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How to Create Privacy in Your Backyard

Increasing your backyard’s privacy in your next backyard makeover? With fencing, pergolas, privacy screens, hedges, and more, you can keep your small outdoor living space out of sight from your neighbors. Check out these 11 backyard structures and landscape ideas to help keep your backyard private!

Build an Enclosure with a Pergola or Gazebo

A gazebo in the backyard with white patio furniture. Photo by Instagram user @heyjerry_home

Photo via @heyjerry_home

Want to build an outdoor living space feature that boosts your home value and backyard privacy? Enclose your small patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen with durable backyard structures like a pergola or gazebo. Pergolas covered with climbing vines, outdoor curtains, or lattice panels can create privacy from your neighbors—in addition to being a backyard shade idea. Gazebos are another permanent backyard privacy solution that can be surrounded by tall potted plants or hanging baskets to give you even more coverage.

Take Advantage of Your Backyard Shed

Garden storage sheds are popular privacy structures that are as functional as they are stylish. Not only do she sheds create a fully-enclosed room in your backyard—perfect for an outdoor home office or backyard lounge—but they also block your neighbors from viewing the nearby outdoor living area. Though you can build a shed yourself, there are plenty of pre-fab backyard privacy structures in a variety of sizes and colors. Adding backyard landscaping around your shed or painting the exterior in bold colors can add a decorative element to your structure—just keep in mind your city’s permit requirements for sheds.

Install a Privacy Fence

A wooden privacy fence in the backyard. Photo by Instagram user @thebrucehoose

Photo via @thebrucehoose

If you’re looking for year-round privacy from neighbors, a solid board fence is ideal. This permanent backyard structure secures the entire perimeter of your outdoor space, so your family can go from the patio, to the kids play area to your backyard pool in peace. Backyard privacy fences come in a variety of styles to complement your backyard design, too. Stain a fence to match the color of your house. Buy popular fence styles like a white picket fence, staggered fence, or reclaimed wood fence. Or if you’re building your own privacy fence, be sure to follow your local building codes regarding the allowed fence height in your neighborhood.

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Set Up a Backyard Privacy Screen

Similar to fences, outdoor privacy screens are a backyard privacy idea that can be a DIY project or pre-built from wicker, wood, bamboo, metal, and other durable materials. With so many materials to choose, you can easily style this backyard structure to match your outdoor decor. Unlike fences, however, privacy panels do not wrap around your entire yard—making them a more affordable option for homeowners looking to create privacy in their backyard. Instead, one or a few panels can cover a small area like an outdoor living room, deck, or an outdoor shower near the pool. Or opt for balcony screens for short-term use.

Use Retractable Sun Shades

A yellow retractable sun shade near a backyard pool. Photo by Instagram user @shadingtexas

Photo via @shadingtexas

If you use your backyard as a flex space for entertaining, a retractable sun shade might be a perfect backyard privacy solution. Sun shades are adjustable, so you can control when you need additional privacy. This inexpensive backyard privacy idea even helps avoid permanently blocking your beautiful outdoor views. Attach sail shades to the side of your house or outdoor structures like sheds, pergolas, and gazebos to stay out of sight from neighbors during outdoor parties or backyard BBQs. Or hang outdoor curtains for a more budget-friendly patio privacy option.

Try a Masonry Wall

A white masonry wall next to a backyard gazebo. Photo by Instagram user @sunjoylife

Photo via @sunjoylife

Looking to build a dream backyard with European influence? Consider masonry walls! Though typically made of stone, stucco, or brick, this type of backyard privacy wall is extremely customizable and can be styled as a retaining wall with plants or paired with ornamental ironwork in the wall’s openings. This six-foot wall could also work as a standalone accent wall in your courtyard or backyard garden. To give your backyard an older look, try packing clay or concrete into the openings of your masonry walls.

Create a Living Wall

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A quick DIY backyard landscaping idea that could double as an outdoor privacy wall is a living wall! If you have an empty lattice screen or backyard trellis, you can easily hang flower boxes, vines, or trailing plants from this backyard structure to make a living plant wall. Tall ornamental grasses, like Chinese Silver Grass, Fountain Grass, and Pampas Grass can help add another layer to your living wall. You can also cover part of an arbor or pergola in vines or other climbing plants for a private indoor-outdoor oasis. A living wall, whether against your fence or on an outdoor shade structure, works best in a backyard with high sun areas to help plants grow, but you don’t have to be a green thumb to tend this backyard privacy wall. Simply create a faux living wall of artificial hedges to achieve the same look without the upkeep.

Tahira Nagori

Tahira Nagori

Designer | DIYer | Entrepreneur | Mom of Two, House of Sosa

Use Privacy Trees as a Focal Point

A backyard filled with privacy trees and a stone pathway. Photo by Instagram user @goodpathgarden

Photo via @goodpathgarden

Instead of fences and bulky backyard structures that can sometimes be unsightly, try adding fast-growing trees to your backyard for natural privacy! This backyard privacy idea is great for those who don’t need privacy right away, since even fast-growing trees take time and patience to fill in. A tree can be the focal point for your outdoor space and can be tall enough to create a privacy barrier. You can add landscaping around the tree for an additional element of greenery in your yard.

Stay Hidden Behind Hedges

If you have the time to maintain real greenery in your backyard, privacy hedges could be perfect for you! This landscaping privacy idea acts like a wall to separate yards without a fence or to create unique rooms in your outdoor living space. Plant your hedges near the fence line and choose a height that best blocks your neighbor’s view. Certain hedges like bamboo hedges are a noise barrier, too, so you can keep conversations private or shield noisy traffic from your backyard.

Layer Plants Near the Fence Line

In larger backyards, you can layer plants to make sure you’re protected from all heights. Stagger taller trees, grasses, and greenery near the fence line to block the view from your neighbors and add more protection to your backyard. Then, plant a mix of shorter shrubs and perennials to fill in the gaps and make a more unified, natural privacy wall in your backyard. If you want year-round privacy, plant evergreen trees, like pine or spruce, and layer those with cypress shrubs.

Grow Plants in Oversized Pots

For a renter-friendly backyard privacy idea, consider large garden containers! Oversized planters can be potted with tall flowers and decorative grasses to hide your patio or outdoor living space. You can even arrange these along the fence line. This is an inexpensive and less permanent alternative to a privacy fence. Plus, it adds more beautiful greenery to your space!


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Backyard Privacy: 11 Ideas to Create Privacy

Tahira Nagori is a designer, DIYer, entrepreneur, and mom. She has worked in the fields of architecture and urban planning for about ten years, which sparked her interest in home design and organization. As part of her “The Aesthetic Side of Homes” brand and House of Sosa product line, Tahira shares tips and tricks for home decor ideas and DIY projects.

View Design ideas by Tahira here.