The Southern Architect

Outdoor Spaces

5 Keys To The Perfect Pool House

If you live in the South in the sweltering summer, a swimming pool looks a lot like a pot of gold. If you’re lucky enough to have one, you may consider building some kind of structure to make your pool area even more of a getaway. In our experience, here are some essential elements to the perfect pool house.

1. A Large Sitting Area

A pool area’s purpose is to help you enjoy the outdoors. So your seating area should do the same, as well as providing a shaded and comfortable area to relax.

  1. Make sure the area incorporates the outdoors and indoors as a singular concept.
  2. Utilize bi-fold doors to separate the two areas.
  3. Consider creating a central gathering or socializing area, much like a living room.
  4. If possible, air condition the interior space.




2. Practical Bathroom

No pool house is complete without a bathroom. It serves as a practical space for you and the kids to rinse off and use the facilities without getting the house wet. Some things to consider are:

  1. Storage for things like oversized towels is a must
  2. Lockers are great idea for semi-permanent storage outside.
  3. Walk in showers make the most use of space and are practical for a quick rinse in and out of the pool.
  4. A changing area is often overlooked, but is very convenient for you and your guests’ comfort.
  5. You cannot have enough cabinet storage in your pool house bathroom.
  6. Don’t skimp on a vanity area. You and your guests will appreciate the ability to give yourself a bit of a once over before heading out to sunbathe.

3. Don’t Skimp On Storage

On some of our poolhouses, we devote half the square footage to storage alone. Between pool toys, floaties, rafts, seat cushions and more, you can’t have enough storage. For cumbersome items like standing pool floaties and rafts, consider using a system of large wooden dowels to hang equipment on and to use as separators.

4. A Killer Kitchen

If you’re going to have a pool and a pool house, you’re going to want the ability to cook, dine and clean without having to go in and out of your home. It also prevents the need to banish the household grillmaster to the smoky corner of the yard.

  1. It’s all about the hood. Some setups are standalone grills or built in units. Either way, a hood usually allows the cook to be nearby the action and keeps the smoke away from the guests.
  2. Large and easy to clean prep areas are crucial for getting those big steaks or fish filets ready for the grill.
  3. Small appliances like ice makers, microwaves and even kegerators just add to the feeling of being on vacation in your own backyard.
  4. Unless you want to spend half your time going back into the house for beer, mayo and mustard a refrigerator is a must have.
  5. An island or bar area is great for encouraging socializing during cooking and dining time. It also adds to the laid back appeal of a backyard space.


A beautiful open kitchen for outdoor entertaining.

5. A Cozy Fireplace

OK, we’re in South Louisiana and it’s August. Just typing that word makes me sweat. But for a truly functional, all year round outdoor space, a fireplace is a must for any outdoor pool area. It single handily transforms that space into something you and your family can enjoy 365 days a year in comfort. When planning for a fireplace keep in mind the following:

  1. We design some exterior fireplaces to have raised hearths that can provide additional seating.
  2. Plan for spacial compartments to store a moderate amount of wood in cubby type spaces either below or to the side of the fireplace.
  3. Proportion is KEY for exterior fireplaces. Most should not be as large as there interior counterparts. If you think it might be too big, it probably is – scale it back to heat only the area it serves.

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