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Complement Your Poolside With a Gorgeous Cabana

Go to any luxury resort, and they usually feature a poolside cabana. A cabana is an ideal way to enjoy being outside by the pool without being directly in the sunlight. However, though rustic, thatch-covered cabanas can be charming, your cabana can be so much more. Design a cabana that complements your swimming pool and helps you enjoy the outdoors.

Location and Position

Whether you're starting your poolscape from scratch or adding a cabana to an existing swimming pool, the location is going to be a key consideration. Naturally, you want it near the pool. However, you can also use the cabana for other outdoor activities, so you might want to locate it near an area where it can facilitate the enjoyment of your yard and garden, too.

Even if you're planning a modest cabana, it will take up visual space in your backyard. Therefore, as you're considering location, you'll also want to keep in mind its position relative to other structures in the backyard, especially the pool. Many designers place the cabana at the far side of the pool for a grand effect. However, a different orientation may make sense for your style of pool.


How you intend to use your cabana will help determine its size. The size of a cabana is typically 8 feet by 12 feet minimum, so you may want to consider that as you think about how you’ll use it.  
For example, you may envision a cabana simply for escaping the sun. However, you could also incorporate a changing area. Some homeowners even include an outdoor shower on one of the outside walls of the cabana.
If you host pool parties, then your cabana can become party central. The structure can shelter your outdoor bar or snack station. Even if you're not a pool party animal, consider including space for dining or at least snacking poolside. For some of these options, you may need a larger cabana.


Many homeowners incorporate a cabana that matches the rest of the pool area. So, if you have a tropical style pool, you might consider that rustic thatch roof, even if its interior includes more amenities than your average beachside cabana. For this style, you'll choose the same materials and color palette as the rest of the pool area.

However, your cabana can also be a statement piece in your backyard. Indeed, this method can be ideal for updating an existing pool. For example, say you have a traditional pool. You can add a modern-style cabana with obvious geometry and lots of open spaces. Conversely, you could add Mediterranean charm with arched openings and a warm stone façade.

The style of your cabana also extends to the interior. Cabanas are typically open structures, so the interior is highly visible. While you don't have to decorate the interior like a room in your house, you could consider adding some wall art and some plants. Likewise, give some attention to the poolside furniture — you don't want ratty furniture inside your beautiful new cabana.


Another method of ensuring your cabana offers an attractive interior is with lighting. Don't fool yourself — sunlight won't be enough, especially if you want to use the cabana in the evening. Instead, plan for some ambient lighting. Indeed, attractive wall sconces or pendants could be an ideal way to add a decorative touch as well as ambient lighting.

You'll also want to consider exterior illumination. It's not necessary to fully illuminate your cabana's exterior. However, you'll need adequate lighting to navigate between the house, pool, and cabana in the evening. Some subtle path lighting should work. That said, if it makes sense with your cabana's style, consider adding exterior light sconces for visual interest.

As far back in time as people have been swimming in pools, the cabana has been there to augment the fun and relaxation. Add an attractive and useful cabana to your poolside. Consult with the experts at Pisces Pools & Spas for all your swimming pool needs.