Design Trend – Pool Cabana

  • 4 minutes
  • 17 February 2022

With Australia’s warm climate, many of us have a pool or are thinking of installing a pool or plunge pool. And if you have the space, a pool cabana could be the perfect finishing touch to your dream backyard. But with so many options, it can be challenging to know where to begin. To help, we’ve listed considerations from structure type, style, and inclusions so you can decide if a cabana is suitable for your pool area.

What is a pool cabana? 

The dictionary describes a cabana as ‘a small cabin or tent like structure for use as a bathhouse, especially on a beach or by a swimming pool.’  These days a pool cabana can be a simple or extravagant structure to provide shade and a place to sit and relax poolside.

Whether you want a simple open-air pool cabana or an enclosed structure with kitchen and bathroom facilities, there are many options to consider. Below is an extensive list of considerations for your pool cabana. We hope this helps narrow down your cabana wish list to something you can afford, easily achieve and enjoy!

VogueWall Pool Area Cabana Blog

What is the purpose of your cabana? 

  • A place to lie in the shade by the pool
  • To sit comfortably when supervising the kids in the pool
  • Somewhere to cook, eat and entertain close to the pool
  • A place to get changed and shower before and after swimming
  • Somewhere to hide the pool pump, pool cleaner, pool toys and sun lounges.
  • A place to comfortably spend the day by the pool without tracking water into the house
  • All the above.

Pool cabana structural options 

Given these points, is a cabana all that you need? Or are you looking for a pool house or studio with a bathroom and kitchen? The type of structure you choose and its size will determine if you require council approval. It’s always best to check with your local council if you need building approval. Each local council has regulations regarding which structures are exempt from requiring approval. For example, a pergola in NSW may not need approval. But this will still depend on factors such as size, location, and the zoning area. It’s also important to note that a cabana may need to sit outside the pool fence in some states, depending on the type of structure. 

Simple design open on all sides

SlimWall Pool Wall Pool Cabana Blog

Extravagant design open on all sides

SlimWall Ali Pool Wall Pool Cabana Blog Dining Entertaining Area

Pool cabana closed on two sides

Pool Cabana Blog

Pool house or studio

EstateWall Shower Area Three Birds Renovations

Three Birds Renovations House 13read the case study

Pool cabana inclusions to consider

As mentioned previously, the structure, approvals and your budget may limit the possible inclusions for your cabana. Why not dream big and work your way back to determine what you can achieve.

Possible inclusions for your cabana wish list:

  • Bar and bar fridge
  • Bathroom with or without a shower
  • Ceiling fan
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace/ fire pit
  • Kitchen / built-in BBQ
  • Lighting
  • Lounge area
  • Outdoor heaters
  • Outdoor shower
  • Storage
  • TV
EstateWall Sunken Fire Pit Pool Area

Pool cabana designs 

Finally, what design will best suit your home? While it’s tempting to pick a style you like, such as a Balinese theme, does this fit the style of your home? As can be seen by Three Birds Renovations, beautiful outdoor areas continue the same design style inside to out. The result is a cohesive design that connects both zones to provide the ultimate indoor-outdoor living areas.

Which style best suits your home:

  • Balinese
  • Coastal
  • Hamptons
  • Modern/ contemporary


Of course, there are considerable costs regardless of whether you choose a pool cabana, pavilion, pool house, gazebo, or pergola:

  • The structure and labour costs will be high if you need professional installation.
  • There could be electrical and plumbing labour expenses and materials.
  • Not to mention, décor such as sun lounges and other outdoor furniture and appliances.
  • Then add landscaping and any finishing touches like painting.

Costs can quickly escalate, so be sure to budget for every expense.

EstateWall Fire Area Blog

All things considered, sometimes a simple, minimalist design is all that you need for a pool cabana. But regardless of which style or design you choose, a well-constructed cabana with a professional finish can also add value to your property. Now all you need to do is choose your favourite style, easy!