27 Ways to Add Privacy to Your Backyard
Sometimes the neighbors aren't invited...
pWhether you're looking to block out the neighbors, hide an unattractive view or carve out some dedicated space in your backyard, creating privacy can sometimes be a tricky pursuit. But there are actually a lot of great options depending on your space and your family's needs. We've rounded up our favorite ideas for creating some private spaces in your backyard or on your balcony this summer. No matter what your budget is or how tiny your space is, we've got a solution for you.
Using a portable partition can help create privacy anywhere in your backyard. And best of all, because the partition is easy to move around, you can use it for a variety of functions. Use it to create an area for kids, or use it to create a separate seating area.
Small Deck With Custom Vertical Garden, Wood Privacy Wall and Bright Blue Accents
When you’re dreaming of green acres but living with the reality of a small terrace, consider using vertical spaces like walls or railings for plantings. Here, Guido Keller of Lotus Gardenscape used a custom-made wall planter by Ore to create a vertical garden. The client chose a brightly patterned rug and simple furnishings to complete the inviting effect.
Jeeheon Cho; Design By: Guido Keller, Lotus Gardenscapes
Living walls have been getting more and more popular over the past few years and for a good reason; they look fab and do a great job of creating privacy. If you don't have a green thumb, check in with a local nursery or landscaper to figure out what will work best on your living wall. Here, Guido Keller of Lotus Gardenscape uses a custom-made wall planter by Ore to create a vertical garden which blocks out a good chunk of this home's neighboring view, creating some quiet privacy in the backyard.
Trees & Shrubs
Going natural and choosing trees and shrubs is always a great idea for creating a bit of privacy in your outdoor space. If you're lucky enough to have a backyard, you're really only limited by your own budget. Again, it's a good idea to check in with a nursery or landscaper to see what trees or shrubs might best fit your needs. For older homes, you may find that there are already several trees that you can simply add to fill in. If you have a small balcony, you can use potted trees or shrubs to easily block off your space.
Metal Wall Screen
This metal wall screen is a chic and modern solution for a larger backyard area. In this example by Spry Architecture, the wall screen is blocking off some unsightly pool equipment, an AC handler and other backyard eyesores ... but you'd never know. Coordinating your outdoor lighting will help the metal screens look much more intentional and fit in seamlessly with your outdoor space.
One Tall Hedge
Backyard Pool With White Lounge Chairs
This backyard swimming pool features a shallow tanning ledge and three lounge chairs for ultimate relaxation. A tall hedge offers privacy and shade.
If you don’t want to be troubled with a variety of different trees and shrubs, consider one large, tall hedge as your outdoor privacy solution. This setup can be a great option if you want to create something that looks and feels like a natural outdoor fence. You can choose to go with a taller hedge, or if you have a bit more flexibility, you can buy a slightly shorter one with the intent that it will grow over the next few years. Design by Emily Mughannam for Fletcher Rhodes Interior Styling and Design
Mark McWilliams Photography
To create privacy without entirely blocking off an area from view, try something like this chic fence screen by MESA Design Group. Instead of placing each piece of wood flush against the last, create the look of a screen by leaving a small amount of space in between each piece of your fencing. It's a modern, stylish look that could look great with a variety of different homes.
Here, the front entryway to the home features a woven trellis frame and wall for privacy. You can also use your open trellises to allow greenery to grow into it. If you have a balcony, you can add larger trellis pieces to a variety of different potted plants in the hopes that the plants will soon cover it up completely.
Scenic across the table at the back of the yard looking toward the veggie patch at the home of Justine and James Finney which underwent a makeover that turned the large, plain yard into a sustainable safari in the suburbs. The vegetable garden will give the couple and their baby some wholesome, home grown fruits and vegetables. The large pergola will offer shade as well as seating for their lounging guests and dining guest while the barbeque master can interact with guests from the outdoor kitchen attached to the pergola. The breakfast deck built off the bedroom, along with a new door that will allow the couple to head to the deck directly from their room, allow them to enjoy the morning light. The french doors newly installed on the garage will give the couple a blank canvas to the unfinished garage that can be used as they see fit, which may well be used as a mother-in-law suite.
If you're looking for a more solid and permanent privacy solution in your backyard, consider a stone wall. This option can definitely be quite pricey, so you’ll need a larger budget. However, it's a lovely choice for a more traditional home in parts of the country where the climate can really take a beating on a traditional wooden fence.
Corrugated Metal Fence
A corrugated metal fence is another modern, unique option for outdoor fencing. This type of fence will often be cheaper than a traditional wood fence, but it looks much slicker than a chain-link fence. Pairing evenly-spaced wood beams with the metal, as they did in this design, really manages to warm up the metal fence and not leave it looking too stark.
Outdoor Dining Deck
Low-maintenance patio furniture and fresh pops of spring color adorn this deck, creating a cozy outdoor dining area. Taupe-toned outdoor drapery and hanging plants pull the eye upwards and add a sense of privacy to this homey space, making it a great spot for the casual get-together.
Sarah Dorio Photography
If you just need to block off a small section of your patio, try outdoor curtains. In this design by Brian Patrick Flynn, he created an entirely separate seating area blocked off from a lounge space (not pictured). However, you can also use curtains around an outdoor overhead trellis, gazebo or platform. Just make sure any outdoor curtains you choose are made of weather-resistant outdoor fabric that can withstand the sun and rain.
DIY PVC Pipe Privacy Screen
Can’t hang curtains from your deck or patio? Get the look by making this portable privacy screen with PVC tubing and simple, inexpensive bedsheets. You can use any color sheets for this customizable project to complement your other outdoor decor.
This outdoor screen is another great option for carving out some space in your backyard. Making a screen like this that's a bit higher than your fence gets you a bit more vertical privacy. You can also move it around to different spots throughout your backyard for a party or a large gathering.
Portable partitions, such as this three-panel wicker partition from Versare, are just as easy to mount as they are to remove. It’s the perfect solution for renters in search of a non-permanent privacy fix.
Chevron Privacy Wall
Erin Trafford of DIY Passion built a stylish chevron wall to add some privacy to her freestanding deck. The materials cost less than $150. See a step-by-step tutorial at DIY Passion.
Fast-Growing Privacy Plants
Privacy plants are an attractive solution for over-exposed decks and patios, but it can take a long time for them to mature. Design firm Eco Minded Solutions recommends planting fast-growing trees like the Emerald Green Thuja, which can grow up to five feet per year.
PVC Pipe Screen
Make your own freestanding privacy screen using PVC tubing and simple, inexpensive bedsheets. You can use any color sheets for this customizable project to complement your other outdoor decor.
Dress Up Your Pergola
Jenny Johannsen of Anything Pretty wove 4’ x 15’ drop cloths through the slats of her already existing pergola. Hang some lights for a budget-friendly privacy roof that dazzles both day and night.
Panel Over Existing Fence
Rather than pay to remove the unsightly metal fence from her Chicago apartment patio, Erica Lugbill of Lugbill Designs covered it up with stained and pressure-treated lumber. The horizontal panels create privacy that the pre-existing metal fence didn’t offer.
Bring privacy as well as some plant life to your deck with these charming self-watering planters with trellis. Each planter has four wheels (two that lock), so you can easily move it around or keep it stationary.
Retractable shades are ideal for apartment-dwellers in buildings with closely spaced balconies. The shade offers privacy when needed, but you can always retract it to open up the space. Pick a color that pops, such as this orange shade from Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company.