There are three reasons you could be reading this article. 1: You do not yet have a pool, but wish to build one. 2: You already have a pool, and wish to compare your pool to the pools in these photos. 3. You have no pool, but enjoy torturing yourself by looking at pictures of other people's pools. If you fall into category 1 or 2, I can assure you that you will enjoy this post. But if you fall into category 3, then know this: this post was written especially for you. Crack open a beer, and let the beauty and the envy wash over you like the cool waters you are not currently enjoying.
Above: This swimming pool, in the backyard of a tastefully decorated farmhouse in upstate New York, is almost painfully perfect: elegant, minimal, and surrounded by the backyard of your dreams.
The swimming pool of a 1934 Spanish colonial revival home in Richmond, Virginia nestles among plantings and boxwood hedges. Perfect for your Rat Pack pool party.
Not a backyard, but a courtyard — a pool at a New Orleans French Quarter home dating to the 1820s.
What better thing to do on a summer day than float on a lounger in a shaded backyard pool?
This pool, at a Los Angeles home, retains a distinctly California feel.
A beautiful natural pool at a country house in upstate New York. Natural pools use plantings to filter the water, and can be made to look a lot like a pond, as opposed to a traditional swimming pool.
The shaded pool of this home in South Africa looks like the perfect place to dip your toes on a hot day.
Above: The swimming pool opens onto a rustic poolhouse at this home in the Pacific Northwest.
Lush plantings and a bright blue pergola give this pool an exotic vibe.
This small but inviting Australian backyard pool is proof that good pools can come in small packages.
Here's more small pool inspiration: a beautiful lap pool in the courtyard of a Venice, California home.
Here to arouse your envy, another perfect backyard.
An orange wall provides a gorgeous backdrop for the swimming pool of a Palm Springs home.
A backyard pool glitters darkly amongst lush foliage.
Here's another beautiful dark-bottom pool, in the backyard of a lovely modern home in Australia.
The only thing better than your own swimming pool is your own waterfall.
More Rat Pack inspiration, from an Arizona pool with a view.
The pool of a Hamptons home, surrounded by a lush woodland.
The beautiful (and very hospitable) pool of a beautiful and very hospitable New Orleans home.