18 Easy Ways to Add Privacy to a Deck or Patio

Looking for a way to bring privacy to your deck or patio without taxing your budget? Try one of these clever solutions for a more secluded outdoor space.

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By: Mina Hochberg

Photo By: Hey There Home

Photo By: DIY Den & Treasure Showcase

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Photo By: Versare

Photo By: DIY Passion

Photo By: Eco Minded Solutions

Photo By: Eco Minded Solutions

Photo By: At Home

Photo By: Wayfair

Photo By: Anna Osgoodby

Photo By: Improvements

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Photo By: Redoux Interiors

Photo By: Anything Pretty

Photo By: Lugbill Designs

Photo By: Improvements

Photo By: PopFizz | Bryan Allen

Photo By: Craft-Bilt Manufacturing Company

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.

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.

Shutter Screen

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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