How To Choose The Perfect Water Feature For Your Space

Water features have long been a part of the landscape, but they’re also becoming an essential part of modern garden design. Water features are functional and add another dimension to your space, as well as being beautiful.

An Essential Guide to Water Features with Mark Lane
Choosing the perfect water feature for your space can offer a range of benefits, from reducing stress to enhancing the ambiance of your yard.
Consider your space, personal preferences, and budget when selecting the right water feature for your backyard. Additionally, think about practical considerations such as maintenance, water usage, and safety.
There are many types of water features available, from small fountains to large ponds, each offering its own unique aesthetic and functional benefits.
Water features can be made from a range of materials, including stone, concrete, metal, and glass. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Incorporating a water feature in a way that complements your existing landscaping involves considering the style, colors, and textures of your yard, as well as how the water feature will interact with other elements in your space.

Step 1: Choose A Style

There are many different styles of water features, so it’s important to choose one that fits the space you want to put it in. 

You can also choose a style based on the type of water feature and materials used in the water feature. 

For example, if you have a modern home with lots of glass and metal accents, then you may want to go for something more geometric or simple like this nature-inspired fountain from Pottery Barn:

Relaxing next to a water feature in your garden can do wonders for your mental and emotional state. As we explain in our guide on the surprising benefits of having a water feature, it can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase feelings of tranquility.

Step 2: Consider Size

The next step is to think about size. This is especially important when considering water features for your space, as you have to make sure the size of the feature will fit properly with the other elements in your outdoor landscape.

Size depends on a few factors:

  • style of your house (formal or casual)
  • budget (how much you’re willing to spend)
  • maintenance requirements (how much work are you willing to do?)

Size Considerations

Size ConsiderationDescription
Available SpaceConsider the size of your available space when choosing a water feature. Large features like ponds or waterfalls require more space than smaller features like fountains.
ScaleThe water feature you choose should be in scale with your yard and other elements in your outdoor living space.
Local Zoning RegulationsCertain localities may have zoning regulations that dictate the size of water features allowed. Research your local zoning laws before choosing a water feature.
BrandDifferent brands offer water features in a range of sizes; for example, Aquascape offers a variety of pond sizes to fit different outdoor spaces. Consider researching brands that offer a size that works best for your needs.
BudgetLarger water features tend to be more expensive than smaller ones. Consider your budget when choosing a water feature size.

Step 3: Consider The Location

Consider the location of your water feature. If you can, place it in a prominent spot that catches the eye. This will make it easier for guests to find and create an inviting sense of openness in an otherwise cramped or crowded space.

Think about the size and scale of your water feature. Is it too big, or too small? A large fountain will draw attention from across large rooms and spaces but smaller ones can fit into more intimate areas without overpowering them.

Consider what style you want for your fountain or pond: Mediterranean? Asian? Modern or traditional? Water features come in many different styles, so think about what fits best with your home decorating scheme before choosing one!

Think about how much maintenance will be involved; some fountains require little maintenance while others need cleaning weekly (or even daily).

Landscape lighting can transform your outdoor space, providing both practical and aesthetic benefits. If you’re interested in learning more, our ultimate guide to landscape lighting has everything you need to know to get started.

Step 4: Decide On A Water Feature Type

It’s time to think about your space and decide on a water feature type. The options are as varied as they are beautiful:

Pond. A pond makes a great addition to any outdoor space, whether it’s surrounded by lush foliage or an open field with minimal landscaping. A pond is also a good option if you’d like to add fish or turtles later—once the body of water has been established and has had time to mature, you can add these animals without worrying about their health or safety.

Fountain. Fountains provide flowing water without the mess of a waterfall or stream (and they’re less expensive than most other types). You’ll need some sort of pump if you want the fountain to keep flowing, but these can be easily hidden behind rocks or plants so as not to distract from your beautiful new feature!

Waterfall. Waterfalls are visually stunning additions that can create amazing sounds as well! They require more maintenance than fountains since there will be running water constantly flowing through them; however, because they’re an indoor/outdoor feature, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for most homeowners wanting such beauties in their lives! If you have questions regarding which type would suit best then contact us today!”

When designing an outdoor living area, there are many factors to consider. Our guide on the do’s and don’ts of creating a beautiful outdoor living area outlines some key considerations, such as choosing the right furniture, adding shade, and creating a focal point.

Step 5: Consider Maintenance

Now that you’ve made your choice, it’s time to consider maintenance. Some water features may require more maintenance than others; this is a good thing! The more work a feature needs, the more interesting its upkeep will be.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How often do I need to perform maintenance?
  • How much time will it take?
  • What tools and materials do I need for maintenance?

Maintenance Considerations

Maintenance ConsiderationDescription
Type of Water FeatureDifferent types of water features require different levels of maintenance. For example, ponds may require more maintenance than fountains.
MaterialCertain materials may be easier to maintain than others. For instance, resin materials are low-maintenance and easy to clean.
Water QualityWater features require clean water to function properly. Consider investing in high-quality filtration and treatment systems to keep the water clean.
LocationThe location of your water feature can impact the amount of maintenance required. For example, features located near trees may require more cleaning due to leaves and debris falling in the water.
BrandSome brands may offer easier maintenance and cleaning solutions, like Aquascape’s line of pond cleaning products. Consider researching and investing in high-quality maintenance products to make caring for your water feature easier.

Step 6: Consider Your Budget

Now that you’ve chosen your water feature, it’s time to consider the budget. What will be the total cost of your water feature?

What does a pump cost and how much should it handle? This can vary greatly based on location and size of the space. 

For example, if you’re installing a small fountain in an office lobby or at home by yourself, then even a basic pump might work well enough for low-pressure applications such as fountains with no moving parts (called still fountains). 

But if you’re planning on using more pressurized pumps like those found in public parks with misting systems or geysers, then they’ll most likely need professional installation as well—and that means paying someone else’s labor rate!

Will there be any plumbing involved (e.g., connecting pipes), and if so what kind of materials will we need for this project? If there are multiple levels such as basins within our proposed design then those may require different types of materials depending on where they fall within our budget range.”

Adding a water feature to your backyard can create a peaceful oasis for relaxation and entertaining. For inspiration on the types of water features available, check out our guide on the top 10 water features to transform your backyard.

Step 7: Diy Or Hire A Pro?

In the end, deciding to DIY or hire a pro is a personal choice. Some people will be able to do it all themselves, and others might want to save money by hiring someone else. The important thing is that you make an informed decision based on your passions, skillset and budget.

To find out what it would cost to hire someone else for this project, you can use websites like HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack where contractors list their rates. 

Otherwise you can search local classifieds for “water feature” or “water garden” and see if there are any ads filled with contractors specializing in these types of projects. If not, try searching for general landscaping/construction services in your area instead as they may have experience installing water features as well!

Step 8: Get Inspired

There are so many ways to get inspired for your water feature, from Pinterest to Houzz. You can also search for examples of water features in your neighborhood or on the internet. 

Ask friends and neighbors about their own outdoor spaces and ask them if they like their water features, or if they are planning on adding one soon.

Examples to Get Inspired
Incorporate a Murobond Paints tone that complements your water feature.
Decorate your water feature with West Elm accent pieces.
Surround your water feature with IKEA potted plants.
Add lighting to your water feature with Philips Hue outdoor lights.
Add a sculpture or statue from Campania International to your water feature area.

In this table, we suggest different brands and products to get inspired when creating your water feature oasis. From paint tones to accent pieces, lighting, and planters, we’ve included ideas for every aspect of your space.

By incorporating these products and brands, you can create a cohesive and stylish look that complements your water feature, transforming your outdoor space into a relaxing and inviting retreat.

Step 9: How To Rock Your New Water Feature In Your Yard Or Garden

Once you’ve chosen the perfect water feature, it’s time to make it look like it belongs in your yard or garden. We’re not talking about planting some landscaping around it; we mean making sure that the design of your water feature matches its surroundings.

If your yard is formal and elegant, a classic Chinese pagoda fountain might be perfect for you. And if you live in a modern home with clean lines and contemporary style, an industrial-looking copper or zinc fountain would be a great choice. 

If you’re looking for something more traditional, a Tuscan-style fountain may fit right into your decorating scheme (see our article on Tuscan fountains here).

On the other hand, if you want something that feels more natural or rustic but still looks good with contemporary styles, maybe consider a rock garden or stone wall waterfall instead of traditional fountains? 

Or maybe even go old school by choosing an antique stone basin from which water trickles down into another container below? These are just some ideas if none of them seem like they’d work out in your space then don’t worry! Just keep reading this guide until we tell you which type would be best suited for yours!

If you’re looking for a way to enhance your landscaping while also gaining some practical benefits, consider incorporating a water feature. As we explain in our guide on the benefits of incorporating a water feature into your landscaping, it can help improve air quality, attract wildlife, and conserve water by reducing the need for irrigation.


When it comes to choosing the perfect water feature for your space, there are a few things you should consider first. The first thing is that not all types of water features are suitable for all types of spaces. 

For example, if you have limited space in your garden or balcony then maybe a small fountain would be more appropriate than a large pond or pool. 

On the other hand, if you have plenty of room then go ahead and pick something big!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about choosing the perfect water feature for your space, check out these helpful resources:

Choose the Right Water Feature for Your Project: This guide from Projex offers advice on selecting the right water feature for your backyard, from size and shape to materials and location.

How to Choose the Perfect Water Feature for Your Garden: Sculpt Gardens provides helpful tips for choosing a water feature that complements your garden’s layout, style, and atmosphere.

How to Choose the Right Water Feature: This guide from Haddonstone offers insight on selecting the right water feature for your specific needs and preferences, from small fountains to large ponds.


What are the benefits of having a water feature in my space?

Water features can offer numerous benefits, such as reducing stress, improving air quality, enhancing the ambiance of your outdoor space, and attracting wildlife.

How do I choose the right water feature for my backyard?

Consider your space, including its size, layout, and style, as well as your personal preferences and budget. Additionally, think about practical considerations such as maintenance, water usage, and safety.

Do water features require a lot of maintenance?

The amount of maintenance required will depend on the type and size of water feature you choose. Generally, smaller features like fountains require less maintenance, while larger features like ponds may require more.

What materials are commonly used in water feature construction?

Water features can be made from a variety of materials, including stone, concrete, metal, and glass. Each material offers its own unique aesthetic and functional benefits.

How can I incorporate a water feature in a way that complements my existing landscaping?

Consider the style, colors, and textures of your existing landscape when choosing a water feature. Additionally, think about how the water feature will interact with other elements in your yard, such as plants, patios, and walkways.