed a small in-ground infinity water sanctuary overlooking the beach area. Its minimalist design is the perfect choice as space is quite limited. The use of landscaping also enhances the overall ambiance of the recreational water space area.

Narrow pool with wood canopy with stepping stone feature

This small, narrow inground recreational water space area lies right in the middle of parts of the house, giving rooms a wonderful view of the aquatic haven & garden combo. For modern and seamless look, marble stone tiles were used in and around the recreational water space area.

To make the narrow water sanctuary even more interesting, it adds a stepping stone feature across the two sides of the recreational water space, allowing you to use it as a bridge to the other side of the house.

Balcony with oblong pool and elevated stone tile border

This small balcony area has a small, almost tub-sized oblong recreational water space area covered by the balcony canopy but is also located where you can enjoy the view from the balcony area. The recreational water space is framed by stone tiles slightly elevated from the white flooring to distinguish between floor levels and avoid accidents easily.

A tropic inspired pool with terrazzo flooring

Palm trees and landscaping helped improve and give this small water sanctuary area a more tropical look. The simple inground recreational aquatic space area was placed right in the house’s side yard, surrounded by concrete terrazzo flooring for a durable finish that will last for years.

Tropical villa with private pool on a floating cottage

This tiny square mini infinity recreational aquatic space is placed on the deck of a floating cottage, giving you a full and gorgeous view of the sea from the water sanctuary area. The small recreational water space is raised on a deck and surrounded by small pebbles to cover the drain. On the sides of the raised pool area are the lounge areas, which also enjoy the same gorgeous natural view.

Pool with deck and cabana daybed

Surrounded by greens and coconut trees, this small aquatic sanctuary area is a tropical haven perfect for relaxation. The modern infinity recreational water space is surrounded by solid wood decking, effectively concealing the pool gutter. Despite its small size, the open space makes it feel more spacious, and all the shrubs and plants surrounding it help give you a sense of privacy as well.

Small indoor swimming pool with slate floors and walls

This small indoor recreational water space did not scrimp on using luxury materials as it uses natural slate stone tiles for its floors and walls. The in-ground recreational aquatic space area, however, keeps it simple with cobalt blue tiles, making it stand out from the natural, earthy colors of the floors and walls.

Light birch deck with pool behind a house

The unique location and slope location of the house allowed a small infinity swim sanctuary to be built on its side, overlooking the forest and the garden area.

As the sides are free from railings and other obstructions, you feel one with nature, and it gives the illusion of a spacier design. Surrounding the infinity recreational aquatic space is solid wood decking in a light birch color to match the finish of the house exterior.

Pool with a few flights of steps and person swimming

The small backyard space of the house was dedicated to the recreational water area. Due to the limited space, the recreational water space was slightly raised above ground and can be accessed with a small flight of steps. As the pool is right beside the property wall, the wall was converted into a water feature, turning it into a wall fountain clad with black slate tiles.

Beach house with deck and pool

Most infinity pools have clean, straight lines, but this infinity recreational aquatic space placed on a raised deck area has a curved shape instead, mimicking the natural curve of the seashore.

As this small recreational water space is right by the sea, with a clear, unobstructed view, you somehow feel that you are in the ocean. See more kidney shaped swimming pools on this gallery page.

Yin yang design custom pool

This is a great example of an Asian-inspired aquatic sanctuary design, which makes the recreational aquatic space a double-purpose feature: it functions both as a normal, functional pool and as a garden water feature as well. The choice of materials blends the recreational water space with the garden, making it an integral part of the landscape design.

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