If your pool is surrounded by lush, beautiful English or French style gardens, a cottage style pavilion may be the perfect choice for your outdoor space. Elegant yet clean and uncluttered, a cottage style pavilion gives a spa-like feel that is truly luxurious and will wow your guests.
For plantings, any kind of richly planted and structured garden would be perfect. Throw in a bit of asymmetry in your plantings to give a more modern, natural feel. For interior decor, clean whites, grays, and blues create an inviting palette that mirrors the water of the pool and gives a beachy vibe.
If you want your backyard to feel like a slice of destination resort paradise, a cabana style pavilion will be the perfect fit for your space. With its welcoming, warm wood tones and ample bar style stealing, a cabana pavilion will be an absolute hit with friends and family who will likely never want to leave!
For decor, think comfortable vacation: bright colors, thick cushions, and comfort above all. A few kitschy decor elements, like tiki torches or pineapple decor, will give a retro resort vibe that is fun and inviting. Consider potted (or permanent, in a warm climate) tropical plants to complete the island get-away feel.
If you are looking to bring the indoors outside and wish for a fully functional space, consider a sliding door pavilion that can be used as a bug-free dining or entertaining room throughout multiple seasons. The sliding glass enclosure creates a pest-free, wind-sheltered space that is ideal for entertaining.
A sliding door pavilion can be constructed and decorated in virtually any style, so look to your home’s style for a simple guide. If your home has a very characteristic aesthetic, like Midcentury Modern or farmhouse rustic, designing your pavilion similarly will bring a wonderful sense of unity to your property.
In warmer climates where wind and chill protection aren’t significant concerns, consider a screened-in pavilion to make a truly useful outdoor dining and entertaining space. A fully screened pavilion will preserve the best elements of the outdoors, allowing you to smell the flowers and feel the beautiful breeze, but without the gnats and mosquitoes.
Much like a glass-enclosed sliding door pavilion, a screened pavilion can be constructed and decorated in virtually any style. Again, get inspiration from your home’s aesthetic for guidance. If your home doesn’t have one particularly dominant form, look to your landscaping for cues and complement your landscaping style.
Much like the Cabana style pavilion, a tropical themed pavilion is a great way to create a luscious, tropical oasis in your own backyard, regardless of your area’s climate. For northern property owners, try adding potted tropical plants like Birds of Paradise, Palms, and Fiddle Leaf Figs for a vibrant, tropical flair.
For interior decor, think warm wood furniture like wicker and rattan. Brightly colored and patterned fabrics are perfect for the cushions. For a more modern twist, consider color blocking in bold tropical hues like coral and chartreuse. String lights and brightly colored patio umbrellas can add great finishing touches to a tropical styled pavilion.
If your home is in the Mid-century Modern style, a farmhouse, rustic, or another clashing style of pool pavilion would likely be quite jarring and could disrupt the flowing aesthetic of your landscape. Consider a beautifully clean and elegant modern or Mid-century Modern pavilion to pull your entire property together in harmony.
For decor, many of the Mid-century Modern favorite colors are also stunning for outdoor and pool design, especially turquoise and bright metallics like copper and bronze. Clean lines on simple, relaxed furniture pieces will stick with the aesthetic while creating an inviting, comfortable seating area that doesn’t feel like a museum.
If you are overwhelmed by the various options and styles for a pavilion, look to your home for direction. Something as simple as matching the shingling of your home’s roof to the roof of your pavilion creates a clean, harmonious aesthetic on your property. Mirroring your home’s architectural style is also a great choice.
For decor, choose a room in your house that you most enjoy and mirror its decor in your pavilion. Whether it is a bright, sunny kitchen or a sumptuously decorated living room, bring the element that you must enjoy from your indoor space outside to create a comfortable space you can’t wait to visit.
If money is no object, consider building a truly palatial and luxurious multi-use pavilion. A corner wrap-around pavilion could really anchor your pool’s sight lines and create spaces for dining, relaxing, and even showering and changing. Multi-use pavilions can host large parties or family get-togethers to create beautiful memories.
Multi-use pavilions are often built in a modern, cabana, or tropical styles to give a warm resort vacation feel to the space. It only makes sense; if you’re spending that much on a pavilion it should make you feel like you’re stepping out into a tropical get-away paradise!
A nice way to really upgrade a simple latticework or cottage style pavilion is to surround it with climbing vines that give the pavilion a lived-in, druidic look that is as mysterious as it is inviting and beautiful.
Make sure you choose your vines carefully, as some, like the trumpet blossom, are incredibly aggressive growers that are capable of easily damaging siding and gutters. Look for slower, delicate growers like clematis or manageable thin-leafed varieties of English Ivies. Give your vines a few years, and you will have an absolutely magical growing pavilion.
If your home doesn’t have any particularly striking features to mirror, or you don’t want to go too matchy-matchy with your home, turn to your landscaping for some inspiration on how to construct and decorate your pavilion. If you have a lush English garden, consider farmhouse or cottage style. If you’re in a dry area with rock gardens and prairie grasses, a modern style pavilion could be the perfect fit.
Much like your pool itself, you want your pavilion to become an extension of your landscape design. Likewise, you want to avoid it clashing with or fighting to draw too much attention from the rest of your space.
For a truly bold, ostentatious take on the pavilion, consider trying out a British Colonial style pavilion. This style brings in Palladian style columns and architecture for a grand, over-the-top style that screams pomp and luxury.
To decorate a British Colonial style pavilion, think luxe. Go with rich fabrics, bold hues, classical Greek and Roman revival style art, and luxury in any form. A large, deep rectangular pool is a perfect match for the heavily angular and structural nature of this style of pavilion. Large, bold topiary style hedges would also be a classic, dramatic way to set off this very distinct style.
If you want to enjoy the warmth of the sun with less of the skin damage, consider a laminated glass roof pavilion. While they likely would not be ideal in super hot climates, those who love the sun should definitely investigate this style. The laminated glass allows in the sun’s brilliance but blocks a broad spectrum of the harmful rays.
A laminated glass roof is a wonderful match for new and Mid-century Modern-style pavilions, but can really be implemented into almost any style. For decor, think sun-loving tropical plants as they will significantly benefit from and enjoy the sun.
A log cabin pool pavilion is truly a stunning sight. If you have a home in the mountains or out on the plains, a log cabin pavilion could be the perfect way to honor your region’s historic architecture while also creating a beautiful, warm, and inviting space.
For decor and landscaping, look to evergreen shrubs and hedges, and luscious prairie grasses. For the interior, rustic farmhouse and southwestern would both be perfect aesthetic complements for the rustic, rugged exterior of log cabin style. Be sure to include some whites or bright colors in your interior palette to avoid getting too bogged down by the dark wood finishes of log cabin style.
The amazingly luxurious style of a Greek pavilion is famously enshrined by the Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool, with its columned pavilion and Meandros patterned pool tile. For your home, research the elements of Palladian architecture and sharp vertical lines to incorporate the Greek theme.
For the decoration of a Greek pavilion, you can’t go wrong sticking with the iconic blue and white Greek color palette. The Meandros, or Greek Key pattern, is also a must and will perfectly complement a traditional rectangular pool’s lines. For landscaping, think olives, bay, rosemary, and other Mediterranean plants, in seasonal planters if your climate requires it.
If you enjoy kitsch and fun, a tiki-style pavilion is a perfect choice for you. While it may seem a bit too “themed” to some, a grass-hut aesthetic for a tiki pavilion could be an enjoyable and welcoming vibe, especially for those in warmer climates who can pair the style with beautiful landscaping like Bromeliads and Birds of Paradise.
A tiki pavilion is also an excellent choice for anyone going the do-it-yourself route, as tiki-style pavilions tend to be smaller and more straightforward than many other styles. For decor, you can go full kitsch and employ retro tropical touches, or you can go for more natural flair and include more rustic tropical touches.
If your home is decorated, or even built, in the southwestern style, consider crafting your pavilion in the Santa Fe or southwestern US style. This style is, naturally, a fantastic fit for pools in the southwestern US, but can be employed anywhere if you commit a few touches that make the style come to life.
For the interior, turn to leather-like finishes for the furnishings. If your pavilion is going to have a fireplace, an adobe surround would be the perfect way to incorporate a strong element of southwestern design. Turquoise is a must, whether it is merely the hue or actual accents of the mineral itself.
If you are looking for a truly exotic, warm outdoor get-away, consider bringing elements of Moroccan architecture and design to your pool pavilion. Whether it be simply adding in some horseshoe archways, or committing to a full tile mosaic, elements of Moroccan design will make your pavilion an exciting, luxurious place to relax.
For the interior of a Moroccan style pavilion, comfort must be first and foremost. Think large, lush, thick cushions for the furniture. Try low tables to bring Moroccan interior design elements into the area. Brightly colored boho-chic fabrics will make the aesthetic pop.
If you want a pavilion that is simple, clean, and doesn’t distract from the surrounding landscaping and hardscaping, an ultra-modern pavilion may be the best choice for you. Often constructed of very simple metal and glass frames, these pavilions are beautiful themselves but also allow the surrounding decor and landscaping to do most of the talking.
To decorate an ultra-modern pavilion, stick to clean, simple lines in the furnishings and metallic or light-wood toned finishes. Light mono-color upholstery and towels is an incredible match for the design. For landscaping, topiary gardens, dramatic tropical plants, or prairie grass and native plant gardens are all beautiful pairs to this clean aesthetic.
If you want to make a genuinely bold statement in your landscape, consider bringing in a unique architectural style, like a Japanese Edo or Showa period pavilion. For the simplest design, consider incorporating backlit rice paper screens to bring a Japanese flair to a modern designed pavilion. For the truly adventurous, a more traditional Edo era styled pagoda or pavilion would be a museum-worthy site in most western neighborhoods.
For the interior design, look to low, comfortable seating around a glass table. Bonsai trees, especially balsams and other evergreens, would be a beautiful way to honor the culture of Japanese design.
If you want to go bold and make a statement, consider a brightly colored pavilion, whether the finish is bright tile or painted cement or wood. A bright, sunny yellow is a natural choice for a pool structure, as is a vibrant orange to contrast your luxurious blue pool water. Greens are another great choice that could help it merge with your surrounding landscaping.
If you have a brightly colored pavilion, you have quite a few options for interior decor. You could carry the bright colors inside and decorate with a bohemian or eclectic aesthetic. The rustic farmhouse can also work with bright colors, especially in more pastel shades. Moroccan design also pairs beautifully with bright colors.
If you want a pavilion that doubles as a fully functional living space, why not try recreating a traditional indoor living room outside? For this type of space, a sliding glass door or screened-in pavilion is ideal, as it will allow you to spend more time out in greater comfort. However, in warmer and dryer climates with fewer pests, any style of pavilion could work.
For decor, think traditional living room. Incorporate a fireplace, a large wall-mounted television, comfortable seating, and perhaps even an outdoor kitchen area. The sky is the limit for style options, and the only real guideline is comfort. Truly focus on making the pavilion a place you’d like to spend the entire evening with your family, watching TV or playing video games and relaxing together.
If even a modern pavilion is too ostentatious or distracting for your style, consider a minimalist pavilion that functions simply to keep a bit of wind or sun off of you and your guests while relaxing by the pool. Minimalist pavilions are often constructed from wood, but metal and even concrete can provide excellent tools for creating a simple design.
If you even have decor beyond simple chairs, think monochromatic color schemes in pale hues or even white that does nothing to detract from the surrounding landscaping. If gardening is your passion and you have lush, lavish gardens that are literally bursting at the seams with natural beauties, this could be the ideal pavilion for you.
If you are the type of person who loves a luxurious bed canopy and the softest fabrics possible, consider a richly draped pavilion to make a sumptuous outdoor get-away for your pool. Waterproof and water-resistant materials keep evolving and becoming more and more beautiful and luxurious, so there are countless options available beyond the traditional canvas for outdoor fabrics.
For the inside, think fainting couches, divans, and other furnishings that evoke the languid, relaxed vibe of a hot, humid summer day. Rich jewel tones will add to this opulence of this style and would be perfect for furniture upholstery. Don’t forget to include a fan to tempt in the breeze, since a draped pavilion will block the wind!
If you’ve ever wished to live in a Hobbit home in a hill under the ground, you can make your dream a reality with a recessed pool pavilion built back into a slope or embankment. These energy efficient pavilions use the fresh soil to keep your pavilion cooler than a traditional structure. These do have the limitation of requiring a hill on your property, but if you’ve got one, this could be a genuinely whimsical, enchanting addition to your landscape.
For decor, nothing is really off limits as a recessed pavilion can be built in virtually any style. A cottage style pavilion could easily be made into a truly charming “Hobbit” space, as could rustic farmhouse or even log cabin. The additional cooling factor from the surrounding earth means you can get away with slightly denser and warmer fabrics in your furnishings.
If you frequently travel and absolutely love tropical resorts, why not bring a bit of that style back with you to your pool pavilion? Bright colored canvas awnings, ample bar-style seating, and gorgeous brick exteriors are all hallmarks of tropical resort pavilions that can take your pool area to the next level.
Comfortable chaise lounges with dark wood finishes and light-colored upholstery are a must to recreate the luxurious resort feel. Solid-piece curved and arched chaise lounges are an even more elegant and modern option. Container planted tropical plants can perfectly complete the island resort vibe for those in northern climates.
If you love the style of Chinese pagodas, why not bring an element of that design to your pool pavilion? Even a few multi-eaved tiers will bring a bit of the elegance of traditional pagodas to your pavilion. There are many styles of pagodas throughout Asia, but the most widely recognized and iconic style that comes from China.
While a Chinese style pagoda is a very distinct style, it can be interpreted and incorporated into many design styles, including modern and minimalist. To avoid cultural appropriation and making a theme park out of your pavilion, try using simple elements of colors or patterns instead of doing wholesale traditional Chinese design.
If you have a literal farmhouse or have decorated your home in a strong farmhouse aesthetic, a farmhouse pavilion will be the perfect complement for your pool area. Sliding barn house doors are a natural fit, as are beautiful white shutters and lacy or sheer draperies.
A traditional English garden or an old fashioned vegetable garden is both welcoming sights to have paired with a farmhouse pavilion. A functional outdoor cooking area, especially with an apron sink, will make the space as useful as it is beautiful. Traditional rustic farmhouse decor will pull the entire look together and make your property genuinely harmonious.
If barn wood or other types of reclaimed timber steal your heart whenever you see them, consider a rustic pool pavilion. Paired with brick or stone, a salvaged wood pavilion (provided the wood is weatherproofed) can offer a gorgeous rural get-away that will match beautifully with any country style or old fashioned garden.
For the interior, rustic farmhouse is the ideal decor style to match the rugged and reclaimed outside. Galvanized steel accents, white antiqued paint, lace, jute, burlap, and more rustic touches are all beautiful ways to bring a bit of the farmhouse outside to your pool.
While this list has already addressed the dream pavilion of no money limitations in the large, multi-use building, that is sadly not the reality for most of us; here’s a look at options for simple, cheap, and even do-it-yourself pavilions. At their most basic, a pavilion just needs to have vertical supports and some sort of roof to keep the sun off.
For a truly simple pavilion, a handy DIY-er could simply sink some posts into the ground, secure with cement, and attach a simple single piece roof of plastic or resin. While it may not be the most exciting to look at, function is just as important as form when it comes to a pool pavilion. If it keeps the rain off and the bugs out, what more do you need?