23 Pool Cabana Ideas for Summer 2022

Pool cabanas make your pool area more inviting, help make your backyard look like an upscale resort, and provide functional space that can be used for multiple purposes. If you need a bit of inspiration for a new cabana design or to update your current pool house, here are 23 ideas to help inspire you.

23 Pool Cabana Ideas

1. English Garden-Inspired Cabana

This open pool house with lattice and a pergola on each side is a great example of an English garden-inspired cabana. This look works well with traditional pools and landscaping and with architecture that leans towards traditional or cottage. Plant climbing roses or wisteria to enhance the garden look and add seating for your guests to enjoy when not lounging in the pool.

2. Guest House Cabana

Building a pool house that doubles as a guest house is more involved and will likely require more permits since you will be running plumbing and electrical to it. This is a great way to have a dual-purpose structure that provides an everyday changing space, shower, and lounging area, while also providing a cozy cottage when you have overnight guests.

3. Privacy-Focused Cabana

This open-air cabana still provides plenty of privacy with the addition of curtains and horizontal shutters that let air flow through the space while blocking your neighbors’ view into your private retreat. Add a fireplace and comfy seating to create a cozy, intimate space for entertaining or relaxing with your partner.

4. Outdoor Kitchen Cabana

You know you want a covered space beside the pool where you and your guests can lounge or watch the kids play in the pool. If you do not need a changing room, you can opt for an open-air cabana that will not block views and allows your entertainment areas to flow together more. The homeowners that built this poolside cabana smartly added an outdoor kitchen and dining table to create an attractive, multi-purpose space. This allows you to grab a drink from the beverage refrigerator and relax or to cook a full meal while chatting with your guests as they enjoy the pool or your outdoor dining room.

5. Backyard Office Pool House

Building a structure that serves as both an office and a pool cabana may not seem like a good example of keeping your work and home life separate but, if you work from home, this might be the perfect solution. A poolside office provides a lovely workspace and gets your office out of the house. It might also allow you to keep an eye on your kids while getting some work done. Note how this poolside structure has a pergola-covered patio on each side to offer both inside and outside cabana space for you and your guests to enjoy.

6. Tropical Shack

If your favorite vacation spot is anywhere in the Caribbean, a tropical shack will help you recreate those vacation vibes at home. Use vibrant colors to enhance the island-like atmosphere and add a bar and television to remind you of those beach bars you loved on your last trip. Bonus points if you surround the cabana with beach sand or install a pool with a beach entrance.

7. Rooftop Cabana

Potential buyers usually find rooftop patios incredibly appealing. However, once they move in, they often find that they hardly use them at all. Whether your rooftop patio includes a pool or just a spa, you are sure to use it more if you add a cabana. Providing protection from the sun and wind is integral when creating a rooftop space you will actually use. Make sure your structure does not impede any views. These homeowners ensured beautiful views and privacy with an open-air cabana with retractable shades.

8. Outdoor Bed

If you are working with a small space or just do not need a large pool house with a changing room or a seating area, consider an outdoor bed for lounging, reading, watching the kids play in the pool, or sleeping outside on a summer night. A small canopy or gazebo is likely enough to cover your patio bed and simple patio curtains will provide privacy and additional protection from sun and wind.

9. Adjustable Daybeds

Skip the permits and still enjoy poolside cabanas with adjustable daybeds like the ones pictured here. An option like this comes with everything you need without needing to build a structure. You have curtains for privacy and extra sun protection, as well as adjustable beds for sunbathing, lounging, reading, or sleeping poolside. This is much more of a resort feel and creates an ideal seating area for spending time with your family or entertaining.

10. Sunken Pool House with Pavers

A concrete paver pool deck offers a clean, elegant look, while the sunken pool cabana allows you to have not just an outdoor kitchen and seating area, but also a swim-up bar. This conversation pit-style entertaining area is a great way to update a lap pool to make it better suit your needs and lifestyle.

11. Yoga and Meditation Cabana

Here is another bit of inspiration for a poolside cabana with slip-resistant paving stones. This one is styled to be a multipurpose space for yoga and meditation, as well as lounging by the pool. Curtains add privacy and protection from the elements, while large flagstones between the walkway and the patio add texture and visual interest to the hardscape.

12. Pizza Oven

This list has several pool cabana ideas that include an outdoor kitchen of some sort, but this one is unique in adding a pizza oven. A wood-burning oven makes for a fun night of entertaining with personal pizzas straight from the oven. It is also good for cooking and baking lots of other foods without heating up your indoor kitchen in the summer. Mostly, a pizza oven is going to change your pool parties to pool and pizza parties, so look for those positive RSVPs to increase.

13. Waterfall

This poolside lounging area is already a focal point with its columns and outdoor lighting accentuating its architectural features. But these homeowners took their cabana to another level by adding a waterfall cascading into the spa. The tranquil sound of the waterfall provides a relaxing atmosphere while reducing outside noise. It also provides a beautiful visual for you and your guests to enjoy.

14. Built-In Seating

Building a bench around the perimeter of your cabana is a great way to increase seating in a relatively small footprint. This allows more space for a table, fire pit, or other features to make your cabana more welcoming and functional. If you have enough space, you might also consider adding a built-in lounge area adjacent to your cabana for folks who want to get a little sun.

15. Rustic Pool House

Reclaimed wood and rustic décor create a cozy, welcoming space you can use as a pool house, as well as an office, writing retreat, or private hideaway right in your backyard. Neutral tones and soft textiles will balance out more austere adornments, such as antlers or cowhide rugs.

16. Outdoor Shower or Bathroom

If you are already pulling permits for an outdoor kitchen, make the most of that plumbing you are running to your new cabana by adding an outdoor shower or a full bathroom. An outdoor shower is the less-expensive option and will be particularly handy if you live near the beach. A powder room or bathroom provides a space for changing into bathing suits and also provides your guests with a restroom that does not require wet feet traipsing through your house.

17. Patio Fireplace

Your cabana is the perfect place for a patio fireplace. Consider a paving stone fireplace to compliment your paver patio. If space allows, you can also fit your outdoor kitchen in your cabana to maximize space and minimize the number of structures in your outdoor living area. This keeps things looking clean and helps to ensure that you are not blocking mountain or ocean views.

18. Prefab Shed Cabana

You will probably still need to pull permits, particularly if you are running plumbing or electricity to it, but a prefab shed can save time, money, and headaches while providing you with a great space to use as a pool house, yoga studio, office, or all three

19. Upscale Clubhouse

If your entertaining style leans more towards wine tastings and passed hors d’oeuvres, a cabana that feels more like an upscale clubhouse is going to better fit your lifestyle. The one pictured here features both inside and outside seating at the bar, which makes this an all-weather entertaining space.

20. Ceiling Fans

Adding ceiling fans will help keep your pool house more comfortable on hot summer days and may also help keep the flies away while you are entertaining. Keeping the air moving makes for more comfortable outdoor living areas, so when you are planning your patio lighting, consider including one or more ceiling fans as well.

21. String Lights

String lights are an inexpensive, easy way to immediately create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. These festive lights liven up any space while also providing soft, ambient lighting for al fresco dinner parties or jigsaw puzzle nights with your family.

22. Artificial Grass

Synthetic turf is a hardscape option that allows you to enjoy the look and feel of natural grass without the excessive maintenance and water required to keep natural grass healthy and groomed. Conventional grass is not really an option for pool cabanas, since dirt and blades of grass will stick to wet feet and you would have to move the furniture every time you needed to mow it. So, if you are looking for options where you can have your cabana on grass, artificial turf is the way to go.

23. Landscape Lighting

Southern California homeowners are able to entertain every month of the year, including the winter months when even early evening events must contend with the darkness of the night sky. The only solution to this issue is to design outdoor lighting that allows you to continue enjoying your pool, patio, and pool house well into the night. This needs to include underwater lighting in the pool, downlights to illuminate outdoor living spaces, and additional landscape lighting to accentuate features and guide guests between entertaining areas.