December 27


Expert pool house design tips shared by Emma Sims Hilditch

Designing a pool house – Emma Sims Hilditch reveals her professional tips

When summer comes, there’s nothing more inviting than a cool and refreshing pool to dip into. But what if you could also have a pool house? Emma Sims Hilditch, a renowned interior designer, says that a well-designed pool house is the perfect addition to any home with a garden and a swimming pool. In an exclusive interview, she shares her expert tips on how to create a stunning pool house that will not only look beautiful but also serve all your needs.

“Before designing a pool house, it’s important to consider the practicality of the space,” says Sims Hilditch. “You need to think about the conditions the pool house will be exposed to, such as direct sunlight, humidity, and even toys that may be brought in from the pool.”

One of the first things to decide on is the size and layout of the pool house. Sims Hilditch suggests thinking about how the space will be used and what sort of activities you want to accommodate. “There needs to be enough room for changing, showering, and storing pool equipment,” she advises. “But it’s also important to leave some space for relaxation, such as a sitting area or a daybed where you can take a nap after a swim.”

When it comes to the design of the pool house, Sims Hilditch recommends using natural materials that will blend with the surroundings. “Aged wood, stone walls, and curtains made of linen or bamboo will give the space a very relaxed and natural look,” she says. “But don’t forget about the little details – adding some artwork or decorative pieces can really elevate the overall design.”

To ensure that your pool house is both functional and beautiful, Sims Hilditch suggests submitting your design ideas to a professional before starting the construction. “They will be able to assess the site conditions and provide you with practical solutions,” she explains. “And of course, don’t forget to consider your own personal style and taste – after all, it’s your pool house and it should reflect your personality.”

So, if you’re dreaming of having a pool house to enjoy this summer, take Emma Sims Hilditch’s advice to heart. With her tips and ideas, you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect oasis right outside your home. And who knows, maybe by next July, you’ll be lounging by the pool, surrounded by the beauty and functionality of your very own pool house.

Designing a pool house – step-by-step

Designing a pool house – step-by-step

1. Consider the purpose and function

Before starting the design process, it’s important to consider the purpose and function of your pool house. Will it primarily be used for relaxation and lounging by the pool, or will it also serve as a guest house? Understanding the main purpose of the space will help you make design decisions.

2. Prioritize practicality

A pool house needs to be practical and functional, especially when it comes to dealing with wet swimwear and towels. Consider adding areas for storage, including hooks for hanging towels and wet clothes. You may also want to include a small laundry area for washing and drying poolside items.

3. Create a comfortable sleeping area

If your pool house will be used as a guest house or if you plan on spending nights there during the summer, it’s essential to create a comfortable sleeping area. Invest in a good quality mattress and bedding, and consider adding blackout curtains to ensure a good night’s sleep.

4. Embrace the outdoors

Designing a pool house gives you the opportunity to connect with the outdoors. Incorporate large windows and doors that open up to the pool area or garden. This will allow for plenty of natural light and a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.

5. Consider the weather conditions

5. Consider the weather conditions

When designing a pool house, it’s important to consider the weather conditions in your area. If summers are hot and sunny, you may want to include shaded areas or even a covered terrace to provide relief from the sun. Similarly, if winters are cold and rainy, you may want to incorporate heating options and waterproof materials.

6. Stay organized

A pool house can easily become cluttered with pool toys, towels, and other outdoor accessories. Consider adding built-in storage solutions, such as shelves or cabinets, to keep everything organized and out of sight.

7. Incorporate design elements from your home

To create a cohesive and harmonious design, consider incorporating design elements from your main home into your pool house. This could include similar color schemes, materials, or architectural details. This will help tie the space together and create a seamless transition between the two areas.

8. Get inspired

8. Get inspired

Before finalizing your pool house design, take the time to gather inspiration and ideas. Look at magazines, browse online platforms, and even visit other pool houses to get a sense of the styles and features you like. This will help you narrow down your vision and make more informed design choices.

9. Consult a professional when needed

If you’re unsure about the design process or want expert advice, don’t hesitate to consult a professional designer or architect. They can provide valuable insight and help bring your pool house design to reality.

By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can create a pool house that not only looks beautiful but also meets your practical needs and enhances your outdoor living experience.

Concentrate on your pool house’s orientation

When designing a pool house, it is important to consider the orientation of the space before starting any other design considerations. Emma Sims Hilditch, an expert in pool house design, points out that the orientation of the pool house will have a significant impact on its overall functionality and comfort.

First and foremost, the orientation of the pool house will affect how much natural light enters the space. Hilditch explains that a pool house with a south-facing orientation will receive more direct sunlight throughout the day, making it a perfect spot to bask in the sun or take a nap. On the other hand, a north-facing orientation will provide more even and indirect light, which can be beneficial for those who prefer a cooler and more shaded environment.

Furthermore, the orientation of the pool house will also impact the views that the space can offer. Hilditch suggests considering the surrounding landscape and positioning the pool house in a way that takes advantage of the best views. This could be overlooking a beautifully landscaped garden, a tranquil pool, or any other scenic element that enhances the overall experience.

Consider the weather conditions

In addition to the orientation, it is important to consider the local weather conditions when designing a pool house. Hilditch explains that different climates will require different design solutions to ensure the pool house is comfortable throughout the year.

In hotter climates, such as in the height of summer, it is essential to provide sufficient shade and cooling options. Hilditch recommends using curtains or blinds that can be drawn to block out the sun’s rays during the hottest parts of the day. This will help regulate the temperature inside the pool house and create a more enjoyable environment.

On the other hand, in colder climates, it is important to focus on insulation and heating options to ensure the pool house can be used even in the winter months. Hilditch suggests incorporating insulation into the walls and considering underfloor heating to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Practicality is key

When designing a pool house, practicality should always be a top priority. Hilditch emphasizes the importance of considering the functionality and usability of the space. This includes providing ample storage for pool accessories, towels, and other essentials, as well as considering space for changing rooms or bathrooms.

Hilditch also recommends designing the pool house with versatility in mind, making it a space that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, incorporating a seating area with comfortable furniture can transform the pool house into a relaxing lounge area, suitable for entertaining guests or unwinding after a swim.

Submit your design ideas

If you’re still in need of more inspiration or guidance, Hilditch suggests submitting your design ideas to a professional pool house designer, who can assist with bringing your vision to life. They can provide expert advice on the best layout, materials, and finishes to achieve the desired look and functionality.

In conclusion, when designing a pool house, it is essential to concentrate on its orientation to determine the amount of natural light, views, and overall comfort it can provide. Considering local weather conditions, ensuring practicality, and seeking professional assistance when needed will help create a pool house that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Designing a pool house with a bathroom – and laundry

This July, Designing the pool house of your dreams

If you have a pool, having a pool house is a necessity. Not only does it provide a place to store pool toys and equipment, but it also serves as a changing area and bathroom. When designing a pool house with a bathroom, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure it meets all your needs.

Practicality comes first

Before diving into the design process, think about what you will be using the pool house for. Is it just for changing and using the bathroom, or will you also need a laundry area? If you plan on doing laundry in the pool house, make sure to allocate enough space for a washer and dryer.

Emma Sims-Hilditch, a renowned interior designer, suggests considering the sort of storage solutions you will need. She says, “Think about what you will be storing in the pool house and design shelving, cupboards, and hooks accordingly. This will help keep everything organized and ensure there is enough space for everything.”

Creating a bathroom oasis

When it comes to designing the bathroom in your pool house, natural elements can be a great choice. Opt for materials like stone, wood, or ceramic tiles to create a spa-like atmosphere. Including features like a rain shower or a freestanding bathtub will add a touch of luxury.

Hilditch also recommends considering the conditions in your pool house when choosing materials. “The pool house will often have high humidity levels, so make sure to choose materials that can withstand these conditions,” she advises.

Making it feel like home

A pool house should feel like an extension of your home. To achieve this, you can use design elements that mirror the aesthetics of your main residence. Try to incorporate similar colors, patterns, and textures to create a cohesive look.

Additionally, Hilditch suggests adding curtains to the pool house. “Curtains can create a cozy and private atmosphere, perfect for lounging or even catching a quick nap,” she says. This extra touch will make the space more inviting and multifunctional.

Get inspired

If you’re still searching for ideas, look no further than Hilditch’s portfolio. Her designs often feature pool houses that seamlessly blend with the surrounding nature, with large windows overlooking the garden. This not only enhances the view but also fills the space with abundant natural light.

Keep in mind that the pool house design should prioritize functionality and practicality, but also provide a space where you can relax and unwind during the hot summer months.

Subscribe to get more design tips

Subscribe to get more design tips

Before submitting your pool house design, make sure to subscribe to Emma Sims-Hilditch’s newsletter. By doing so, you will receive more design tips and ideas directly to your inbox, ensuring that your pool house is everything you dreamed of and more.

Designing a pool house – with a kitchenette

The importance of a kitchenette in a pool house

When designing a pool house, it is important to consider the practicality and functionality of the space. One key feature that can greatly enhance the usability of a pool house is a kitchenette. A kitchenette allows for convenient food preparation and storage, making it easier for guests to enjoy the pool area without constantly needing to go back to the main house.

“A pool house with a kitchenette is ideal for hosting pool parties and entertaining guests,” says Emma Sims Hilditch, a renowned interior designer. “It provides a space where you can prepare and serve food and drinks in a convenient and efficient way.”

Design ideas for a pool house kitchenette

When it comes to designing a kitchenette for a pool house, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the design should be in line with the overall aesthetic of the pool house and the surrounding garden. “A natural and seamless transition from the pool house to the garden is key,” says Sims Hilditch. This can be achieved by using materials and colors that complement the outdoor environment.

Additionally, the kitchenette should be designed with practicality in mind. “You want to create a space that is easy to clean and maintain,” says Sims Hilditch. This means selecting durable materials for countertops and flooring, and opting for easy-to-clean surfaces and finishes. Storage is also an important consideration, as a well-designed kitchenette should have ample space for storing utensils, dishes, and ingredients.

Benefits of a pool house kitchenette

  • Avoiding constant trips to the main house: With a kitchenette in the pool house, guests can easily access snacks, drinks, and food without needing to leave the pool area.
  • Efficient hosting: Having a kitchenette allows hosts to prepare and serve food without having to leave their guests for extended periods of time. This makes hosting pool parties and gatherings much more enjoyable and convenient.
  • Flexibility in meal options: A kitchenette provides the flexibility to have a wider range of meal options during poolside events. Guests can enjoy freshly prepared dishes, salads, and snacks without relying solely on pre-packaged food.
  • Comfortable overnight stays: If the pool house has a sleeping area, a kitchenette can provide guests with the convenience of making breakfast or a quick meal before heading out for the day.


Designing a pool house with a kitchenette is a practical and efficient choice. It allows for easier food preparation and storage, avoids constant trips to the main house, and provides flexibility in meal options during poolside events. With the right design and materials, a kitchenette can seamlessly blend into the overall aesthetic of the pool house and enhance the overall experience for both hosts and guests.

Let practicality lead when it comes to decorating a pool house

The importance of practicality

When it comes to designing and decorating a pool house, practicality should be the leading factor. A pool house is a space that is meant to be functional and provide convenience for those using the pool. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize practicality in the design and decor choices.

Consider the needs of the users

Before submitting to aesthetic desires, consider the needs of those who will be using the pool house. Think about what they will need in terms of storage, seating, and amenities. For example, a pool house often needs storage space for towels, pool toys, and other essentials. Additionally, seating areas for relaxation and socializing may also be a requirement.

Design with durability in mind

Given the conditions of a pool house, which include high moisture and frequent foot traffic, it is vital to choose materials and furniture that can withstand these elements. Opt for water-resistant fabrics for upholstery and choose durable flooring options such as tiles or vinyl. This will ensure that the pool house remains in good condition for a long time.

Keep it light and airy

Incorporate natural light into the pool house design by using large windows and glass doors. This will create a bright and open atmosphere, making the space feel more inviting. Additionally, light-colored walls and curtains can further enhance the sense of airiness and make the pool house feel more spacious.

Organize and declutter

To maintain a practical and functional pool house, it is important to keep the space organized and free from clutter. Consider incorporating storage solutions such as shelves, cabinets, or baskets to keep belongings neatly stowed away. This will make it easier to find and access items when needed.

Add personal touches

While practicality should take precedence, don’t forget to add personal touches to the pool house decor. This can be achieved through the use of decorative accessories such as artwork, plants, or decorative pillows. These elements can add character and style to the space without compromising its functionality.

Designing a pool house should prioritize practicality to ensure that it serves its intended purpose effectively. By considering the needs of the users, choosing durable materials, and maintaining an organized space, you can create a pool house that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Make it your pool house design cozy

When it comes to designing a pool house, practicality is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s important to also consider creating a cozy and inviting space.

Emma Sims Hilditch, a renowned interior designer, says that “a pool house should look like a natural extension of your home”. This means that the design should be in line with the overall style of your home and make the space feel connected.

Creating a cozy atmosphere

One of the easiest ways to make your pool house design cozy is by choosing warm and inviting colors for the walls. Opt for soft neutrals or warm earth tones that will create a cocoon-like feel in the space.

Adding curtains to the windows can also help to create a cozy atmosphere. Lightweight, sheer curtains can provide privacy while still allowing natural light to flood the space. Thicker curtains can be used to block out excessive sunlight or provide insulation during colder months.

Personal touches

Another way to make your pool house feel cozy is by adding personal touches. Display favorite art pieces, family photos, or cherished mementos on the walls. These personal items will give the space a sense of warmth and make it feel more like home.

Consider adding comfortable seating options like plush chairs or even a daybed. This will provide a cozy spot for lounging or even taking a nap after a swim. Cozy throws and cushions can also be added to enhance comfort.

Bringing the outdoors in

Bringing the outdoors in

Since a pool house is often situated in the garden, it’s important to embrace the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Use natural materials like wicker furniture or rattan accents to bring a sense of the garden indoors.

Create a small indoor garden with potted plants to add a touch of greenery. This will make the space feel fresh and vibrant. Additionally, having a direct view of the pool or garden from the pool house will help to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Adding functionality

Of course, creating a cozy pool house doesn’t mean sacrificing practicality. Consider the needs of your family and guests when designing the space.

If you have children, make sure to include storage space for pool toys and floaties. A small table can be added for playing board games or enjoying snacks. A mini fridge or refreshment station will also come in handy during hot summer days.

Additionally, the pool house can be designed to accommodate overnight guests. Include a comfortable bed or a sofa bed for guests who may want to stay the night. Providing bedding, towels, and other essentials will ensure that your guests have a comfortable stay.

Inspiration and ideas

If you’re in need of some inspiration for your pool house design, Emma Sims Hilditch suggests looking at aged homes and even traditional summer houses for ideas. These homes often have a cozy and nostalgic feel that can be replicated in your own pool house design.

Remember that your pool house design should reflect your personal style and preferences. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try different ideas. After all, your pool house is a unique space that should be tailored to your needs and taste.

Designing a cozy pool house is all about creating a space that is both practical and inviting. By considering the overall design, personal touches, connection with the outdoors, and functionality, you can create a pool house that will be the perfect retreat for summer days and beyond.

Consider curtains to soften a pool house’s lines

When it comes to designing a pool house, practicality often takes precedence over aesthetics. However, Emma Sims Hilditch says that it is important to not overlook the design aspect, especially when it comes to the pool house’s lines.

According to Sims Hilditch, curtains can be a great solution to soften the harsh lines of a pool house. They not only add a touch of elegance and softness to the space, but also provide practical benefits.

One of the main reasons why curtains are a good addition to a pool house is that they can provide privacy. In summer, when the pool is frequently used, it can be important to have a space where you can retreat and relax away from prying eyes. By adding curtains, you can create a private area within the pool house where you can either take a nap or simply enjoy some quiet time.

In addition to privacy, curtains can also help to regulate the temperature inside the pool house. In hot summer days, the sunlight can heat up the space, making it uncomfortable to spend time in. By closing the curtains, you can block out the sun and keep the interior of the pool house cooler.

Curtains can also add a touch of style and personality to the pool house. Depending on the design of the curtains, you can create a more formal or relaxed look. You can choose curtains that match the aesthetic of the pool house, whether it’s a modern retreat or a traditional garden-like room.

When selecting curtains for your pool house, Sims Hilditch suggests considering the natural conditions that the curtains will be exposed to. Pool houses are often located next to the pool, which means that they will be exposed to moisture and sunlight.

It’s important to choose curtains that are made from durable and water-resistant fabrics. This will ensure that they can withstand the conditions of the pool house and stay looking great for longer. Additionally, it’s a good idea to opt for curtains that can be easily removed and washed, as they may get dirty from being close to the pool.

In terms of design, Sims Hilditch recommends choosing curtains that complement the overall design of the pool house. They should be in harmony with the color scheme and style of the space. If the pool house has a more traditional design, you could consider curtains with floral prints or classic patterns. For a modern pool house, curtains with simple and clean lines will work better.

Overall, curtains can be a great addition to a pool house. They not only soften the lines of the space, but also provide privacy, regulate temperature, and add style. Consider adding curtains to your pool house design to create a more inviting and comfortable space.

What needs to be in a pool house

When designing a pool house, there are several key elements that should be considered in order to create a functional and enjoyable space. Emma Sims Hilditch, an expert in interior design, shares her professional tips on what needs to be included in a pool house.


First and foremost, a pool house needs to be practical. It should be equipped with all the necessary amenities and storage solutions to accommodate the needs of both children and adults. Hilditch suggests incorporating shelves, hooks, and baskets to keep towels, sunscreens, and pool toys organized and easily accessible. Additionally, a sink and refrigerator are essential for quick and convenient food preparation and storage.

Comfort and Relaxation

A pool house should also be a place where people can relax and unwind after a swim. Hilditch recommends including comfortable seating options such as lounge chairs or sofas, along with a small table for drinks and snacks. She also suggests installing curtains or blinds to provide shade and privacy when needed.

Natural Light

When it comes to the design of a pool house, Hilditch emphasizes the importance of natural light. Large windows or glass doors can help to create a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing for better views of the pool and garden. Natural light also helps to create a bright and inviting atmosphere.

All-Weather Conditions

A pool house should be designed to withstand different weather conditions, especially if it will be used year-round. Hilditch recommends investing in high-quality materials and ensuring proper insulation to keep the space comfortable in both hot summers and cold winters. Additionally, having heating and cooling systems in place will further enhance the comfort of the pool house.

Design and Aesthetics

Of course, the design of a pool house is also important. Hilditch suggests choosing a design style that complements the existing aesthetics of the home and garden. Whether it’s a modern and sleek design or a more traditional and aged look, the pool house should seamlessly blend with its surroundings.

In conclusion, when designing a pool house, it is important to consider both the practical and aesthetic aspects. By including the right amenities, creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and designing for all-weather conditions, a pool house can become a perfect addition to any home. So, before submitting any ideas for a pool house design, make sure to take into account these professional tips from Emma Sims Hilditch.

What is a good size for a pool house

When it comes to designing a pool house, the size is an important consideration. Of course, the specific dimensions will depend on the available space and the needs of the homeowners.

Practicality and Functionality

Emma Sims-Hilditch, a professional designer, says that a good size for a pool house is one that provides enough space for the intended activities. It should have room for storing pool supplies, changing clothes, and relaxation. Ideally, it should also have enough space for a small kitchenette or a bar area for entertaining guests.

Consider the Intended Use

When deciding on the size of a pool house, it is important to consider how it will be used. If it will be primarily used as a sleeping quarters for guests during the summer months, then it will need to be larger in size. On the other hand, if it will be used only for changing clothes and storing pool toys, a smaller size may be sufficient.

Useful Ideas

Emma Sims-Hilditch recommends incorporating practicality into the design of a pool house. For example, having direct access to a bathroom from the pool area can be very convenient. Installing curtains or blinds over windows can provide privacy and protect from the sun’s rays. Natural light is also important, so consider large windows or skylights when designing the space.

Furthermore, it is important to design a pool house that blends well with the overall look of the home and garden. Sims-Hilditch suggests using materials and colors that complement the main house, so that the pool house feels like a natural extension of the home.

Summing Up

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what a good size for a pool house is. It depends on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowners. However, practicality and functionality should always be considered. It is important to create a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and meets the practical needs of the users.

For more design ideas and tips from Emma Sims-Hilditch, subscribe to her newsletter. By submitting your email address, you will receive exclusive content directly to your inbox.


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