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How To Hide a Hot Tub – Unique Design Solutions

Looking across the breadth of our projects, there are a certain number of commonly requested features. That is, a bulk of our clients are interested in including similar elements in their outdoor space. These include pergolas, patios, fire pits, and of course, hot tubs.


Just like pools, building a custom spa is expensive and many of our clients opt for store bought hot tubs over most costly custom options. Unfortunately, while these spas are functionally great, they are necessarily aesthetically pleasing. Thus, we’ve had to address a similar question time and time again: How do you hide a hot tub while enhancing the overall design of the space?


At Water and Earth, we pride ourselves on our ingenuity and creativity. Design challenges are part of what motivates us to innovate. Over the years, we’ve found countless ways to hide store bought hot tubs within an upscale outdoor design. The finished results have been beautiful.


From custom covers to creative layouts, here are some of our favorite ways we’ve hidden commercial hot tubs within a modern outdoor living space.


Covered by IPE

To hide this hot tub, IPE wood expands from the deck to completely cover the sides.

All designs should be seamless. The mark of a great outdoor space is one where the transition between elements feels natural. In these projects, we’ve hidden the sides of the commercial spa with the same IPE wood used to construct the main deck.

The IPE wood creates walls around all four sides of the spa, with enough room for the hot tub to nest comfortably within it. As a result, the eye is able to move over the space uninterrupted, and access to the spa remains unobstructed. Not only does this allow the hot tub to be hidden, it also creates an opportunity to highlight more of the beauty of this natural material.

Another example of a spa covered in IPE wood and fully blended into the surrounding deck.

This particular approach can be executed in multiple ways. In the first direction, the edge of the spa is low enough in comparison to the deck to be functional without the inclusion of stairs. In the second project, you can see a set of IPE steps has been added. A benefit of this solution is that it can be easily customized to fit your space and looks absolutely beautiful, while simultaneously remaining straightforward in its execution.


Recessed into Decking

In this finished project the hot tub is recessed into the deck, allowing the surface of the water and the decking to be level.

For clients looking for an even more minimalistic look, we approached this challenge in a new way. Instead of creating a structure to cover an elevated hot tub, we found a way to give an inground look to an above ground spa.

In this client’s backyard, we decided to create a deck that would not only act as a tanning space and seating for the custom pool, but as a vessel for the client’s spa as well. The result is a hot tub that is completely flush to the surface of the deck. This leveling effect allows for easy access to the water, as well as transforming the hot tub from a design challenge to a design attribute.


When all was said and done, this hot tub was not only hidden, but acted as a visual balance to the homeowner’s pool. Add some twinkly lights and a set of deck chairs, and you’ve got everything you need for a relaxing evening at home, or a pool party with friends and family.


Custom Steps

An elevated corner spa, surrounded by custom steps and a custom privacy screen.

Sometimes you need to do the best with what you have. When concealing the sides of a store bought hot tub isn’t an option, we will find other ways to integrate the spa into the design. The key here is not to completely obscure the spa, but to find ways to make it look its best within the design.

In this landscape design challenge, we elevated the spa in a literal sense. Placing the hot tub in a corner automatically hides two sides. For the remaining edges, we installed a series of custom steps. This gives our clients easy access to the hot tub, while allowing the piece to become partially recessed, hiding the base of the tub. Around it, spot lighting, a large, wooden privacy screen, and a series of plantings softens harsh edges.


By integrating the hot tub into the design and focusing on the environment surrounding it, the eye doesn’t catch on the tub itself. Rather, it seamlessly moves around the space allowing the hot tub to essentially hide in plain sight, elevated by its surroundings.


Blocked by the Bar

In this backyard living space, the layout of other elements play a big part in disguising a commercial hot tub.

Finally, we wanted to give an example of how the general layout of a space can serve more than one purpose. For this landscape design challenge, we decided to pair multiple elements together to increase functionality while hiding the client’s hot tub.


Instead of recessing the hot tub, or covering the sides with wood, we decided to let design elements within the space do double duty. We knew that the homeowners were interested in having an outdoor bar and that space was limited. We also knew that they wanted to hide their commercial hot tub. This considered, we made the decision to position the bar flush to one side of the hot tub.

By making this choice, we were able to completely hide one exposed side of the tub while simultaneously creating a “swim up bar” effect. The result is a functional bar space where guests in the hot tub can chat easily with those seated at the bar.


We finished the additional exposed side of the hot tub with a series of wooden steps that tie in beautifully with the property’s perimeter fence. Finishing the design area is a small patio space beneath the bar, and a series of concrete steppers leading towards the rest of the space.


Find The Design Solution That’s Right For You

At the end of the day, the name of the game is creativity. Part of our mission is to pursue creative design solutions that not only look great, but enhance functionality and fit our clients lifestyle. Not every design problem can have an identical solution. When it comes to hiding a hot tub, there is no one size fits all fix.


From custom bars, to fully “built-in” finishes, hiding a hot tub will look different depending on your space. But at the end of the day, it’s always possible, and it’s always worth it. The client is able to save money while simultaneously achieving a luxury look, and we are able to continue expanding our creative limits. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!


Visit Our Blog

Looking for more unique design solutions? Visit our blog! From in-process projects to fully finished outdoor space, we have all the inspiration you need to start dreaming about your own custom backyard.


For day to day updates on all of our latest projects, follow us on Instagram!

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