How to Host the Ultimate Pool Party with Jana Bek

Photos by Marta Perez

We envy Jana Bek of Jana Bek Design for numerous reasons: her seemingly effortless ability to transform a space (case in point: her recent living room makeover), her colorful brushstroke lamps and, especially this time of year, her ability to throw a crowd-pleasing pool party. Since we can’t all get an invite to her next big fete, we asked her for the next best thing: a healthy dose of her pool party wisdom. Our biggest takeaway? Planning for everything that happens out of the pool is just as, if not more, important than making sure you have enough pool floats and games.


“Extra towels, water and sunscreen are must-haves. I create a “station” so guests can easily access all of these items. Infusing the water with berries makes it more tempting for little ones to stay hydrated! Some sort of mosquito control – citronella candles, sprays or bug zappers – will keep your guests from worrying about bites.”


“I find that the relaxed atmosphere of being outside puts everyone more at ease. Unless I’m having a more formal dinner, I encourage guests to come and go as they please. I often have food ready that’s tasty at room temperature to accommodate an open-house type of atmosphere.”


“For any gathering, music creates an ambience that can’t be beat. Pandora is great in a pinch or you can enlist a music-loving friend to create a custom playlist for the vibe you want.”


“The more umbrellas the better! Creating multiple shaded spots for guests to gather will help prevent sunburn and sun fatigue. Our market umbrellas tilt, which makes them so easy to shift with the sun throughout the day.”

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“Most of our friends and family are happy catching up and chatting, but there are a few items I’ve always found useful to have on hand: decks of cards, magazines for those who want to relax or sunbathe, and a few yard games for more active guests.”


“There is nothing worse than a broken glass around a pool. These melamine ruffle plates and plastic stemware are pretty and indestructible!”


See Jana’s portfolio of work at

My favorite thing about summer is …
Reading by the pool! I’m a redhead, and burn easily so you’ll always find me under an umbrella, with SPF 50 on.

 The best thing about having a pool is …
Being able to swim anytime I want.

 My preferred pool entrance is …
A dive! I was too afraid to for so long, so now that I’ve finally learned, I take every chance to do so.

 My go-to conversation starter …
What would be your perfect weekend?

 My signature emoji is …
?  I follow so many amazing designers so I’m constantly inspired by the stunning spaces they designed.