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    Pool Patio Decor: Furniture & Umbrellas

    July 24, 2014


    After you've built your own inground pool, what comes next? First thing is probably restoring the backyard with some landscaping, and then you can add the finer touches, the smaller details - decor accessories for your pool!

    Adding inviting shaded seating areas around your pool is what can really make your pool pop. I usually advise people to have more than one area for guests to gather; a place to eat or play cards comfortably, and other areas to sit, lounge or lay down. I call these 'comfort zones', around the pool.

    Today I'll cover some of the materials used and types available to you in terms of contemporary pool furniture and pool umbrellas.

    Pool Furniture Materials


    Resin pool furniture has been popular for many years, as one of the cheaper alternatives for chairs and loungers. You can top them with plush padding, and still keep the cost low. They are made from molds, so design options are someone limited.


    You'll find steel patio furniture in many styles, from intricate wrought iron garden designs, to sleek modern frames. Aluminum or steel alloys are preferred to prevent rust problems, on the furniture or the deck beneath. Heavier pool furniture can be difficult to move, but stays put during strong winds.


    Real wicker pool furniture is rarely sold nowadays, since PE wicker was introduced. PE stands for polyethylene, a type of plastic. Woven wicker patio furniture is made by machines that weave synthetic wicker, rapidly and cheaply. It's wildly popular for chaise lounges and outdoor living furniture sets.


    The finest outdoor wooden furniture is made of Teak, but you can find stylish and durable wood furniture made from Eucalyptus, Pine and Cedar, as well as South American hardwoods. Wooden patio furniture is great for dining sets or lounges, but it does require more care than other types.

    Types of Pool Furniture

    bistro-setBistro Sets

    This is your classic side table and two chairs. Can be used in the garden, or in one corner of the pool, for guests to sit while entertaining, or as a place to watch the diving competition. Add an umbrella and a few large potted plants, and you have added another 'comfort zone' around your pool.

    dining-set-poolDining Sets

    Dining sets allow for comfortable dining al fresco, with a table that's not 3 feet away from your mouth. They are also great for board games or cards with the family, or party games with friends. An umbrella is de riguer for the full experience, either through the table, or cantilevered over the table.

    outdoor-living-spacesLiving Sets

    Outdoor Living is term probably coined by marketers to sell more furniture, but I have to say I love the idea of a 'conversation pit', or just having comfortable, living room style furniture by the pool. Every pool should have an outdoor couch and comfy chairs - maybe a firepit for chilly nights.


    Classic styled loungers, with adjustable backs are another important piece of pool furniture to have. Usually a set of two is all that's needed, and maybe a small table between. Flat daybeds are not usually adjustable, but with large pillows, a comfortable position can be hopefully be found.

    pool-cabanasGazebos / Cabanas

    From simple 4-post frames with bunched curtains, to small framed structures, a large gazebo is a great way to showcase cool pool furniture, and provides more sun and rain protection than an umbrella. Great for daybeds, living sets or dining sets. Build an outdoor fireplace for 4-season fun.

    Types of Pool Umbrellas


    Cantilever umbrellas, also called Offset umbrellas, are held out of the way by a sturdy pole and base, which allows the umbrella to hang over a table, daybed or hot tub, without needing the usual center pole. Over the years, the prices on this type of umbrella have dropped tremendously to affordable levels.


    Classic pool type umbrella, sometimes called a Bistro umbrella, with the scalloped edging. Alternating colors of blue and white are traditional pool umbrella colors, or solid blue is also quite popular. Vents in the top allow high winds to escape, a good feature for most areas. Some models have a hand crank.


    Market style umbrellas have a style that reminds me of those little drink umbrellas; and they also come in fun colors. The pole and spines can be either wood, plastic or steel. These are cheap enough to buy several in matching or contrasting colors, to bring shade and shading to your comfort zones. At SPP, we offer the Classic Havana line of affordable pool furniture, and a large selection of pool umbrellas, including cantilever, garden and market styles.  

    Add a Few 'comfort zones' around your pool. Even if they are not used everyday, they add color and comfort to your poolscape, and make the pool more inviting!  

    Debbie Farnan
    SPP Pool Expert  

    Blog Author
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