Ah, summer — the season for enjoying cookouts with family, cooling off in the pool, running through sprinklers and admiring fireflies. What better place for all this summer fun than in your own backyard? Check out these backyard paradises for inspiration on making your outdoor space the perfect spot for a staycation.

The Kennedys

Features: 

  • Outdoor kitchen with a 14-foot island
  • Second patio with built-in fire pit
  • Tanning ledges 

Pool by Moorehead Pools

“We love to have friends over and cook out poolside or turn on the lights and do some night swimming after dinner,” said Elizabeth Kennedy. “We recently hosted a private dinner with Chef Anthony Felan of Fat Calf Boucherie, and we were able to have a beautiful setting on the patio at the end of the pool. The atmosphere was the perfect complement to the incredibly special meal.”

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The Roussels

Features: 

  • Roof over pool
  • Pool house
  • Grotto waterfall
  • Painted mural
  • 3 fire pits
  • Projection screen
  • Fiber optic lighting 
  • Putting green
  • Outdoor bar

Pool by Blue Haven Pools

“I wanted to make it a year-round pool. It doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or whatever the weather is — when we want it to be, it opens up and when we want it semi-closed, we can semi-close it with the vinyl sides,” said Carl Roussel. “I enjoy watching the fish in the aquariums and we enjoy the waterfall. We enjoy all of it. It overwhelms you. It’s absolutely a resort.”

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The Sumpters

Features: 

  • Pool house
  • L-shaped pool
  • Grilling/BBQ area

Pool by Moorehead Pools

“When I was in my backyard I didn’t want it to feel like I was in a neighborhood and that was the end result,” said Nicola Sumpter. “It’s like my own oasis back there for me, my son and my family.”

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Want to get tips from a pro?

Master plan thinking: Incorporate all your ideas (things you like, items you don’t like, materials you love, places you visited, etc.) — some of these might need to be phased in overtime, but if you don’t include them up front in the overall concept and design, you might cost yourself more money long term by not planning ahead.

Form & function: Try your best to imagine how you will be using your space in different settings, times of the day, and with varying numbers of guests. Whether it be Sunday morning coffee, children’s birthday parties, crawfish boils and/or BBQ’s, or a relaxing fall evening in the hot tub, consider all the possibilities when laying out your spaces and working through your design.

Have fun: Enjoy the process of dreaming and creating, as much as you will the actual finished space. The more engaged you are, the greater joy you will find in this stage of creating you backyard environment.  

— Michael Moore, president & CEO of Morehead Pools