Tom Brady's Yard Exemplifies This Growing Outdoor Trend — This is the Secret Behind Its Design

In a recently shared snap of the former NFL star's yard, there's no denying what the star of the show is

Tom Brady
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there's one thing we love just as much as a peek inside a celebrity's home, it's a peek inside their yard — and when former NFL quarterback Tom Brady gave us a fleeting glance on his Instagram Stories this week, we weren't disappointed.

The view from his home into the backyard of the mansion he has on the Miami waterfront has some serious wow-factor, but it's not the lush lawn, palm trees or even the patio furniture that's the star of the show — it's got to be the pool. Opting for a pool that looks more natural in color is a growing trend in backyard ideas, and we wanted to know how to get the look.

Luckily, outdoor designer Brad Holley, Design Director at Pure Design, is an expert in all things swimming pool, and he knew exactly what we needed to know about Tom's showstopping design.

tom brady's backyard

(Image credit: @tombrady)

How to get a natural color pool

Tom Brady's pool embraces the backyard trend for a more natural-looking finish, over the classic light blue you often see. But how is it achieved? 'What you’re seeing is a pool with a mirror-like finish on the surface of the water,' Brad tells us. 'You do this by utilizing the darkest varieties of plaster (finishes like “Black Onyx” by PebbleSheen or “Glossy Black” by WetEdge just to name a couple), or if money is truly no object, you can even choose to line the entire pool interior with black or dark tile.'

You might be forgiven for thinking the pool has a green-y tone, but this might just be down to a visual trick. 'It makes the water appear black, and when it’s still, it’s almost perfectly reflective on top. In this photo, the water might even look dark green,' Brad explains. 'That’s because the pool is reflecting the green of the giant hedge wall behind it. Another dramatic trick you can play with a pool like this is to place half of a shape just beyond the rear of the pool so that when viewed from in front of the pool, the mirror-like surface completes the shape with its reflection.'

Brad Holley Pure Design
Brad Holley

Brad is an award-winning outdoor and pool designer based in Texas, and the Design Director of Pure Design. He has designed and collaborated on outdoor projects with swimming pools ranging from $100,000s to millions of dollars.

It's a dynamic look but it's not a trend that's for everyone. 'I would say that while black finishes in pools are certainly more common than they used to be, it’s still only reserved for the discerning few who have a very specific look in mind,' Brad says. 'It’s generally the homeowner who wants their pool to double as a piece of art to gaze upon. Because a downside to dark plasters is that they also retain more heat.'

So why is that a problem? 'Well, most people want a pool so that they can escape the heat and cool off. Dark pools can more quickly turn into bath water than their lighter counterparts do, and that’s not very refreshing in mid-August when it’s 110°F outside.'

Creating an infinity effect

It's not the only element that adds the wow-factor to Tom's pool. If you look closely, the boundary is beautifully minimalist, with the water sitting flush with the edge of the above ground pool. 'At first glance, this may appear to be a basic modern rectangle filled with water, but this pool is so much more than that. If you look closely at the right edge of the pool in this image you’ll notice that the entire structure is actually raised out-of-the-ground,' Brad explains. 'This was done to create what’s known as a “Perimeter Overflow” effect.'

It's a clever design that helps create this subtle infinity pool effect. 'This is when a pool is designed so that the water actually spills out over all four sides and into a hidden catch basin/gutter where it’s then recirculated back into the pool. Now, the pool doesn’t necessarily have to be raised to achieve this, but I tend to think that you get more drama when it is. And when done correctly this makes for one of the most stunning features you can incorporate into a pool, and Tom’s is no exception.'

'Furthermore, because a gap is needed in order for water to fall into the hidden gutter system, it ends up giving a raised pool like this one the illusion that you’re witnessing a big, watery cube somehow hovering within the surrounding pool deck,' Brad adds. 'With such a stunning outdoor space, I imagine Tom has made some very good memories here with Vivi, Ben and Jack.'

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of

Hugh is the  Editor of From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.