Neighbors a Little Too Close? Add Some Privacy to Your Outdoor Space

Your neighbors may be lovely people, but that doesn’t mean you want them peering in on your every outdoor activity. Fortunately, fences aren’t the only path to peace when you’re spending time on your porch and patio. With creative solutions, your home can invite friends on all sides while providing just the amount of privacy you want.

Here are some ideas for enjoying your outdoor space with privacy in mind:

Cascading landscapes
If you’ve got a need for privacy, you may be able to build it from the dirt up, so don’t think about planting trees and bushes just in terms of how eye-catching they are. With a cascading landscape, a backyard’s multi-level design can showcase bushes and trees planted at varying heights. This terraced-setup will give your backyard a retreat-like feel that is open and airy in the middle but feels delightfully secluded from surrounding homes. And, you’ll have plenty of options for backyard décor with the different levels this approach offers—nestle a birdbath on one level while spacing out some hanging flower baskets on others.

Height in hedges
Hedges are not only fast growing, but they’re perfect for providing dense privacy in tighter spaces like a side yard—think columnar evergreens like arborvitae and Italian cypress. If you’re looking to block sight lines out of a particular view of your home or mark your property line, a sheared privet hedge will play this role perfectly. If you’re planting a new privet hedge, space individual shrubs about 12 inches apart and water deeply and often the first year using drip irrigation. These shrubs require frequent shearing to maintain their look, so be sure you’re willing to invest the time in their maintenance.

Grass magic
Airy and wild, grasses lend a completely different feel to a landscape over hedges but can provide low-profile touches of privacy to places like your swimming pool or around your fire pit. Another bonus? Perennial ornamental grasses grow quickly, usually reaching their mature size in two seasons, which makes them ideal to fill in any gaps in your privacy hedges.

Mix and match
If you’ve got a larger yard, planting a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and perennials will create needed density and give your space a natural, layered feel. You’ll want to stagger evergreens in the background, while placing the deciduous foliage in the foreground for texture, depth, and color. Deciduous shade trees are always a good bet for scoring some privacy. Depending on the species, these trees grow from 25 to 60 feet high, providing a perfect canopy of privacy and shade over a deck or patio.

Pergolas for privacy
Pergolas are so on-trend right now and are perfect for defining smaller areas like patios, outdoor kitchens, and decks. Installing a pergola will offer an instant feeling of intimacy by creating a space around these areas while allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of being outside. Adding climbing vines and/or hanging baskets will create more privacy in your pergola-enhanced outdoor space without completely blocking your gorgeous views.   

Hanging curtains
They’re not just for the bedroom anymore! Opaque panel curtains are everywhere these days, and it’s easy to see why. This inexpensive solution is a great way to block views of the neighbors and further define your outdoor space. If the option to mount them is available, curtain rods are the easiest way to keep outdoor panels in place. The best areas for this simple solution include the sides of a screened-in or open-air porch or pergola. 

Need some inspiration for your outdoor space this spring? Let our team help!