Outdoor Living

Successful pros today don’t limit themselves to pools and spas — they embrace the entire backyard, including outdoor kitchens, patios, furniture, lighting, grills and more. To learn more about outdoor living, from selling it to building it, check out these stories.

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Fun Per Square Foot

In just three months, this retailer changed his business strategy to focus on the total backyard experience.

How to Break Into Outdoor Living

These two builders have transformed their businesses from simply pool and spa stores to one-stop shops for backyard solutions. Here’s how they did it.

2016 SOI Outdoor Living Report

Recent studies reveal shade structures are set to take off among homeowners, millennials in particular.

What's a 'Pergola' Anyway?

What’s the difference between a pergola and a ramada? What’s a belvedere, and what the heck is a loggia? Consider this your dictionary for all things backyard shade.

Burning Bright: Why Fire Features are Hot Right Now

Customers love fire elements — in fact, many builders say it’s the most common requires in their new pool designs. Here, we explore the trend in depth and learn why it won’t burn out anytime soon.

'Imagining' a New Store Concept

In this showroom, vignettes highlight the many ways hot tubs and outdoor living go hand in hand.

Outdoor Living: What’s Trending Right Now

Retail expert Ted Lawrence explains what consumers are loving in the outdoor living category.

How to Properly Place and Install Underwater Speakers

Installing underwater speakers? Builder Paolo Benedetti offers expert advice to keep in mind.

The Secret Behind Emotionally Compelling Landscape Design

Why do some landscapes create a deeply emotional response, and others don’t? A landscape designer shares his perspective, as well as advice for your future design work.

Success Beyond the Pool

A second-generation pool pro finds thinking beyond the water's edge is rewarding both creatively and financially.

Amplifying the Backyard with Audio/Visual Design

A custom builder shares his journey into poolside AV systems.

Dining by Design

Outdoor living expert Scott Cohen shares his strategy for designing outdoor kitchens: Focus on what's on the menu.

Furnish with Fire

From fuel types to aesthetics and placement, we discuss the breadth of design possibilities fire pits provide.

The Jigsaw Waterslide

Modular slides offer pre-fabricated convenience as well as the customization required to create a sophisticated design that melts into the landscape.

Is it a Pool? Is it a Spa? No! It's a Spool!

These small, yet versatile pools provide an ideal solution for homeowners with limited space.

Rendering the Future

A look at how digital design technology has evolved and changed the pool and spa industry

Making the Shade

Shade structures represent oppportunities for added revenue and creative design treatments, but first you have to remember to look up.

Up in Your Grill

Gas, charcoal and wood pellet grills — what are consumers looking for?

The Big Green Egg Phenomenon

BGE draws passionate grillers.

Even Better Than The Real Thing

Composite decking materials, meant to simulate wood, can offer significant advantages.

Pool Zones

Treating the pool as a venue for outdoor living can present profitable design opportunities.

Hot Designs in Hot Water

Hot tubs are eyesores no more — today's spa design is all about making a statement in the backyard.

Illuminating Possiblities

A Long Island landscape lighting designer works to define the outdoor experience at night.

The Art of Construction

Pool construction is an art form, a craft and an exercise in overcoming obstacles. Like most art, there is a large element of sacrifice and struggle.

Courage & Experimentation

A Georgia designer/builder pushed his creative and technical limits on this complex and ambitious project.

The Mod Squad

Modular kitchens offer a customizable solution for budget-conscious customers and space-strapped retailers.

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