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7 Tips for Creating a Charming Backyard Pool Oasis

We moved into our present home a little over a year ago. We made the beautiful outdoor areas a priority because we love to entertain outdoors. We have added a few things and still need some final touches, but I thought you would enjoy seeing the progress a year makes in our swimming pool area. Let’s talk about seven tips for creating a charming backyard pool oasis for a resort like feel year round.

Here is the real estate photo before we purchased the home. We did not need to come up with any specific pool landscaping ideas. The property is surrounded by hedges and greenery created by the mature trees that the former owners brought in. The former owners used all the right materials for the hardscaping in my opinion. It is comprised of stone and stained concrete to compliment the house. Walkways around the house are decomposed granite a favorite of Steve’s. They used a mixture of native plants, shrubs, and fencing that surround the back of the property. To the left of the pool is a rose garden, flower beds and raised vegetable beds. I have made some changes to that area which I will cover in an upcoming post.

real estate photo cindy hattersley templeton home

My concept board which you can see in this post, How to Achieve a Collected Look on your Patio, and How to Select a Harmonius Color Palette on your Patio. You can see that the pool and pool tile have dictated the color scheme for our patio areaWe wanted to create individual outdoor rooms for a spa like mood.

cindy hattersley's proposed back patio area

Don’t be afraid to mix the high and the low, the old and new to create a backyard oasis that is welcoming and all your own.



The main seating area located in front of the great room is from Suzanne Kasler for Ballard Design. This area provides ultimate relaxation when we have a group over or if the two of us are just enjoying a glass of wine.

cindy hattersley's pool patio seating area
seating area on cindy hattersley's patio with Home Depot chairs and World Market ottoman

You can see in my post: How to Make the Most of Your Patio Space, that we added large pots and filled them with lantana and polka roses. The pool deck is a combination of concrete and stone that matches the walls. I think this area will be much more pleasing once the roses have sauntered up and over the beams.


This home came with wonderful landscaping. We have added little a water feature off in the distance, and these large pots from the Pot Stop in Moss Landing.

The polka roses barely grew last year but are now almost to the top of the posts, Steve is going to add wire across the beams so they can begin growing across the headers. What a difference a year makes.

Large pots filled with lantana and polka roses-cindy hattersley

The mature trees provide privacy

polka rose with lantana


I loved the pillows we purchased from Pottery Barn last year but they literally faded in a few weeks. I replaced them this year with new ones from PB on sale. I also sprayed them with Scotchguard even though they are indoor outdoor. FYI all outdoor fabrics are not created equal. If they will be in direct sun be sure to check how many hours of sunlight they can stand. Our son is pretty intense here. The sofas and lounge chairs are from Ballard Designs Suzanne Kasler Collection. We had them at our fixer upper as well. They are comfy on sale and well worth the money.

wicker outdoor lounge seating-cindy hattersley design

If you look off into the distance, you can spot our fountain that we enjoyed at our fixer upper. You can read about that in my post Before and After Backyard Transformation. I always love a water feature.


Another change we made were removing the boob light fans. I am not a fan (no pun intended) of fans with lights. These fans are inexpensive from Home Depot. We have used these fans in all of our homes and we have yet to have one quit working. The seating in the foreground and around the table are from Home Depot last year. They are no longer available there but I found them on Ebay.

wicker seating in outdoor patio area-cindy hattersley

The chairs in this seating area and around the table are from Home Depot. The coffee table/ottoman is from World Market. Don’t be afraid to mix the high and low for a more collected look.

wicker seating from Home Depot and World Market

I would still like to add one large pendant or two medium wicker pendants above the outdoor dining area (baby steps). The table was made by our friend Jim before he passed away. The chairs are inexpensive from Home Depot and have held up beautifully.


If you have been reading this blog long you know I am a fan of blending the old and new for a more “collected look”. This outdoor console from Pottery Barn is some sort of faux wood. I added plants and vintage pieces to tone down the “brand spankin new” look.

Potting bench with plants and vintage items by cindy hattersley

We use this table for serving when we have company. We just remove the decor and it becomes a great buffet.

potting bench with plants and collected objects


This outdoor table built by our wonderful friend Jim (who passed a few years ago) has been at our lake house, our fixer upper (you can read about that here, Before and After Backyard Transformation). We purchased the chairs from Home Depot (very inexpensively). They are no longer available at Home Depot but I have linked them at the bottom of the post on eBay. They come two chairs plus a side table.

Outdoor zinc table and wicker chairs cindy hattersley
Zinc Outdoor Table and kouboo chairs-cindy hattersley design

We brought this table and chairs from our Chualar house. You might enjoy my post Outdoor Rooms the Pool Area here. We also used it in our front courtyard of the fixer upper. The new owners wanted all of the other furniture. I like the fact that it doesn’t match the other furniture but blends nicely, and it is a fond remembrance of the past.



I would like to add some more lighting above the large dining table, but with the pool lighting, string lights and the wall lights there is plenty of lighting. It is more of an aesthetic thing. The high ceilings are calling out for something to anchor the space.


There you have my 7 Tips for Creating a Charming Backyard Pool Oasis. It is always evolving. I would love to have some Midtown Umbrellas around the pool and above the iron table and chairs, and perhaps an outdoor kitchen down the road.

Reader Interactions


  1. Barb L says

    Note to self…lantana! The deer have been devouring my garden all summer. I love it all – the different seating areas, high/low options, and the landscape additions. Your design just so lovely. Thanks for sharing. (I never tire of seeing your beautiful spaces!)

  2. Susan says

    Cindy, your aesthetic is wonderful! I would copy many of your looks were it not for one thing, my HOA! Can’t do anything except keep the lawn pristine. So boring! I have a front porch that I can do something with. How do you make a personal statement when you have constraints?

  3. Karen B. says

    Your outdoor spaces were the inspiration for my rearranging my patio furniture and planter placement. Thank you! I love your style.
    Karen B.

  4. Annie Diamond says

    Cindy! I can never get enough of your home, your fashion and your lifestyle posts…because you are so consistent with your style in the best possible way! I look at these gorgeous images with your beautiful table and your seating arrangements and can just picture you walking through with a tray of drinks wearing a flowing maxi skirt and Artemis shoes….dreamy!

  5. Gray says

    I love this view and all the progress! It’s looking lush and beautiful! Nice work Cindy! I am confused though – where is the fireplace and fountain and the round outdoor dining table in a corner? On another side of the house?
    It’s all too much. We’d like to book a room for 2025, when Chip retires! 😉

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Yes the courtyard is on the opposite side of the house when you enter. I need to do a video!!

  6. Sandra Sallin says

    Lantana in pots?Really? How do they do?Love your style of dress, decorating and everything!!!

    • Gray says

      Sandra – we use lantana in pots in Virginia frequently! It is deer proof and survives the hot humid weather. We have a horrible deer problem here and most pots must be deer proof.

      • Sandra Sallin says

        I don’t have deer but I want color with very little watering. Usually Lantana looks like a mess but seeing it contained in a pot gives a very different look. Thanks for the idea. I love the way you landscape.

        • Cindy Hattersley says

          Hi Sandra

          I think it depends on the variety of lantana. The purple one can be a little wilder but the deep yellows and multicolored are more easily controlled.

  7. Sharon says

    I am super happy you are showing your new home and outdoor areas bc you are such an amazing designer! Love love your garden ideas too!

  8. Pamela Whitcomb says

    I love seeing your home, inside and out. So inspiring! Wish I could afford to fly you here and spend a week or two transforming our indoors and outdoors! 🙂

  9. Mspoon says

    Looks beautiful Cindy! I love how you mix sources highs and lows. I wish I had less lawn and more areas where I could create more shaded sitting areas.

  10. Mary says

    Your outdoor spaces always inspire me to want to improve mine a bit. I especially love the artifacts and accent pieces you use, such as the aged wooden bowl and baby deer statue above. Can you recommend an online source for funky aged artifacts? Thank you!

  11. Dena says

    I cannot see enough of your beautiful home! Your relaxed style is just timeless. Although I live in a very different climate in south Louisiana, I try to grab a few ideas for my small patio and garden.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Catherine

      I try to balance it. Normally it is fashion on Tuesday and the outfit of the week on Sunday. Thursday is usually design related, but this week I was behind! There are always exceptions to the rule.

  12. Wren says

    You have done such a remarkable job on that home and outdoor spaces in just a year! I would never believe the chairs are from Home Depot. It’s all beautiful and user-friendly. You are so talented, Cindy!!

  13. Jocasta says

    As it’s pouring with rain here in the UK, your home (in the sun) look even more beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing it.

    • Judy says

      Cindy you’ve done a beautiful job there and I love all of it.
      I had a gardner tell me once not to let flowering plants climb any where on my house. I love the look but he discouraged me, saying ants love the flowers and then crawl on your house. Have you heard that?

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Judy

        I have not heard that but I am sure there is some truth to it. I love vines. We had bouganvilla, wisteria, morning glory and roses climbing on our former home. What happens in California is when it gets really dry the ants can be a problem regardless. They are looking for water.

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