Pool design ideas: Stepping straight into the water

Pool design ideas: Stepping straight into the water

Tips and Advice, Lifestyle

Pool Design Ideas: Stepping straight into the water

Stepping straight from your house into a swimming pool seems more like a dream than an achievable pool design reality for most people. This is, however, one dream that just might be turned into reality with the help of dion seminara architecture of Brisbane. Home designs where pools are integrated into the fabric of the building are still fairly uncommon in Queensland with most pools situated well away from the house in a corner of the block. The fact that this is true of most pools in our state does not mean, however, that you should simply conform to the norm!

There are many reasons why homeowners would want to consider what I term (for want of a better description) an ‘integrated pool’ and we would be happy to discuss our pool design ideas with you.

Pool Design Ideas: An integrated pool

Some of the most common reasons for an integrated pool design are:


The visual appeal of a home can often be greatly enhanced by integrating a pool into the design. There is just something magical about looking out over water from the inside of a property. A particularly striking effect can be achieved if a property looks out over the sea or a river. Clever design and placement can make it appear as if the pool is somehow an extension of the water outside the property. An integrated pool with well-designed lighting can also provide a fantastic ambience to an entertainment area.

Use of Space:

Pools obviously take up space and blocks below a certain size are often regarded as being too small to include a pool on the property. It might be, however, that this is only true if you insist on having the pool on its own ‘patch of land’ completely separate from the home. Incorporating an integrated pool into the design might be one way of building on a smaller block and still ‘having your pool and swimming in it’!

Lifestyle Requirements:

Sometimes an integrated pool makes perfect sense in terms of how people live their lives. It might, for example, be that the pool is intended as part of a larger ‘fitness area’. There are also many people with serious mobility issues who prefer their pools to be right next to their homes, especially if the use of specialised equipment to enter/exit it is required.

During the architectural process, we will always consider how the landscape, home design and lifestyle requirements can be combined in the best possible way and sometimes an integrated pool is part of the answer that we at dion seminara architecture come up with.

It should be noted, however, that there are certain issues that will have to be carefully considered before making the final decision to include an integrated pool in your home design. Most important among these are the following:


There are strict regulations regarding pool security in Queensland. Access to the pool must be tightly controlled and all outside pool areas will have to be fenced in. This may obviously have an impact on how you approach the project, especially if you consider that a fence right next to your home might spoil the aesthetic impact that you are trying to achieve.


Many self-contained pools are built using standard procedures and materials. Pool builders will, therefore, have a series of ‘cookie cutter’ pools that they can easily deliver in a relatively short time. This will often not be possible in the case of an integrated pool. The design and installation of such pools will quite possibly require more time and effort leading to increased costs.


Building an integrated pool can add a layer of complexity to your building project. Most pool and house builders are used to ‘doing their own thing’ since their areas of responsibility rarely overlap. Since an integrated pool is a vital part of the design of the house this approach simply cannot be followed when building one. The housebuilder will have to be willing to work closely with both the architect and pool builder to make sure that the design is successfully implemented.
None of the issues mentioned above should be viewed as ‘showstoppers’ when it comes to integrated pools. We mention them simply because they represent some of the things that you would have to consider before making the final decision about the shape of your home and pool.

dion seminara architecture based in Brisbane has a great deal of experience in designing integrated pools. We have all the knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to help you to think through the relevant design issues and to make your dreams of stepping straight into the pool a reality! Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.