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.

Portable Partition

Upcycled Shutter Screen Provides Privacy for Patio

Upcycled Shutter Screen Provides Privacy for Patio

Creating a sense of enclosure in your outdoor room will make it feel like a secluded oasis. Use a privacy screen to block a bad view or nosey neighbors. Upcycle some old shutters and a few hinges into a folding partition.

Photo by: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

PopFizz | Bryan Allen

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.

Living Wall

Small Deck With Custom Vertical Garden, Wood Privacy Wall and Bright Blue Accents

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.

Photo by: Jeeheon Cho; Design By: Guido Keller, Lotus Gardenscapes

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

Backyard With Gray Paver Patio and Pool

Backyard With Gray Paver Patio and Pool

A stone paver patio with a stone fireplace and teak dining set looks out over a well-manicured lawn. Trees and shrubs surround the backyard, providing privacy for a sleek rectangular swimming pool.

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

Rusted Metal Wall Screen Near Backyard Pool

Rusted Metal Wall Screen Near Backyard Pool

A rusted metal screen conceals pool equipment, enhances privacy, and adds character and texture to this Southwestern backyard.

Photo by: Christopher Barr

Christopher Barr

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

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.

Photo by: Sarah Deragon

Sarah Deragon

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

Fence Screen

Custom Fence Screens Contemporary Patio

Custom Fence Screens Contemporary Patio

The slatted lines of a custom fence connect to the custom trellis and provide privacy for this clean-lined backyard entertaining space.

Photo by: Mark McWilliams Photography

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.

Trellis

DP_Wagner-wooden-door-brick-stairs_s3x4

DP_Wagner-wooden-door-brick-stairs_s3x4

Front entryway to home with brick stairs and columns, wooden door with wood frame and wall for privacy.

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.

Stone Wall

HORJD410_after-vegetable-garden-bistro-dining_h

HORJD410_after-vegetable-garden-bistro-dining_h

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.

Photo by: Jamie Rector

Jamie Rector

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

Platform Deck and Corrugated Metal Fence

Platform Deck and Corrugated Metal Fence

Overlooking the backyard, a platform deck is outfitted with bench seating and a Southwestern-inspired outdoor rug. A corrugated metal fence lines the perimeter of the low-maintenance yard for ultimate privacy.

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 Curtains

Outdoor Dining Deck

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

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.

Outdoor Screen

DIY PVC Pipe Privacy Screen

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.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

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.

18 Easy Ways to Add Privacy to a Deck or Patio

See All Photos

Drop Cloth Curtains

Fashion outdoor curtains from plain old drop cloths by spray-painting the cloth with a simple, bold pattern then hanging it from DIY curtain rods — all for less than $20. See the tutorial from Corey Willis of Hey There Home.

Photo By: Hey There Home

Repurposed Shutters

Diana Wearing of DIY Den & Treasure Showcase zip-tied old shutters to an existing wire fence. The one-of-a-kind fence can be removed or rearranged at any time.

Tags: 
  1. privacy wall

Photo By: DIY Den & Treasure Showcase

Shutter Screen

Alternatively, you can upcycle old shutters into a folding partition for your outdoor space. Just attach them together with a few hinges.

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Pretty Partitions

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.

Photo By: Versare

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.

Photo By: 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.

Photo By: Eco Minded Solutions

Bamboo Plants

San Diego design firm Eco Minded Solutions used bamboo to build a high wall of green around this family’s back patio. Bamboo grows high and brings exotic charm to any outdoor space. Just be sure to pick a non-invasive species.

Photo By: Eco Minded Solutions

Faux Hedges

If you want the benefits of privacy plants without the hassle of maintaining them, line your patio with faux boxwood hedges. Strategically placed faux hedges provide privacy in a pinch for anyone who likes green spaces but lacks green thumbs.

Photo By: At Home

Pop-Up Gazebo

Enjoy the four-walled privacy of your own gazebo without spending hundreds of dollars on a wood structure. Canvas gazebos are easy to set up and you can bring them with you to your next home.

Photo By: Wayfair

Fabric Windscreens

This New York City patio desperately needed privacy. Lifestyle blogger Anna Osgoodby’s budget-friendly solution was to attach an affordable (less than $50) mesh windscreen to her chain link fence using a bit of twine.

Freestanding Curtain Rods

Hang curtains of your choice from a freestanding curtain-and-rod set. This portable set-up from Improvements can accommodate curtains up to 84 inches long.

Photo By: Improvements

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.

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Upcycled Garage Doors

Karen Berg of Redoux Interiors upcycled garage door panels by securing them together with scrapped wood. The result is a privacy fence with a bohemian industrial vibe.

Photo By: Redoux Interiors

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.

Photo By: Anything Pretty

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.

Privacy Planters

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.

Photo By: Improvements

DIY Plant Wall

Make your own freestanding living wall using wood and mesh rebar. Hang potted plants using S-hooks, and they’ll provide privacy for your space as they grow.

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Retractable Shades

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.

Photo By: Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company

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