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Pools, Ponds, and Fountains for Patios and Outdoor Leisure Rooms

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Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've been involved in design-and-build residential building projects.

Natural setting - Patio water feature with a fountain emptying into a small pond

Natural setting - Patio water feature with a fountain emptying into a small pond

Adding small pools or ponds to patios and decks are one of the greatest ways to enhance outdoor rooms and turn them into beautiful resort-like spaces. It doesn’t matter the size of the space, there is always a pool, fountain, or pond that will fit in.

When we mention pools and ponds, many may think it is impossible to fit a pool on a patio, but then that mindset is because many think of those elements in terms of size and volume.

Water features can be added to even the smallest of spaces because all that is required is some sort of receptacles like a sizeable bowl, a tub, a barrel, or any form of container, depending on the type of water feature you intend to install.

For fountains or pools that require water circulation, small water-pumps and nearby electrical outlets are essential, but for still-water features, all that’s needed is a container, water, a couple of goldfish, and a few aquatic plants.

Patio Ponds

You can build a single or double pond on your patio, depending on its size and its floor level. For a small patio, a small pond design can be achieved using large bowls made from plastic or terracotta. For a larger outdoor room, an old bathtub will make a wonderful pond. A little creativity will go a long way.

If you have plans to remodel your home and want to add a patio or deck, consider creating a pond. Ponds, like pools, have a calming and therapeutic effect, will cool the surrounding air, and will add unparalleled beauty to the outdoor room and its surrounds.

You can find ready-made pre-formed ponds to buy if you don’t have an old bowl or container. They are made of plastic and are often a popular choice among beginner pond builders. They are affordable and easy to install if you think you can DIY.

If you can DIY, here are a few tips you may find useful:

  • To create a pond, you can use a discarded bathtub. Install the bathtub into a dug-out area of the ground and fill it with water.
  • Grow ground-level flowering plants around the pond’s border to give it a form of pretty lushness and add a few water lilies on the pond’s water surface.
  • It is good to know that patio ponds usually come smaller than patio pools and have living things like fish and water plants in it.
  • If you are building a complicated patio pond, it is best left to a landscape designer or designers at home improvement stores.

Small Patio Pools

Patio pools look wonderful in both formal and informal surroundings. They are not necessarily swimming pools and therefore don’t only serve the purpose of swimming. Rather, patio pool designs can offer the opportunity to go strictly aquatic and include aquatic oxygenating plants such as floating hyacinth, tropical water lilies, and water grasses.

From the traditional to the modern, small patio pools creates the perfect setting for an enchanted garden. They can be built at ground level or can be built off the ground, raised enough to sit on its edge. Patio ponds can provide an aquatic home for exotic fish like koi or goldfish.

There are many patio pool design ideas you will find, that can inspire you to come up with some good ideas for your own patio and if the designs are kept simple, you, with the help of a friend, can build a backyard or patio pool.

If you have space on your patio and wish to build a pool to splash around in, that is great. It does not have to be the usual rectangular or square pool. Make its configuration unique. An asymmetrical design works wonders on the aesthetics of the surrounds.

For tight spaces, you can go vertical. You can incorporate a wall fountain that slowly empties water into a small narrow pond. You will require a water circulating system for this. For larger outdoor rooms, there should be enough floor area to go horizontal and build a still water pool out of stones or rocks that are decorative and natural. Add some colourful water lilies and a few exotic fish to the still pool.

You can also use red or brown bricks or concrete. There are fairly easy-to-build but if you require something more complex, call in the professionals. Outdoor water features built with these natural materials blend well in both traditional and modern patio settings.

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Fountains for Outdoor Rooms

If you want to add a unique element to your patio or garden, then opt for a fountain. Flowing and rushing water is always a dramatic sight to behold and can create a stunning focal point or add a subtle decorative touch to an outdoor room.

A fountain’s soothing and refreshing sound adds a pleasant and therapeutic dimension to even the smallest of patios while its rushing sounds and movement also provide outdoor sound masking effects.

Patio and garden fountains are made from materials that include resin, stone, fibreglass, ceramic, stainless steel, brass, and copper, and they come in three different types or categories.

  1. Spray fountains
  2. Splash fountains
  3. Spill fountains

Spray fountains use assorted fountain heads and will send water upwards in various shapes and heights. They produce anything from small lacy mists to massive water columns.

Splash water fountains have some sculptured piece where water is forced up, through it, and then cascades down. These types are almost always professionally produced by artists and sculptors. They can also be purchased from garden and landscape supply stores.

Spill fountains send a lone stream of water from a fountain-head into a pool or into a series of tiered decorative troughs.


If you are a DIY advocate, you can build a simple patio fountain with little or no help. If you have a large unused barrel or clay pot, you can convert it into a fountain-pond. Just install a small spray fountain spout in the container to make a small but lovely fountain for a small patio. The plumbing works required for this is minimal.

To prevent water splashing all over the patio floor when the fountain is turned on, place smooth rocks in the bottom of the barrel.

Allow your water fountain pump to run continuously because it reduces the life-span of the water pump if it is turned on and off incessantly.

Further Reading:

7 Patio Shades and Covers – Roofs, Canopy, and Awnings

10 Types of Patio Screens and Enclosures

A vertical patio fountain for outdoor rooms with restricted space.

A vertical patio fountain for outdoor rooms with restricted space.

© 2011 viryabo

Comments Are Welcome

lillygordon on June 12, 2012:

Great hub! The dramatic effect for the moving feature of the pond is definitely fantastic.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 08, 2011:

Once you get your patio, adding a water feature will make it the more beautiful.

Thank you Simone, and thanks for finding time to visit, what with your huge workload.


viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 08, 2011:

Hi Denise, thank you, as usual for your lovely comments. Ponds, pools and such water features always adds a new dimension to outdoor rooms.

Thanks for the visit.


Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 07, 2011:

Lovely Hub! Now... I MUST get me a patio first, hahaa, but then I'll have lots of ideas on how to make it a bit more hydrated!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 07, 2011:

I really enjoy your writing and I love this hub. Very peaceful. I love ponds in backyards.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 07, 2011:

You'll love it i'm sure. The small ones are always so pretty

Thanks for visiting suziecat7


viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 07, 2011:

You'll love it i'm sure. The small ones are always so pretty

Thanks for visiting suziecat7


suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on April 07, 2011:

I might try one of the small ones for my patio. Thanks.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 07, 2011:

Thank you Leisurelife and Leahlefler. And thank you for visiting.


Leah Lefler from Western New York on April 06, 2011:

I love water features in decks and patios. Nice hub!

LeisureLife from USA on April 06, 2011:

nice hub, thanks!

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