Remember when you could step out of your house and enjoy some solo backyard bliss?
Then your neighbors cleared away their trees. And the couple on the other side installed a deck that looks right down into your sunbathing spot. And now your backyard doesn’t feel quite as private as it once did.
While American homes are getting bigger and the demand for the limited amount of outdoor space grows, backyard privacy is harder to achieve than ever. As a result, more and more homeowners are having to get imaginative with new structures, screens, and privacy landscaping ideas to maintain their privacy as well as their pleasant views. After all, you probably don’t relish the thought of meeting your neighbor’s eyes next time they’re catching some rays either.
Tired of feeling like you live in a fishbowl? Check out these easy ways to create privacy in the backyard.
1. Make Your Fencing Fancier
Putting up fence panels is the most obvious way to get some backyard privacy. As well as being effective at keeping out prying eyes, fences need little to no maintenance once they’re up. Fences also occupy less space than plantings, making them a good solution for smaller backyards. What’s more, they’re quick and easy to install if you’re in a hurry to put up a buffer between you and the neighbors.
That said, a privacy fence isn’t always the most aesthetic option. One way to add visual interest is by opting for a fence with an open lattice top. Or, you could plant shrubs or flowers at the base of the fence to soften its uniformity.
Another alternative is to use staggered wooden boards instead of a block fence. You can even paint these in different colors for a more original look. But, whichever fencing option you go for, make sure to check local fence height regulations first.
2. Put Up a Pergola
It’s easier to screen sections of your yard such as decks, patios, and seating areas than your whole outdoor space. By putting up a pergola around them, you can create added intimacy when you’re relaxing or entertaining outdoors without obstructing your views out.
The easiest kind of pergola to install is a slatted-top wooden style open structure. You can then add climbing plants to your pergola’s structure if you’re looking for something more shady and solid. And, while you’re waiting for the vines to grow, you can opt for a residential window tinting service to add the extra privacy you’re looking for.
3. Plant Privacy Trees
Trees and hedges along borders and land boundaries create a more natural feel for your outdoor space, as well as providing plenty of shade.
Another advantage of planting privacy trees is that local regulations don’t often restrict their height. And, although a high hedgerow can take time to achieve, choosing fast-growing trees such as arborvitae or Italian cypress can help speed up the process. Or, if you’re looking for more of a tropical feel for your backyard, bamboo is another option worth considering.
4. Try a Trellis
If you’re looking for more inventive backyard privacy ideas, a trellis is perfecting for blocking unsightly views and adding privacy. Their structure also allows soft breezes and the ever-changing shade of dappled sunlight to enter your secluded hideaway.
A trellis is also perfect as the support for flowering vines and climbing plants. Over time, your trellis will then become a romantic and eye-catching focal point of its own, adding originality and flair to your outdoor space.
5. Layer Your Landscaping
For those of you rethinking your whole backyard space, a cascading layered landscape can help you achieve in-built privacy from the ground up.
While privacy landscaping is a more involved and expensive process, the result is picturesque and discreet. By taking advantage of a backyard with different levels, you can use this landscaping to showcase trees and plants of varying heights for a natural way of maintaining your privacy. What’s more, the secluded retreat this creates at the lower level will feel both open and integral within the surrounding layered landscape.
Having a layered backyard also allows for more space between decorative features such as birdbaths, rockeries, flowers, and plants. As a result, the final look will feel intentional rather than overcrowded.
6. Fit a Folding Screen
Permanent backyard privacy ideas aren’t always the best option if you’re looking to move house soon, or don’t have the time and money to invest in your backyard right now. What’s more, if your outdoor space is multi-functional and has to adapt to different uses from day to day then permanent privacy measures aren’t suitable.
This is where wicker or wooden backyard privacy screens can offer a fast, inexpensive, and easy solution. To keep costs down, you could even fashion a folding screen out of some old doors or shutters. Highlight their vintage look by leaving them in their original color or paint them a bold shade to turn your DIY screen into a decorative backyard feature.
7. Conceal With Curtains
Curtains work well to keep prying eyes out of your bedroom, so why not consider them for your backyard too? Hanging opaque panel curtains outside helps to establish the sense of a more secluded outdoor space. You can either hang them from an existing structure, such as a pergola or porch, or from a custom-built outdoor curtain structure.
8. Add Potted Plants
One of the simplest and quickest backyard privacy ideas is to buy a collection of large planters and fill them with tall outdoor plants. You can then place these along a fence to add visual interest, or line them up around a seating area or patio to create a secluded space within your backyard.
Easy Ways to Add Backyard Privacy
Reclaim your backyard privacy with these easy ways to keep your neighbors’ noses out of your outdoor life.
Whether you’re looking to create privacy in the backyard through layered landscaping or love the simplicity of a movable screen, these backyard privacy ideas are sure to inspire you.
For more interiors inspiration, be sure to check out our other blog posts!