Since we installed our pool, it’s become increasingly more evident each time we’re outside what we actually use (and use often), and what we thought we would use (that doesn’t get used as often as we’d assumed.) Many of my poolside faves have been shared in one way or another, either on KN or on social, this year or in years past. But now that we’re actually active in the backyard regularly, I finally have a reason to compile my proven pool essentials… those things I reach for each and every time we get in the pool. This isn’t a beach list (though I do consider many of what I’ve included in today’s post to be “musts” for the beach, too) — these are specific to enjoying pool days.
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*Note: 4th of July Deals & Sales can be found at the bottom of today’s post!
13 Proven Pool Essentials
Below, you’ll find my favorite personal items with everything from lounge and leisure to protection and hydration (and why I hold them in such high regard). Most everything featured comes in several prints/patterns and if you’re planning a pool day over the holiday celebration days ahead, several items are linked via Amazon and are available for quick delivery.
*All links can be found below the following graphic.*
Sources: 1. Striped Beach Towel (currently on sale!) | 2. Waterproof Pouch | 3. Waterproof Portable Blue Tooth Speaker | 4. Stanley Quencher Tumbler | 5. Swig Life Skinny Can Cooler | 6. Air Pods | 7. “The Bodyguard” Paperback Book | 8. Slide Sandals | 9. Book Seat Book Rest | 10. Corkcicle Chillpod | 11. Pool to Party Cover Up | 12. Sun Bum Sun Screen | 13. Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick w/Sun Screen
Our favorite striped towels (Number 1) come in multiple sizes (3 sizes, actually — I prefer the largest for lounging), multiple colors (currently 9!), and are currently on sale HERE. We had purchased them when they were way more limited in color options and were reversible. They now come in a BUNCH of colors and are the same stripe color on both sides (which I prefer). I love the heft and absorbency, quality, and my favorite little feature is that they feature a loop for easy hanging. You can seem them hanging on our new poolside hooks (installed by moi 😉 ) below.
By the way, if you want to see them getting installed in real time, you can catch my Instagram reel HERE.
We don’t have a pool house, outdoor closet, or really any dedicated space for housing our outdoor/pool things so I’ve tried to get creative with simple solutions for storage and organization. You can expect a post on that specific topic soon! 😉
Along with towels and totes and cover-ups, you may spy my favorite small bluetooth outdoor speaker (Number 3) hanging from a hook, too. Despite its small size, it gets loud, sounds great, and lasts for hours. It’s also waterproof and goes with us on any beach trip, picnic, or outdoor event. It’s so great, I feel no need to have some sort of speakers installed outside. Dave has a block rocker but due to its size, it’s used infrequently — THIS ONE is what I grab for daily and until I find a permanent solution for our pool gear, it sits on a shelf above the desk in our kitchen.
We primarily make daytime our pool time and during the day, seltzers are our go-to. Naturally, I needed a koozie of sorts to fit the skinny cans but it wasn’t until I ordered and tried THIS ONE (Number 5) that I decided it was a major deal. And subsequently ordered one for Dave. Followed by ordering one for my mom. And ultimately ordering one as a spare for guests. This thing keeps cans cold for hours — even in the direct hot sun — even when you’re barely sipping. For. Hours. You can find them HERE on Amazon in more than 40 patterns — each pattern varies in price but there’s currently a coupon promo attached to the listing for 20% off. I can’t decide on a favorite pattern but I love “Party Animal” — if I wasn’t practicing being minimal-ish, I’d order it to add to our collection 😉
Sources: Swig Life Skinny Can Cooler (44 colors available!)
And, along with my seltzers, I always, always, always am carrying my 40 oz. Stanley (Number 4). Here’s the thing. Some people don’t get the big deal about these big insulated mugs. I say these people must not be serious water drinkers, haha. Because I carry mine around all day, every day, and fill it at a minimum, four times. It sits on my nightstand overnight and is the first thing I resume when I open my eyes in the morning. I have two that I switch between (so when one is dirty, I can use the other). I have “practical” black and white colors, but yesterday, I actually ordered the new lavender color they just released HERE. The 2.0 version IS better than the original and in general the tumbler is superior to my old Reduce mugs. They stay cold and I never go anywhere without one — especially to hang in the pool.
Number 8 — one piece slide sandals that feel like walking on clouds. Fantastic arch support and so comfortable, if I’m not wearing my sneakers or house slippers, I’m wearing these. I’ve worn this casual slide almost exclusively this summer and despite my efforts to move away from “if you love something enough, buy it in every color”, I have failed here. I started with two colors but have gone back individually to purchase two additional colors. The last time, my mom also found out why I was so hyped on them and also purchased two pairs. If in-between sizes, size DOWN. TBH, I wear them everywhere but they’re poolside MVPs because they dry so quickly and are so cushy on the otherwise hard pool decking.
If I’m by myself and want to lay back and close my eyes, I make sure to have my AirPods (Number 6) on hand for audiobooks (the noise-cancellation is KEY, to me, in all activities from lounging for peace, to when I’m doing chores to mute all the water and noise, to when I’m walking to cut out the sound of the treadmill.)
But, more often than not, I’m bringing a paperback to the pool. I’m reading all the books this summer (did you catch THIS post?) and I love standing on the side of the pool, elbows propped on a towel on the side, while getting lost in an easy, happy FUN book. while The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (Number 7) is at the tippy top of my list for “easy, quick, fun, happy, and humor” so far this summer, here are a few other faves that fit that specific criteria for maximum enjoyment…
- The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
- The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
- When In Rome by Sarah Adams (in progress but LOVING)
- By a Thread by Lucy Score (in progress but LOVING)
And also speaking of books — and you would have seen this already if you read THIS post — but if I’m lounging on my loungers, I found that THIS clever book seat (Number 9) not only is an awesome aid for inside, but it’s perfect to relax with outside. It’s a lightweight beanbag type of material and filling and easily stays put on your lap/thighs (or if you’re inside, on a table/bed/pillow) and it holds your pages in place perfectly so your hands don’t get tired. There’s a bungee cord that secures the acrylic bar to the book and it’s become one of my fave gadgets. It also has a velcro pouch on the back for your book light (see my three-light one HERE)/bookmarks (see my magnetic ones HERE). You can find it on Amazon in a bunch of colors HERE.
Sources: Book Seat Book Rest
THIS cooler (Number 10) is adorable but it’s also efficient, holds ice well, has several cool features, and is what we use to keep our drinks poolside. I first put this on my Christmas wishlist (and then Dave bought it for me in pink as a gift) this past Christmas. It actually has a cutting board inside (with integrated bottle opener) that separates the cooler into two compartments. You can use both for beverages, one for ice and one for dry, and even use it to better organize a picnic. Bonus — the pink, white, and purple colors are currently $54 off right now HERE!
Sources: Corkcicle Chillpod (currently on sale!)
Yep, I’m still talking about THIS cover-up (Number 11). Which this year, became a casual breezy shirt, also, and my exclusive pool-side and backyard uniform. They’re 36% off right now (HERE) and as such many of the colors are gone, but there are still a few staples available. This is another one that I got my mom onto, also. I stuck with my regular size for an oversized, cover-up fit.
Sources: Pool to Party Cover Up (currently on sale!)
When it comes to skin protection, THIS sunscreen (Number 12) (available in a few different SPFs, up to 70) in SPF 50 is my go to for our whole fam. In my personal experience, it’s the best I’ve found in terms of affordability meets quality. And, since we go through a TON, both factors are important. I use it on body, face, me, Eliza… When my friend came over, she raved about how evenly it went on, even though it’s a spray. I will continue to purchase it on repeat, as needed.
And a fave for more than a decade, I keep THIS lip balm with sunscreen (Number 13) stashed everywhere — including my pool zip pouch. As much as I love it in the winter for dry and wind chapped lips, I probably love it in the summer sun even more.
Sources: Stone Planter (XL)
If you missed the pool reveal with all the details, you can check that out HERE. We feel so fortunate to be spending our summer in a backyard we now love — it feels like the first actual summer I can remember and we are relishing in it.
Sources: Chaise Lounges (set of 2) | Umbrella (black pole/canvas sand w/black trim) | Umbrella Stand & Weight (currently on sale!) | Outdoor Side Table | Stone Planter (XL) | Striped Pillow Covers (24 x 24, set of 2) | Pillow Inserts (26 x 26, set of 2)
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More Posts to Check Out
4th of July Weekend Sales & Deals
Check out some of the noteworthy deals and sales happening this weekend!
Tap on the retailer below…
Serena & Lily — up to 40% off everything (some of the best deals they’ve had this year)
- My woven pendant in my office is 45% off (!!!) in both sizes, this weekend HERE
- Eliza’s rattan storage trunk is $100 off HERE
- Our favorite lidded storage baskets (we have all the sizes) are more than 40% off this weekend HERE! INSANE deal!
- My 48″round white dining table in the breakfast nook is 30% off this weekend! The 60″ size is even less, and 43% off HERE!
- We use these bath mats in our bathroom; they are currently 34% off this weekend!
Anthropologie — Extra 40% off sale
- My black cane sideboard in the breakfast nook is 40% off!
- My Primrose mirror (I have the gold 5′) is 25% off.
Pottery Barn — Up to 50% off; free shipping on 1000s of items
- My breakfast nook beaded chandelier is 15% off
- The wool & jute rug in dining room (and living room) is 25% off
- My big terracotta beaded garland is on rare sale for 20% off
- My glass-topped console table is on rare sale for 15% off
Pottery Barn Kids — Up to 70% off; free shipping on 1000s of items
- The cute Windsor style play chairs in the playroom are 30% off.
- Our favorite kids’ beach towels are 45% off and ship for free!
Pottery Barn Teen — Up to 70% off
- THIS backlit mirror is awesome! Featured in my newsletter, it’s on sale again!
West Elm — Up to 60% off; free shipping on 1000s of items
- These marble trays that we have on our vanities are 20 – 30% off, depending on the size. It’s also perfect to corral items by your kitchen sink!
American Eagle — 30% off everything!
- I LOVE THIS oversized button down shirt — a perfect transition, universal piece!
Aerie — End of Season Sale (40%-70% off sitewide!)
- My favorite summer uniform (cover-up/top) HERE is finally on sale for the first time!
- My favorite hoodie of the year is now 40% off HERE!
Williams Sonoma — Up to 50% off cookware, cutlery, electrics & more
- Several Le Creuset Dutch oven colors (HERE) are on clearance (in lots of sizes) and have an ADDITIONAL 20% off with code EXTRA!
Mark & Graham — Up to 70% off; plus free shipping on $200+ with code: SUMMER
Rejuvenation — Up to 60% off
- My catwalk flush mount lights are discounted this weekend HERE
McGee & Company — Summer Tent Sale (up to 70% off)
- Check out the sale items HERE
Ballard Designs — 20% – 40% off sitewide; free shipping on 100s of summer items
- My pool umbrellas are no longer available, but THESE fringed pagoda umbrellas are gorgeous and on sale!
H&M — 15% off sitewide; plus up to 70% off sale
Lulu and Georgia — 20% off everything, including markdowns
J Crew — extra 60% off sale; use code: FOURTH
- I recently purchased THESE raffia earrings in blue (on sale for $8 w/ code FOURTH); the natural color are just over $5 right now HERE!
J Crew Factory — 20% off purchases $100+; 25% off purchases $125+ w/ code CELEBRATE (plus, 40%-70% off sitewide)
Visual Comfort — 20%-50% off sitewide and free shipping
- My powder room sconce is 30% off
- My beaded two-tier bedroom chandelier is 20% off
- My stairway sconce is 20% off
- My conversation room chandelier is 20% off
- My entry lantern pendant is 20% off
- My living room chandelier is 20% off
The Company Store — 30% off $500+; 25% off 300+; 15% off $150+ w/ code JULY4
Rifle Paper Co. — 30% off sale items with code: SALE30
Bedrosians Tile and Stone — 25% off tile, vinyl and select slabs with code: LIBERTY23
Corksicle — 20% off sitewide with code: MDAY20; free shipping on $49+
- My cute pink ChillPod I got as a Christmas gift is now 20% off! This thing is so nifty and I’ll be using it poolside all summer!
Wayfair — Fourth of July Clearance, Up to 70% Off, plus free shipping
- My bathroom vanity is back in stock, is on sale, and ships for free.
- My sherpa storage bench is almost 50% off and ships for free.
- Eliza’s pink and purple oriental bedroom rug is almost 70% off with free shipping.
- My powder room vanity is on major sale, ships free, and is an EXTRA 20% off w/ code SAVE20
- My bathroom faucet is 49% off and ships for free
- The tufted storage bench in the playroom is 60% off, ships free, and is an EXTRA 20% off w/ code SAVE20
- My cane back accent chair is 30% off and ships for free.
- My round living room end table is 52% off and ships for free.
- My two-tiered living room chandelier is 20% off.
- My kitchen bar cone pendants are 40% off!
- My upholstered accent stools that I’ve used all over the house are currently 51% off and qualify for an additional 20% off with code: SAVE20 and ship for free.
Arhaus — Fourth of July Event
- The glass front cabinet that is similar to mine is more than 30% off. My mom has it in the Earl Grey color.
etuHome — 20% off sitewide with code: 20JULY
- My favorite maker of wooden grazing boards, one good one is all you need! Find them HERE.
Janie & Jack — extra 20% off sale, plus free shipping, up to 70% off sitewide
- So excited THIS swimsuit has dropped so low! My FAVORITE style for Eliza!!
Kendra Scott — 20% off fashion jewelry; 2 styles for $80
Frontgate — Up to 70% off sitewide; extra 30% off of clearance