Anyone that has a backyard knows it is relaxing to spend some time under open skies and feel the soft breeze on your skin. We spend most of our days cooped up inside, in front of a screen, and have almost forgotten what it is like to have some quiet. For people with backyards, getting away is as easy as opening a door and stepping outside.
But a lot of us don’t do this very often, right? Why is that?
11 Ways to block neighbors’ view for a private backyard
Relaxing in your own yard is made difficult if you’ve got nosy neighbors, isn’t it? It’s almost embarrassing to start out on your fitness journey or occasionally bust a move if you know your neighbors get a full view of you from their living room. Here are some things you can do to get a little more privacy in your own space.
This is the most obvious one. Fences are not very expensive. Grab a shovel, a hammer, and some wood, have your family join you in the backyard and make a day out of it. The kids can shovel and the adults can hammer in the fences.
Be careful with dangerous equipment like nails, though. Fences are easy to install, don’t require a lot of maintenance, and are quite common, so you won’t have a lot of explaining to do.
If you’ve lived next to this neighbor for a long time, it could be awkward and uncomfortable to explain why you suddenly want more privacy. An easy way to get around this is to use bushes. They are just plants, which is typical of backyards, right?
Use them decoratively so it doesn’t look like you are trying to avoid your neighbor or demarcate boundaries. With plants, there isn’t much explaining to do, you could just attribute it to a sudden interest in gardening.
A tall, dense bush not only gives you more privacy but can get your yard a greener vibe and make it a more calming space to be in. It is definitely more relaxing than fences, and if you use flowering bushes, you would have gotten yourself a unique, pretty wall. Of course, to keep it looking pretty, you will have to put in some time.
3. Stone Walls
This one is not dirt cheap. Designer stone walls can actually be quite expensive, but nothing is too expensive if you DIY it! Buy some net and get your hands on some stones. Create a thin wall of tiny stones, supported by the net on either side. This will give your backyard an incomparably cool look. Stone walls have their advantages too.
If you live in particularly hot regions, spraying down the stone wall with your garden hose helps cool down your backyard so that your summer evenings are enjoyable, rather than sweaty. The stone wall can also keep away animals if that is a problem for you and is not difficult to maintain at all.
4. Outdoor Screens
If you want more of a temporary solution, you can try out screens. Maybe your neighbors aren’t always in town so you appreciate the open space when they are away. Or maybe you only really need the privacy for a private party you’re having that you can’t invite them to.
Outdoor screens are movable, so you can adjust them according to your preference, but they are definitely heavier than indoor screens so you might need an extra pair of hands. Screens are not very expensive and can serve as a long-term investment.
5. Overhead Shade
Not all of us have neighbors that live next to us. If you live in an apartment, or next to one and don’t want people from higher floors looking at you while you tan in the afternoon, consider getting an overhead shade. These can extend out of your house or can be a part of the fencing or screen you use to block the view of a neighbor.
This, of course, is great if you get a really harsh sun, but can be a little frustrating if you don’t appreciate the sun your backyard gets. An overhead shade shouldn’t be too bad for your plants unless you’ve got a lot of succulents. But as long as most of your plants still do get access to bright indirect sunlight, they should likely be fine. (Tip: Go easy on the watering once you install the shade)
If you’ve got a patio, this will be your cheapest option. All you’ve got to do is add some curtains. They can be sheer or white so that you still get ample sunlight, while very subtly blocking out your neighbor’s view. Curtains can be decorative and stylish and still prove their function well.
Again, the problem of seeming rude and closed off to your neighbors is solved since you won’t have to explain. Curtains are cheap, washable, and provide a romantic element when they dance with the wind in the evening.
7. Hanging Greens
Since growing dense bushes is not a task you can accomplish overnight, in the meantime, you can have some hanging plants cascade down to make a cover for you while you wait. These are easy fixes.
All you’ve got to do is set up a structure, it could be wooden or steel, and get some hanging pots. Plant vining plants into these and you’ve got yourself natural curtains made out of plants. These can be a really beautiful addition to your yard.
8. Creative Blockers
If you’ve got a bottle collection, put it to use. You can create a wall of bottles, joined together using rope running through them that partially blocks out your neighbor’s view. Again, this is a great one that balances subtlety and privacy.
You won’t block out much of the breeze or the light, and your neighbors won’t think you’re snobbish by trying to block them out. If that’s not reason enough, it’s another great conversation starter and you can show off your collection. As the light passes through the different colors of the bottles, your backyard parties will be set with a really cool vibe without you even trying.
9. Vertical Plant Holders
Hanging plants can be a little difficult to care for. If you’re not consistent with them, they can be a hindrance and won’t really perform the function of curtains as we expected. If you’re not one for climbing up on a stool to water them regularly, you could invest in a vertical plant holder. This is an especially great idea if you’ve got a lot of little pots sitting around that are taking up a lot of counter space.
If you’ve got a green thumb and love propagating your plants into little ones, this can become your propagation station. Vertical plant holders are easy to maintain and will provide more dense coverage from outsiders.
10. Covered Patios
This one isn’t all that cheap. But if you’re big on privacy, this one-time investment can really upgrade your space. This is an easy way of increasing the value of your property. Covered patios can be bought, or built, specially designed to fit your needs.
Add a cover to the sides you want, and leave the others open so that once again, you’ve got plenty of sunlight and air, without compromising on privacy. Covered patios are also easier to maintain.
They won’t be so exposed to harsh weather and will last longer. They are easier to clean and also protect you from sun damage! If you live in temperate regions and have kids, you definitely should consider getting them this outdoor play area that keeps them cool.
Lattices are perfect garden accessories. They are beautiful, interesting, and built to allow plants to get what they need to grow. Wrap one of your creepers around the lattice and allow it to grow through it.
Not only will this add a “foresty”, cottage-core effect to your yard, but your creeper will also be healthier since it will get extra support to grow. A lattice is cheaper than getting a roof or a wall made. They are easily available and you’ll get to pick from a wide variety.
Other key points to consider
Apart from the concrete solutions we offered, there are some other points you must consider when you are setting things up. If you’re getting professional help, they will likely take care of these technicalities. If not, read on.
Say you got yourself a fence, or a screen, or a vertical plant holder, or a blocker of such sort that you can move around. Placing your screen strategically is as important as having a screen itself, if not more.
The higher up your neighbor is, the closer you want to place the screen to where you’re sitting. It’s simple math, honestly. The angle of elevation and what not. An easy way to figure it out is; if you can see them, they can see you.
Picking a high priority area
If these options still seem a little out of your budget, don’t go buying fences or screens for your entire yard. Pick an area that you want to make private, and cover that. Since it’s a smaller area, you’ll need to cover less surface area and you’ll spend less on materials.
You’ll also spend less time getting it all together. This way, you get to have the best of both worlds. You get an open backyard and also a cozy, private one.
Building around trees
Another thing to keep in mind is the greenery you already have in place. If you’ve got trees, use them! They probably already block out the view at some angles. Build around trees and get cover from angles you don’t already do. This will save you time, money, and resources while allowing your gardens to flourish.
This paints a brilliant picture of man and nature coexisting in harmony. It sets a vibe that’s wonderful to be around when you want to escape the constant noise of our current world.
Although you can add elements to your backyard to increase privacy, if you’re still in the planning stages, think about landscaping. This requires no additional accessories for intentionally blocking out people’s views.
You can have a sunken yard or an elevated, making it difficult for people to peek into what you’re up to. From a design perspective, this is really creative and can add a lot of personality to your home.
Patios on lower levels
Patios that you need to climb down into might not be the most brilliant idea if you’ve got neighbors higher up that you want privacy from. There’s always the chance that they can come closer to see what you’re up to.
This idea makes sense if your neighbors usually don’t trespass into your yard to randomly say hi. Surrounding the sunken patio in even more green can have you surrounded in green, giving you a calming and soothing effect.
Raised decks and terraces
This one is better if you have a lot of parties. The raised deck can give you more privacy than a sunken one if your neighbor’s house is at the same level as yours, but it also sets the vibe for a lot more fun. Add interesting lights and playful elements to set the tone, and you can really revamp a simple backyard into a happening space.
Privacy is an important feature in our day and age when everything about us is accessible to whoever is interested. It’s important to have a physical space where we can let our hair down without thinking about who has their eyes on us. It’s always more meaningful when this space is in the open, where we can be closer to nature.
These tips help you add more style to your backyard as you turn it into a safe haven for yourself. You can use a combination of these to really find your style. Which one are you going to try?