8 Cool Pools

Oceanside pools aren’t just for posh resorts. Find a style you’d love coming home to―whether it’s a luxurious infinity version or a petite lap pool that opens right up to your family room―and take the plunge.

Infinity pool built up with stacked tiers from the beach offers spectacular views of the coast line from its waters.

Photographer: Shelley Metcalf

Clear View

Why We Love It: A wavy shape nods to the nearby surf, and the infinity edge gives waders a seamless view out to sea―you can’t get much closer to beachfront than this!

Before You Dive In: Consider an irregular shape with curves that evoke the ocean’s edge. Proper siting and choice of materials connects your oasis to its surroundings and ensures you’ll love it for years to come. Mimic the shore with watery blue tiles and stones in sandy hues.

Two stone pool houses with arched white roofs flank each side of this Connecticut pool built close to the ocean.

Photographer: Alec Hemer

New England Luxury

Why We Love It: This Connecticut pool sits so close to the sea’s edge that you can cast a rod from one of the lounge chairs. It sports two poolside structures with ornamental roofs reminiscent of graceful, white sails.

Before You Dive In: Oceanside pools can get pretty windy, so construct a low wall that will block breezes without blocking the view. A pool house (or two) will keep towels, sunscreen, and other essentials on hand, while concealing pumps, heaters, and other equipment.

This narrow lap pool is built right up close to the home's back doors to accomodate the small backyard space.

Photographer: Jean Allsopp

A Perfect Fit

Why We Love It: These homeowners had to get creative when adding a pool to their small backyard, so they joined it to the house’s foundation. Folding doors in the family room slide back to reveal the water’s edge.

Before You Dive In: Want a pool but don’t think you have the room? Take cues from this scene―the narrow lap pool visually lengthens the backyard, and the hedge wall adds greenery without wasting valuable space. Remember, check property lines and building codes, which often define the pool’s shape, design, and placement.

A pink stucco poolhouse with pale blue shutters offers an island feel to this pool retreate on the island of Mustique.

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Privacy, Please

Why We Love It: This small pool on the island of Mustique in the Grenadines gives renters a quiet spot to catch some rays, with the bonus of shade under the sturdy pergola. Dense tropical landscaping surrounds the retreat and offers a steady supply of oranges and figs.

Before You Dive In: Remember that lush landscaping may mean time spent scooping leaves out of your pool. Carefully consider where you site your plantings.

Pure blue water runs to the edge of this infinity pool with amazing views of the tropical hued home to the left and the ocean directly in front.

Photographer: Dominique Vorillon

Modern Yet Timeless

Why We Love It: Crystal-blue water and Popsicle-color walls―enough said. The vibrant setting is simple, sophisticated, and fun.

Before You Dive In: Research local water restrictions. Update your oasis with a water-saving pump and well-suited filter, and use a pool cover to limit evaporation.

Saltwater pool is built right into the stone edge of the coast of Maine.

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Shore Inspired

Why We Love It: This unique tidal saltwater pool in Cape Neddick, Maine, embraces natural features for a seamless connection to the sea.

Before You Dive In: Popular in the early 20th century but now prohibited in many municipalities, tidal saltwater pools require diligent maintenance. If constructing one is out of the question, you can achieve the look by incorporating natural stone and native landscaping into an infinity pool.

Turquoise cushions, on the lounge chairs, echo the vibrant skies above this hillside pool with its incredible views of the ocean beyond.

Photographer: Jean Allsopp

Postcard Worthy

Why We Love It: What a view! There’s only one reason to leave this hillside spot high above the waters of Baie de St. Jean in St. Barth’s: to grab your camera.

Before You Dive In: Find inspiration in your surroundings. Here, rusty hues echo the tile roofs below and complement the deep blue skies and aqua surf. Outfit your pool deck with seating that will weather the elements and promise hours of R&R.

Family fun centers around this rectangular pool complete with a built in deck at the top and a hot tub.

Photographer: Tria Giovan

Bring On The Fun

Why We Love It: Steps away from the beach, the pool area―complete with hot tub―is the center of this home’s outdoor living space. A stylish addition to above-ground pools, decking built right up to the pool’s edge creates a private boardwalk. A large dining table and pots planted with native grasses dress up the deck.

Before You Dive In: Evaluate your location. This pool is built above ground because the shoreline of Fire Island, New York, constantly shifts.

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