Whether you live in a rural, wide open space or a densely populated subdivision, you may want to incorporate some privacy elements into your new or existing landscape design to avoid feeling “watched over” from passers-by or your neighbors. There are lots of ways to create a little privacy and, depending on your porch or backyard layout, you may only need to enclose one or two sides of the space.
Ideas for Use with Overhead Structures
Check out these ideas below for some creative solutions that can be used by themselves or mixed and matched for a one of a kind look.
Outdoor Curtains –You’ll need some kind of overhead structure on your porch, veranda or patio. Just as with indoor windows or doors, you’ll need to measure the height and width of the space to determine how you will be mounting your curtains. Hung from above with a mounted rod, choices include tab tops, clips, or grommets. Today’s newer fabrics are weather resilient and come in all colors and patterns. Look for fabrics that are resistant to both UV rays and mildew. Want something truly unique? Paint a drop cloth with your own design using fabric paints and a stencil.*Tip: If you are using grommets, be sure that they are constructed with rust proof aluminum
Roll Shades – These can be made of either natural or man-made products. Wooden (or simulated wood) roll-up shades are both
inexpensive and easy to size by rolling them tightly and cutting them with a circular saw. This allows you to get a near custom fit by using multiple shades and spacing them accordingly. Man-made woven shades come in a variety of colors and their varied weaves allow you to choose your privacy level.
Shutters – Another great option that can be purchased at any home center and painted to complement your home. These can easily be mounted from above using large eye hooks and chains. Folding versions can be made by using hinges and by side-mounting them from support poles. Larger plantation shutters can be used as a free standing privacy screen by hinging them together at alternate angles. *yard sales are a great source for old or salvaged shutters and they make for a great Eco-friendly country look.
Screens – Secure decorative molding and eye hooks to plain window screens. Crafty Do-It-Yourselfers can either paint or use stencils to add colorful, custom designs. These are great way to add privacy to your porch or patio while keeping bugs away.
Free Standing Ideas
Lattice Panels – These come in both natural wood and vinyl. Their open airy construction offers privacy without closing the space off. Stain natural wood lattice and allow climbing vines or flowers to fill them in for a more natural look and feel.
Plants – Here are just a few of the many fast growing, simple to grow plants that provide privacy.
Bamboo – Careful, this can be backyard invasive and special precautions should be taken to control it.
Arborvitae – These hardy trees can grow several feet in a year if the conditions are right.
Hedges – American Holly can get up to 30 feet tall and shows bright red berries in the winter months.
Privacy Wall – Incorporate a privacy wall into your landscape design plan. Consider built in lighting fixtures and seating ledges.
Fencing – Wood or vinyl privacy fencing is the standard backyard option. Adding lattice above your fence lessens the “fortress” look and allows for more air circulation.
Decorative Knee Wall – Homeowners can add instant privacy by adding large potted plants into the landscape design on top of a low wall. Plants can bemoved if you need additional seating, and then taken indoors for the winter months.
One thing to remember, you’ll need to consider adding additional lighting to avoid it feeling like a cave. With all your new wall space, you have plenty of options to choose from!