By at

From soaking in the sun during the summer to cozying up by a fire pit in the fall, outdoor living spaces are oftentimes the favorite part of any home. But, unless you live on a large lot of land, chances are you may have a neighbor who just seems a little too close sometimes. Luckily, there are several ways to solve this common problem. Check out these 8 backyard privacy ideas and transform your outdoor space into your own personal (and private) escape.
waterfall and pool backyard privacy ideas 

1. Introduce a water feature

Creating a private outdoor space extends beyond sight — it includes sound, too. To reduce unwanted traffic noise or rowdy next door pets, while also boosting privacy, consider adding a water feature. If your outdoor space is on the small side, a bubbler fountain is a great option. However, if you have a large backyard and have the budget, a landscape designer can help create a tall water feature or install a water fountain that flows with your outdoor space and drowns out the noise.

2. Create privacy with oversized containers

Extra large containers filled with the right plants are ideal for creating backyard privacy. When deciding what greenery to add, opt for tall grasses or tall plants to ensure a private outdoor space. The long, airy blades of tall grass will also create a soothing noise when the wind blows, which can help muffle neighborhood noise. Bamboo is another fast-growing plant that does a great job of enhancing outdoor seclusion while also adding beautiful scenery. For year-round privacy, consider filling oversized planters with evergreen shrubs. A nursery or garden shop will have a variety of greenery that you can choose from and can help you decide what is best for your climate and backyard design.

3. Incorporating trellises is a simple privacy solution

Trellises are an easy and effective way to boost backyard privacy. Simply place one strategically near your patio or porch, or for enhanced privacy, add several along your property line. Plant climbing vines at the base of the trellis and soon your home will boast an eye-catching garden structure that doubles as a noise barrier. When visiting your local garden shop, they’ll be able to advise you on the best trellis-climbing plants that thrive in your area.

Because they’re semi-transparent, trellises offer the added benefit of filtering sunlight without blocking the breeze. Even better, trellises are available in many different styles — from rustic to contemporary — and at a variety of price points. If you’re a DIYer, consider saving even more by building your own trellis.

4. An outdoor privacy screen can do the trick

One of the most effortless, yet effective backyard privacy ideas is to set up an outdoor privacy screen. If you want to make a fun weekend project out of it, consider making your own rather than purchasing one. You can easily create a functional privacy screen using a PVC pipe and some fabric, or you can build one using old shutters or doors. If you have an outdoor space with a short fence or barrier, consider making or purchasing a screen that is taller than your fence to give yourself more vertical privacy. Not only is this a budget-friendly solution, but an outdoor privacy screen can add shade to your patio on sunny days.

5. Hang outdoor curtains

If you’re looking for backyard privacy ideas that won’t break the bank, then outdoor curtains might be the perfect solution. They’re low-budget and can add on-the-spot intimacy to your outdoor area. They are also an especially flexible privacy solution — simply open or close them as needed. Outdoor curtains are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and made with material that resists fading and mildew. Because they need to be hung, outdoor curtains are typically used to increase privacy on a covered porch, patio, deck, or pergola. So if you’re living in a cozy New York condo, outdoor curtains are the perfect way to create a private space.

oversized umbrella patio privacy

6. Get creative with oversized umbrellas

If you’re living in close, tight corridors with your neighbors, there’s a good chance your outdoor space is on the smaller side. Fortunately, you can still create a private outdoor escape even if you don’t have that much room to work with. Using an oversized umbrella is an effective backyard privacy idea that’s both cost-efficient and relatively effortless.

7. Install a tall fence for ultimate backyard privacy

If your budget and space allow, installing a tall privacy fence is a sure way to boost privacy in your backyard. Luckily, since there’s such a wide range of fencing options, you’ll be able to find the perfect height and style of fence for your backyard. If you consider yourself handy, you can try to purchase the fencing materials and install it on your own. However, if you’d prefer to just sit back and enjoy your outdoor space once it’s all ready to go, the simplest solution is to have a professional install it for you. Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a more private, relaxing outdoor space.

row of palm trees backyard

8. Create a “living fence”

If you’re looking for a backyard privacy idea that will maintain the natural element of your outdoor space, opt for a “living fence” with tall trees or hedges. Of course, the types of trees you use will differ depending on where you live. If you live in a city like Portland, OR, a Douglas fir may be the best option, while if you live in Los Angeles, CA, you’ll most likely opt for birds of paradise or palm trees. While this isn’t the quickest or most convenient option, it’s a great long-term solution for ultimate privacy. A landscape design professional can help create your “living fence” to boost your backyard privacy while also creating a unique and beautiful backyard design.