16 Expert Tips For Designing The Perfect Water Feature

Water features are a great way to add beauty and serenity to your home or garden. But they can also be tricky to design and install. 

That’s why we’ve compiled our favorite tips from designers and landscapers into one resource that will help you create the perfect water feature for your home or garden.

Pay Attention To Your Water Fountain Design
Determine the purpose and style of your water feature before designing.
Choose a water feature that fits the size and shape of your outdoor space.
Incorporate lighting to enhance the atmosphere of your water feature.
Consider the sound and movement of the water for added sensory appeal.
Use natural materials like rocks and plants to create a seamless transition between the water feature and surrounding landscape.
Determine the type of water source and plumbing needed for the feature.
Install a pump and filtration system to keep the water healthy and debris-free.
Be mindful of safety considerations, especially if children or pets will have access to the area.
Experiment with different water feature shapes and configurations, such as multiple levels or waterfalls.
Consider the maintenance involved in the type of water feature you choose.
Choose a design that resonates with your personal style and interests.
Take inspiration from other water features, but put your own unique spin on the design.
Be creative with feature placement, such as on a hillside or tucked into a corner.
Use water features to create a focal point or anchor for your outdoor living space.
Consider incorporating seating areas or other elements that encourage relaxation around the water feature.
Don’t be afraid to seek input from a professional when designing your water feature.


The style of your water feature should match the style of your home. This can be a personal choice, but if you are not sure what style to choose, ask friends and family members for their opinions.

From large fountains to small ponds, there are many types of water features to choose from. Our guide on how to choose the perfect water feature can help you determine the best fit for your space and needs.


Size is the most important factor in deciding which water feature you should install. The size of your space, style and budget will determine how big or small it can be.

It’s also important to consider how much water you need and what kind of watering options are available in your area. 

If there’s no natural water source nearby and you have a large yard, then it might make sense to install a large pond instead of multiple small fountains like we did with our backyard oasis project!

AspectSuggested Size
Available SpaceChoose a water feature that complements the size and shape of your outdoor space.
Water CapacitySelect a reservoir or basin size that can accommodate your desired water feature without overflowing or going dry.
Feature HeightFor fountains or waterfalls, choose a height and width that fits in proportionally with the size of your space.
Pump SizeThe size of the pump should be appropriate for the water feature’s size, design, and flow rate.
LightingChoose lighting fixtures that match the size and surface area of the water feature and the surrounding space.


The shape of your water feature is an important consideration. The shape should be in harmony with the style, size and function of your garden or backyard space.

The shape will also influence how safe it is for children or pets to play around the water feature so it’s worth considering this aspect as well when choosing what type of design best suits your needs.

Water features can add a sense of tranquility to any outdoor space. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our article on water feature ideas for your outdoor space.


Functionality is a key factor when designing a water feature. You want something that looks good, but also works well and is easy to use. 

A functional water feature should be safe for children and pets as well, so make sure you take these things into account before deciding on what type of water feature would work best for your space.

Have you ever wondered about the historical significance of water features in landscaping? Discover the fascinating role they have played in outdoor design in our article on the history of water features in landscaping.


When designing a water feature, it’s important to consider safety. Here are a few tips:

  • Put a barrier around the water feature so that children and pets cannot get into it.
  • Make sure your water feature is not in an area where people could trip over it or fall into it by accident.

Safety Considerations

AspectSafety Tip
ElectricalHire a licensed electrician for hard-wired fountains and lighting, and use GFCI outlets.
Water DepthDesign the water feature with a shallow area or a safety cover over deeper water.
Slippery SurfacesUse slip-resistant materials on walkways and surrounding surfaces.
FencingInstall a safety fence around the water feature to prevent accidents.
VisibilityPlace the water feature in a well-lit, visible area to monitor activity and prevent accidents.
Child-ProofingConsider locking covers, latches, and gates to prevent access by unsupervised children or pets.


Once you’ve chosen a fountain, the next step is to think about maintenance. The frequency of maintenance will vary depending on what kind of water feature you choose. For example, if you have an indoor fountain that uses a pump and filter system (like this one), then it will need to be cleaned every few months. 

This can be done by simply removing the pump from its housing and scrubbing out any debris from inside with warm soapy water before rinsing off any remaining soap residue with clear fresh water and letting everything dry overnight. 

If your outdoor pond has algae growing on its surface, then we recommend using an algae remover like Pond Zapper or Liquid Copper Algaecide which will kill off all traces of green slime without harming other plants or animals living in your pond!

If your fountain doesn’t come with instructions–or if yours has been neglected for too long–here are some general tips:

Change out 2/3rds – 1/2 fullness each time you clean out your pond (depending on how dirty/slimy it gets). This should help keep things looking fresh without having too much excess water sitting around waiting for things like mosquitoes!

Incorporating a water feature into your landscaping design can provide many benefits beyond just aesthetics. Explore our article on the benefits of incorporating a water feature into your landscaping to learn more.

Watering Options

The first step to designing your water feature is choosing a watering option. There are several options to choose from, each with its own pros and cons:

  • Pondless Waterfall

A pondless waterfall is a great choice for people who want the look of natural rock without actually having to build a pond. 

The pump sits in the ground and draws up water from an underground reservoir or well that you dig yourself, then sends it back down through PVC pipes attached to rocks that act as filters before they spill into another pool below them–or onto plants! You can also get kits with solar panels so you don’t need electricity.

  • Submersible Pump With Filter And Solar Panel (Or Lawn Sprinkler System)

This setup uses an automatic pump connected directly beneath your existing garden hose faucet, along with some sort of filter (e.g., sand) and solar panel(s). 

It might seem like overkill at first glance because there’s already running water available nearby anyway–but remember: this system will be completely self-contained once installed so long as everything works properly!

Did you know that water features provide more than just a pleasant sight and sound? Learn 10 surprising benefits of having a water feature in your home in our informative article.


Water features are a great way to add beauty and functionality to your yard. They can also be a source of stress if they’re not designed properly, so make sure you do your research before making any decisions about what type of water feature would work best in your space.