" "

Natural Stone Plunge Pools + Outdoor Features Are Making a Splash

by | May 31, 2024 |

As homeowners continue investing in relaxing outdoor spaces, many are adding plunge pools and other features to their backyards. “The request we get most frequently is to install natural stone on the outside of their plunge pools,” says Karen Larson, co-founder of New Hampshire-based Soake Pools. Her company works almost exclusively with salvaged stones for the exterior and coping of its plunge pools. “Many clients opt for natural stone along the outside and coping of their plunge pools to enhance their landscapes with the stone’s durability, texture, and natural beauty,” Larson adds.

Cold plunging has become popular in the last few years. A cold plunge involves submerging yourself into cold water for a few minutes. The water is 50 degree Fahrenheit or cooler and most people who want to try it start with 30 seconds and build up to five to 10 minutes at a time. Those who do it regularly (which could be daily or weekly), say it’s a non-medically focused way to relieve joint pain and inflammation. Others find the act relieves stress and boosts their overall mood.   

Active participants might not be wrong. According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, “research indicates that icy water may have a positive effect on recovery after exercise by reducing inflammation and soreness. It also may help build resiliency, restore balance to the nervous system and improve cognitive function and mood.”

Other Ways to Take the Plunge

There are other ways to make your backyard an oasis. Larson says natural stones such as granite, limestone, and slate can be used as a decorative agent or creatively added to outdoor landscaping projects like pathways, patios, or retaining walls.  

Natural stone is a great choice for nearly any outdoor remodeling project as it’s incredibly durable, has timeless appeal, and requires little to no upkeep, according to Aaron Brundage, director of operations at System Pavers. “With stones available in a wide array of shapes and colors, it’s easy to create a personalized look that complements the aesthetic of your home,” he says.

Brundage offers four ideas for those who want to update or upgrade their outdoor living spaces:


One of Brundage’s favorite ways to incorporate natural stone into landscaping is to build a walkway. “Because stone is so durable, it will hold up well in any weather while creating a functional focal point that elevates the look of your yard,” he says. “You can use rounded coping stones to eliminate tripping hazards and give your walkway a finished look and pleasing aesthetic.”

Photo courtesy of System Pavers.

Fire pits

Fire pits are another beautifully practical way to use natural stone in your outdoor space. “By building a cozy and inviting space for friends and family to gather, you’ll give yourself more reasons to get outside and unwind while enjoying the view,” Brundage says. “A natural stone fire pit has a look that’s as stylish as it is classic.”

Photo courtesy of System Pavers.

Retaining walls

Retaining walls are a wonderful way to feature natural stone in your outdoor space with a look full of texture and warmth. “Consider building short stone retaining walls that define your space while giving guests more places to sit and hang out around your yard,” he suggests. 

Photo courtesy of System Pavers.

Outdoor kitchens

Some of Brundage’s top remodeling projects include creating gorgeous outdoor kitchens with natural stone. “Nothing looks more inviting than a built-in grilling station surrounded by stone counters that are just the right height for entertaining,” he says. “A professionally built outdoor kitchen that uses stones to their full potential is an investment in your home that adds lasting value while enhancing the way friends and family use your outdoors on a regular basis.”

Photo courtesy of System Pavers.

Grounded in Natural Stone Furniture

Another way to incorporate natural stone into your backyard is through custom furniture. According to Amy Hovis, an award-winning landscape designer and principal/owner of Eden Garden Design, and owner of Barton Springs Nursery in Austin, Texas, whether it’s crafting custom furniture or enhancing landscape designs, natural stone plays a pivotal role in grounding the space and fostering a deep connection with the natural environment.

“From majestic landscape boulders to smaller ones utilized as bases for furniture, the use of natural stone allows us to seamlessly merge the boundaries between the outdoors and interior settings, imparting a sense of continuity and harmony,” Hovis says. “It also introduces an element of surprise and intrigue, elevating the overall aesthetic appeal.”

Many of us enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible, especially when the weather cooperates. Creating a calming space makes it more appealing to get outside and stay outside. Whether it’s adding a plunge pool or other outdoor features, there is no shortage of opportunities to incorporate beautiful and long-lasting natural stone into the mix.