How to Hide Pool Equipment: 3 Tips for What Works Best!

Today we’re sharing our experience with hiding pool equipment in our backyard! We’ve got ideas on how to hide pool equipment in a variety of ways, plus how we attempted hiding our pool equipment with plants before working with, not against, our wall!

Our story starts 7 years ago when we moved into our big California fixer-upper with the smokin’ fine backyard! (OK, well…it wasn’t smokin’ hot yet—as you can see in our first backyard tour—but Matt and I saw its potential!) In fact, the backyard was what sold us on this house.

Soon after we moved in, I wanted to hit the landscape hard. Mature landscaping is gorgeous and increases your property value…

…and it’s EXPENSIVE! But if you start it early enough and give it time, it’ll get more mature faster. (As one landscape designer I know said to me once, “Sometimes plants grow faster than money.”) And so I wanted to get into making our tropical backyard as lush as possible, as soon as possible!


Hiding Pool Equipment: First Attempts That Didn’t Work!

Of all the things I wanted to landscape (including around our backyard view of the mountains), hiding this wall was high on my list:

overgrown plants around pool equipment wall

Can you see it there behind the trees? 🙂

What is this wall, anyway? Several people who came to see our house in the early days asked if it was another patio. No no. Unfortunately not. It’s one of those walls that California builders put up to hide…(drumroll)…

…the pool equipment!

Sometimes the builders hide it around the side of the house, but not in this property’s case. They planted a plant in front of it and called it good.

Unfortunately, 30 years later that plant had grown into a large, droopy tree that not only didn’t hide the pool equipment wall anymore but

  1. Dropped leaves into the jacuzzi and pool like it got paid to do it.
  2. Drooped over most of that rounded bench seat so no one could sit on it.

While we typically avoid removing any mature plants (because of the reasons above!), we decided within the first year that it had to go!

Here’s that same area after we cleared out the overgrown plants:

older pool and pool wall with plants

Take the tour of our backyard when we bought this house!


Hiding Pool Equipment With Plants

When that was done, I started by buying some giant, beautiful split-leaf philodendrons to put in front of it. These are one of my favorite tropical plants and have gained popularity in recent years as an indoor plant (often referred to as a “monstera,” which you might have heard before—certainly a lot less of a mouthful than “split leaf philodendron”!).

monstera being planted in front of pool wall
A (before) tour of our backyard

Unfortunately, as we went through a hot summer, I realized this would be a terrible spot for philodendrons because they’re shade-lovers! Some sun is okay, but not intense California almost-all-day summer sun!

Our local nursery recommended some hedge plants that would grow tall and were supposed to do well in full sun, so we bought several to create a kind of “hedge” in front of the pool wall but again, our afternoon sun destroyed them.

podocarpus plants for hiding pool equipment wall hedge

Here you can see the two that survived (but later died) and the two Giant Birds of Paradise I planted in their places to see how those would do. They’re a beautiful tropical plant that does better in full sun, but still you can see here in the hottest part of summer how much they’re all struggling!

plants dying in sun in front of pool equipment wall
A complete tour of our backyard (before we went to town on it) can be found here!

Fast-forward to after we ripped up our backyard to remodel the backyard. We did not include any major changes with the pool wall at that point, as I was still convinced we could hide it with some lush tropical plants!

pool being remodeled with retaining walls and landscaping
Why we ripped out our backyard and pool

In the below two photos you can see the progression of changes to the accessibility—the entrance to the pool equipment. Since we were trying to make it disappear, I did a landscape design that continued with our ficus hedge to form a “hidden entryway” to the pool equipment.

stucco pool equipment wall with landscaping and stepping stones
landscaping around pool equipment wall hidden
A complete list of posts on our backyard remodel!

Above you get a peek at the concrete change. Matt didn’t like the bricks along the top and, after removing them, added concrete along the top and rounded it off (this is before he planned to paint it).

But still, these plants weren’t working the way we’d hoped they would!

concrete patio and retaining walls around pool with landscaping to hide pool equipment
Our complete backyard makeover!


The Skies Part and I See The Light.

I suppose we could thank my second-born daughter’s afternoon nap struggle for helping the skies part and my seeing the light. It was because I spent at least an hour every day pacing with her that I had so much time to study this backyard pool area.

Until then, I’d never just sat, stared at our backyard, and really thought about how to hide that pool equipment wall. I’d never taken the time…

…until I had to pace 87 times a day in circles through our kitchen, past our dining room, and into our family room—all of which had windows opening into the backyard.

backyard patio wiith pergola, pool, umbrellas, black pool fence, raised patios and pool wall in distance
Notice the papyrus we planted along the black pool fence? I looooooove it! The end.

With 90s hip hop bumpin’ on the speakers and my baby strapped into the Moby wrap on my front (the only way I could find to get her to sleep in that phase of her baby life!), I kept myself from going insaaaaaane in the Mama mem-brain by staring out those windows and deciding I was going to finally figure out the most spectacular solution to hiding that pool equipment wall!

That was what I was going to focus on—and not the fact that I was mentally and physically exhausted. I wasn’t going to get mad at my baby; I was going to funnel my focus into dancing around while I paced, and exercising my mental muscles!


Plants to Hide Pool Equipment

Before I get into sharing what I decided to do with that pool wall, I want to share some good examples of plants for hiding pool equipment:


3 Tips On What Works Best!

Idea #1: Plants!

If hiding pool equipment with plants, make sure they’re plants that do well in the conditions they’re in—whether full shade, full sun, or a bit of both!

As mentioned earlier, I would have loved to do one continuous hedge like the below!

source 1, source 2


Idea #2: A wall!

If hiding with a wall, don’t overdo it! Try to make your pool wall blend in as much as possible and not stick out, especially if it’s in a high visibility location!

You can do a stone or stucco wall like ours, or DIY one out of wood like the below:

source 1, source 2


Idea #3: A box!

I tried to talk Matt into this at one point to go along with what we ultimately did to hide our pool equipment, but he didn’t think it was necessary since we’d already hidden it.

Regardless, this is another option that’s great when plants or a wall aren’t best!

source 1, source 2


BONUS IDEA #4: Do what we did!

I’d say “we turned ours into a bar” but you really need to see the photos to fully understand how we hide our pool equipment wall in the best way possible (in our opinion 🙂 )!



Bonus Tip #1: Keep it accessible!

Whether hiding pool equipment with landscape or building materials, remember to keep it easily accessible! A pool needs near-daily attention and you don’t want to hide your equipment so well that it’s a pain to get into!

Bonus Tip #2: Accept some noise!

Don’t worry too much about trying to hide the noise. The fact is that pool equipment makes noise…period. If you can muffle it a bit, great, but focus more on making it

  1. accessible
  2. aesthetically-pleasing, especially for resale!

So what did we end up doing to hide our pool equipment? Answer: “The Sunset Bar!” 🙂 See how it looks today!

hiding pool equipment with an outdoor bar on deck with stucco wall, concrete countertops, and pergola cover
How to save serious money on your backyard reno!

See the completed “hide the pool equipment wall!” 🙂

➜ Our complete list of every single home project is viewable HERE! (Or you can just view our Complete List of backyard posts here!)

➜ And if you’d like our help RIGHT NOW check out our Plans & Design Guides!

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