25 Small Swimming Pools With Big Style

Get Ideas: Plunge, Cocktail, and Wading Pools

small pools

@e2homes / Instagram

Have a small backyard but can't get visions of a swimming pool out of your head? The good news is that you can certainly enjoy a pool even if your lot is short on square footage, you just have to get a bit creative when it comes to size and shape. Small pools go by different names: spools, plunge pools, cocktail pools, and wading pools. Some are even placed aboveground, while others feature eye-catching features like fountains, built-in ledges, and other special details.

The following 25 small pools are all ones we'd love to spend time in—keep reading to gather plenty of inspiration as you plan the next steps for your backyard.

  • 01 of 25

    Spa Days

    spa pool

    Eva Ribak

    Many small pools are kidney shaped, like this one, but this style happens to also feature a small spa. These commonly feature jets to help relieve sore muscles while staying stationary.

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  • 02 of 25

    Wonderful Waterfall

    small pool

    Eva Ribak

    This pool features a spa area with a waterfall-like feature that adds character to the yard. Part of the pool is surrounded by grass, rather than concrete, the former of which is a common feature in backyards in the Northeast.

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  • 03 of 25

    Resort-like Touches

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    Bernie Barac

    Water cascades into this kidney-shaped pool, making it appear extra resort-like. Seating inside the pool makes it easy for swimmers to rest and enjoy the feeling of being ensconced in water when they aren't completing laps.

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  • 04 of 25

    Strictly Square

    small pool

    Eva Ribak

    A square shaped pool is simple and timeless when surrounded by elegant stonework. A flagstone patio is classic and inviting.

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  • 05 of 25

    By the Beach

    small pools

    Morgante Wilson Architects

    Positioned at the edge of this expansive property, this small pool serves as the last stop between the grassy backyard and the beach. Swimmers can enjoy ocean views without having to venture through the sand.

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  • 06 of 25

    Nice and Sleek

    small pools

    Kern & Co

    A modern style backyard features a sleek, rectangular shaped pool with a built-in spa. A tiled border complements the crisp hue of the water and adds intrigue to this contemporary backyard.

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  • 07 of 25

    Backyard Beauty

    small pools

    @ladylandscape / Instagram

    A small pool shines in this Ontario backyard. Measuring just 14 by 30 feet, it is petite overall yet still sizable enough for a family to enjoy. You may be surprised to find that your lot does have enough room for a pool if you think strategically about size and placement.

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  • 08 of 25

    Modern Moment

    small pool

    Michelle Boudreau

    In this futuristic looking small pool, lounge chairs appear to be floating on water! This setup makes it easy to simply slide off the edge of one's seat and jump into the water when the heat of the sun becomes too much.

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  • 09 of 25

    Pure Elegance

    small pools

    Calimia Home

    Surrounded by grass on all sides, this geometric shaped pool appears stately and elegant.

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  • 10 of 25

    Natural Getaway

    small pools

    Roger Davies for Marmol Radziner 

    Nestled within a walkway like space and surrounded by natural materials, this pool makes the most of every square inch available.

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  • 11 of 25

    Swanky Spool

    small pool

    Roger Davies for KAA Design

    The spa pool (or spool) pictured here is equipped with a bench along two sides to allow lounging and also features spa jets to use for therapy or massage. The adjacent wood deck allows family members and guests to sit pool side with just their feet in the water.

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  • 12 of 25

    Above Ground Ambiance

    small pools

    Handsome Salt

    An above ground pool adds a cozy touch to this backyard, particularly due to its built in bench with cushions that makes it easy to lounge outdoors at all times of day. The way the seating is situated makes it easy for those sitting outside the pool to engage in conversation with those who are in the water, making this a particularly ideal setup for large families or entertaining.

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  • 13 of 25

    Classic Kidney

    small pools

    Hunter Carson 

    A simple, kidney shaped pool shines in this backyard. When a pool is shaped in this way, it's easy to tell where the shallow area ends and the deep end begins.

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  • 14 of 25

    Sitting Pretty

    small pools

    Lucinda Loya Interiors

    A chic bistro table is positioned right at the edge of this small pool, making it easy to sit nearby and enjoy a beverage before popping in for a quick dip.

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  • 15 of 25

    Dreamy Fountains

    small pools

    Lucinda Loya

    The addition of beautiful fountains make this pool feel ultra special. Kids will enjoy trying to jump up to touch the sprinklers while adults will appreciate the serenity that this feature provides.

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  • 16 of 25

    Neat and Narrow

    small pools

    Lucina Loya

    Long and narrow is the name of the game when it comes to this pool design. A pool like this one is the perfect complement to a modern, minimalist home.

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  • 17 of 25

    Tiled for Privacy

    small pool

    Lucina Loya

    A tiled wall serves to provide a bit of extra privacy beside this backyard pool while also adding stylistic flair. Blue tile is a common choice for pools, as it blends so seamlessly with the water.

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  • 18 of 25

    Floating Paradise

    small pools

    Mohon Interiors

    This above ground pool, which also contains a spa, features thin edges that make it appear to be floating above the grass. This setup goes to show that not all above ground pools are bulky in shape—they can be quite minimalistic if that is the look you desire.

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  • 19 of 25

    Lake Overlook

    small pools

    @signaturepools_mn / Instagram

    This L-shaped pool overlooks a Minnesota lake. It is actually raised quite high above the ground, which allows for swimmers to take in majestic views of Lake Minnetonka.

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  • 20 of 25

    Lap Lane

    small pools

    @ederloureiro.aq / Instagram

    A pool like this one is perfect for swimming laps. Think about your day to day needs when designing a pool for your backyard—families with kids will need more space to play, while adults may enjoy a narrow lap pool like this one.

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  • 21 of 25

    Sequence of Steps

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    @e2homes / Instagram

    Wade your way into this pool, which features plenty of steps to help older ones and young children get situated as they make their way into the water. Various sections allow space for the whole family to splash around.

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  • 22 of 25

    Perfect Rectangle

    small pools

    @noraloboscodesign / Instagram

    There's something so satisfying about a perfectly rectangular shaped pool like this one, which gracefully connects to a nearby grassy area.

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  • 23 of 25

    Simple Sophistication

    small pools

    @justourjunk / Instagram

    There's nothing wrong with a simple approach! This pool is a classic and is surrounded by gorgeous limestone.

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  • 24 of 25

    In the Clear

    small pool

    @houseofharvee / Instagram

    Many families opt to install a gate in front of their pool to prevent young ones from veering too close to the water. Here, a lucite gate serves both an aesthetic and practical purpose. The clear design allows everyone to admire the pool yet plays a major safety function.

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  • 25 of 25

    Totally Tropical

    small pools

    @venetianoutdoors / Instagram

    Just add palm trees! Plenty of lighting and some lush tropical plants will help turn your backyard into a relaxing oasis. It's all in the details.