I read this fantastic article last night that demonstrates how we can add privacy to our outdoor spaces. What’s great is how easy and inexpensive it is to achieve any one of these design effects, and, with just about any skill level, you can easily follow the steps or modify them to your specific taste and liking. Enjoy!

Originally Posted 05/15/2010 by The Design File

An outdoor room: Adding privacy

This summer I’ll be doing a series to help you create an outdoor “room,” a destination spot in your back or front yard, a place where you can relax, eat dinner or just read a magazine (or a blog).

alfresco dining Ken Gutmaker MyHomeIdeas Sunset Today, we’ll talk about adding privacy, a key element to the feeling of a room.

I never realized the importance of a cozy outdoor space until I started dating my husband. My home always had quite a bit of privacy – thanks to a fence, a trellis, trees, grapevines and a detached garage – despite sitting on a small city lot with neighbors just a few feet away.

Jeff’s house, though, had a wide open backyard. He had a small deck, a large tree and a detached garage. But none did anything to shield the yard from neighbors or folks driving through the alley. I felt so exposed! Jeff really liked his neighbors but you couldn’t be outside without getting into an extended conversation.

It was then that I realized the importance of creating an intimate, cozy room – even when you’re outside. Look at the beautiful space above, created with a simple frame and sheers (photo by Ken Gutmaker from Sunset and

Obviously, the easiest way to create that separation is with a privacy fence. But they’re lattice on a porch BHGfairly expensive and labor intensive. So here are four other ways to do it:


For a lot less than it costs to build a six foot privacy fence, you can add a well-placed trellis and an iron archway – both planted with vines – to make your space more intimate.

Some 4×4-inch posts with hooks on the sides and hanging plants make a sort of fence. And even a line of planters creates some separation.

Try a trellis on the end of a porch, like the one in the BHG photo at right, to give yourself some space.

Read more at The Design File.


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