Lyon Financial

All About Pool Houses, Pavilions, and Cabanas

Pool House

It is abundantly true that the more time you spend in your backyard oasis, the more time you want to spend in your backyard oasis! And the more time you spend, the more ideas you come up with for elevating the experience.

Fortunately, those wonderful extras external to your pool are no longer only available to the rich and famous. Here’s a look at some wildly popular solutions to get you in the mindset of keeping your summer rolling, even if it’s too chilly to take a dip.

Pool House Ideas

These structures can range from a modest abode to an amenity-rich, mini version of your home. Pool houses can serve different purposes. Some may be classified as merely glorified sheds while others can serve as full-fledged, featured-packed guest houses and more!


As a pool owner, you already know there are SO many toys, flotation devices, and games to outfit an aquatic lifestyle. Your pool house can be constructed with special shelving (well out of reach of children and pets) to accommodate chemicals you need to safely stow.

A selection of hooks on the wall can house debris nets and other pool maintenance essentials while an assortment of bins can store everything from pool noodles to your pool’s cover.

Changing Room

The beauty of designating a special area for this purpose is that you’ll be able to, first of all, give your guests their privacy. Second of all, this changing room will inhibit anyone from schlepping through your home trailing wet, dripping suits in tow. Add a row of clothes hooks on the wall or a couple clothing bars with hangars, and your guests have plenty of places to hang up their clothes while you have additional space for stowing away all your pool-related paraphernalia.

You can make this space particularly welcoming with a few chairs, a phone charging station, and baskets of fresh towels and sunscreen. You can even pick up some fun sunglasses from a party store, so you have extra shades in case a guest forgets theirs. Plus, you can still rig your pool house with securely locked cabinetry in order to safely stash away chemicals in the form of something more aesthetically pleasing than just on an open shelf.

Guest House

For the ultimate in pool house design, how about a cottage to accommodate overnight or longer-term guests. (Can you say “in-laws”?) A small efficiency kitchen and bath, a Murphy bed, and a variety of snacks will support a nice little guest oasis. This structure can even accommodate an aging parent or your college student who lives at home. This way you can turn your interior guest room into the media space or the personal gym you’ve always wanted!

Another plus for having a guest house is that you can use it to entertain! Get away from it all by hosting parties and cookouts here. Containing the event in this space will help keep your house proper and pristine.

Home Pub

For any of the above you can add this one feature to fashion your pool house into a multi-faceted haven. Have a window installed in the pool house that opens out to a bar with stools. You can play bartender from the inside while giving your guests a little VIP treatment, poolside.

Last notes on pool houses… if you decide to go with furnishing this addition with electric as well as a kitchen and a bath, your cost will, of course, be increased, but so will the project construction timeline.

Also, while anything goes, for an integrated and well thought out looking scheme, it’s typically best for your pool house to be as reminiscent as possible of your home’s architecture.

Pool Pavilions

Pool pavilions add a true touch of elegance with their resort-style vibe. A centerpiece to offset your sparkling pool, these beauties afford a shady space to suit a variety of needs.

  • Seating areas with fireplaces or fire pits. Even if it’s raining or snowing, you can cluster around the hearth for treasured evenings with friends and family.
  • To shelter your outdoor kitchen. (That you’ll soon not be able to live without!) Whether a simple cooktop range or pizza oven or a full-blown galley replete with dining table and chairs, this is as welcoming as it gets!
  • To accommodate storage. A pavilion will give coverage to an outdoor fridge for the essentials, a kegerator or wine refrigerator, a microwave, and even cabinetry to keep your paper plates and napkins within easy reach. That way you’re not always running back and forth to the main house but can enjoy life on your private island.
  • As a media room. Here’s to Monday Night Football! Under the stars and courtesy of your alfresco media center complete with surround sound, crackling fireplace, and comfy chairs. Live the dream!
  • There’s more. Although Zen time is essential, practically, you want to enjoy the benefits of excellent signal strength for your handheld devices. As your interior router may not deliver consistent enough access, additional cables and wireless routers can expand your network to your great outdoors.

And finally, in any outdoor scenario never underestimate the power of a thoughtful lighting design. From day into evening, advances in LED schemes make for cost effective ambiance that you can control from an app.


This word is used interchangeably with pool house, but they are not the same. Although different poolside structures can wear many features and functions of one another, a pool cabana is more strictly defined by Pool Magazine as, “A three-sided roofed building meant to provide shade and seclusion for people relaxing by the swimming pool.”

A covered structure, these may be permanent or temporary. While providing shelter from the sun, pool cabanas provide a place to change clothes or even just to hang out and relax. Typically adorned with floor-to-ceiling curtains or with solid panels on three sides, they can feature windows or screens for ventilation.

Some homeowners install streamlined outdoor showers as a nice companion piece to a cabana.

The pros at Pool Magazine detail what to consider regarding the pool cabana vs. pavilion decision.

“Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons that homeowners have for choosing whether or not to build a pool cabana or pavilion, but the number one issue for many may have nothing to do with price. The square footage requirements for both of these types of home improvement projects both are ideal for larger sized lots. Squeezing a pavilion into a tiny backyard that is barely big enough for the pool is never ideal. Space saving alternatives to building a pavilion [include] building a pergola or installing a retractable awning. Both of those solutions are exponentially less expensive than constructing a pavilion and are effective shading solutions. You also don’t need a ton of space to build a beautiful little pool house to use as a changing room for guests.”

Know what? Life is good.

Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves everything that enhances the outdoor experience. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.