Go Big With a Summer Cocktail Pool

When you picture a backyard pool, the image that probably comes to mind is a large family pool full of floating toys and splashing kids. Although the casual, traditional pool is the perfect addition for some families, it’s not the only way to add fun to your home. Another custom pool option to consider is the cocktail pool.

A cocktail pool is a perfect choice for a more sophisticated and luxurious feel. This elegant, streamlined option is a great way to turn your backyard into an oasis for relaxing and entertaining. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, here’s what you should know about cocktail pools and how they can transform your outdoor living space.

What is a Cocktail Pool?

A true cocktail pool combines elegance and restraint. Like a vintage cocktail party, they are meant to be inviting and urbane at the same time. They are carefully designed with an emphasis on relaxation, making them an inviting place for adults to gather and socialize.

HGTV explains that this sophisticated take on the backyard pool tends to have a smaller footprint. Cocktail pools generally cover about 400 square feet and are only about three to four feet deep, so they’re clearly not designed for jumping and diving. Instead, these sleek retreats are made to sink into and let your cares melt away.

The smaller size makes it easier to include elegant design details, such as in-water benches or luxury sun ledges, heaters and spa jets, water features and customized lighting. This isn’t a space to play Marco Polo; it’s a place to relax, unwind, pass around some high-end snacks, and (as the name implies) maybe enjoy a cocktail.

Cocktail pools aren’t a new design. They have long been a popular choice for people in warmer climates, offering a place to slip into the cool water and escape the heat. As homeowners with smaller spaces looked for creative ways to elevate their time at home, these small-sized pools emerged as an intriguing option. Since that time, more and more people have realized how well a cocktail pool works for their yard. Here are some of the reasons they’ve become so popular.

Cocktail Pools Fit Almost Anywhere

These days, many people are downsizing and moving to smaller living spaces. Naturally, these homes generally come with smaller outdoor areas as well. But having fewer square feet available doesn’t mean people are willing to give up comfort and style. Smaller homes are expected to use every square foot effectively and to look beautiful at the same time.

The result is a marriage of design and function that makes smaller homes easy to live in and enjoy. Just as a carefully designed small kitchen can outperform an enormous one, a smaller yard can be crafted to become an attractive, functional space for entertaining guests. 

A cocktail pool is an ideal choice to fit a sleek, welcoming feature into a smaller yard. It also allows you to preserve room for other uses, such as adding a customized pergola with built-in seating areas surrounded by tropical landscaping, or a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen with quartz or granite countertops. These pools aren’t about sacrificing to accommodate a smaller space but thoughtfully adapting the space you have to fit your needs. 

Cocktail Pools Offer Intriguing Design Options

You may expect larger pools to be the logical choice for showing off skilled design work. However, a cocktail pool’s smaller footprint can be an asset when it comes to style. The size opens up design opportunities that might otherwise be too complex to achieve on a larger scale.

For example, you can opt for a unique L-shaped pool that hugs the corner of a house or is set against the inside corner of a fence. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose a design that is long, narrow, and sleek or a rounded shape with natural elements.

Related: A Quick Guide to Pool Designs and Planning for Your Space

It’s also easier to add a feature like a waterfall and keep it the focus of the pool area. For a design element in a larger pool to have an eye-catching impact, it has to be big enough to stand up against the size of the pool. But when starting with a smaller scale, even modest-sized elements can make a big statement. 

A smaller pool can also be a great way to sidestep design challenges that could potentially be a problem when installing a traditional pool. It’s easier to tuck them into the perfect spot to show them off and complement the rest of the yard.

One factor to consider is that if you’re adding a pool into existing landscaping, a smaller size is more likely to fit in with what’s already growing. In particular, it may be possible to install them without disrupting the root systems of large, established trees, which could cause significant damage to the trees. 

Cocktail pools can also be a good choice for a sloping yard. It can be challenging to install a large pool on a slope, but fitting a smaller pool into the angle of the ground is more manageable. It requires much less earth-moving work than would probably be needed for a traditional pool.

Cocktail Pools Can Be a More Affordable Home Upgrade

When planning a significant home improvement, it’s vital to find the choice that fits your budget. Naturally, given the smaller footprint of cocktail pools, they cost less to build than most traditional-sized pools.  Depending on the size and design, the cost can be just a little over one-half to two-thirds of what you’ll spend on a larger pool.

On top of lower construction costs, a cocktail pool requires less upkeep, so you’ll spend less effort and money to keep it in good condition. This means less time cleaning the pool and more time enjoying it.

These smaller pools also need fewer gallons of water to fill, a consideration that’s becoming more important in many areas of the country. Naturally, since there is less water, heating a smaller pool takes less energy. Basically, a cocktail pool gives you the benefits of a pool with a smaller investment of time and money.

Cocktail Pools Leave Room for Extra Amenities and Luxury Upgrades

Not only is a cocktail pool an elevated design choice, but it’s a great starting point for creating an elegant outdoor space. The smaller size and more affordable price of a cocktail pool can free up remodeling funds for other ways to play with the design in your yard.

To add to the luxe feeling of a cocktail pool, consider surrounding it with other upscale elements, such as a custom deck with comfortable, posh seating areas, customized lighting or lighted pathways, fire bowls or firepits, elegant lush landscaping, or a stone waterfall feature. The pool itself is only the beginning of surrounding yourself with a refined, chic style.

You can also add soothing spa jets to your cocktail pool—a customization that some people refer to as a spool to describe the combination of a spa and pool. Heaters and spa jets can extend the time you can use your cocktail pool, making it an inviting place to relax even as the weather cools.

Related: The Ultimate Pool Maintenance Cost Guide: Tips and Tricks for Pool Maintenance

Simply adding a cocktail pool to your outdoor living space is an effective way to make your yard more sophisticated and inviting. But to really take it to the next level, focus on crafting a space that surrounds you and your guests with luxurious details. Adding other indulgent features will truly make your yard stand out.

Cocktail Pool Sizes Can Be Customized

If the idea of a 400-square-foot pool simply seems too small, don’t let that hold you back from considering a cocktail pool. A skilled custom pool builder can help you adapt the concept to fit your needs. You can easily expand the size beyond the classic cocktail pool dimensions while keeping the sleek, sophisticated feel. 

There’s no need to restrict your choices to only a standard-sized pool or the smallest cocktail pool size. Creating a pool that falls somewhere in between the two is always an option. The perfect pool is the one that fits your lifestyle and delivers a style you’ll love.

Make Your Ideal Cocktail Pool a Reality

A cocktail pool is an excellent choice for an elegant, sophisticated outdoor space. If you’re ready to explore the options for your backyard, talk with the designers at California Pools. Our experts are happy to help you craft the outdoor space of your dreams, complete with a sparkling cocktail pool at its heart. Summer will be here before you know it, so don’t delay. Visit us online to schedule a consultation. We’d love to show you all the ways we can transform your yard and make it into a refined retreat.

Good times guaranteed.
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