Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy Neighbors
You don’t have to suffer ugly views and nosy neighbors. Fix the problem with these outdoor privacy ideas to boost your home’s privacy.
Create a soothing oasis in the midst of urban chatter by enclosing a deck or patio with inexpensive fencing panels. A 6-foot-by-8-foot wood privacy panel is about $65; maintenance-free vinyl is $80-$170.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsGimme Shelter
In close quarters with neighbors all around, you’ll want to create privacy from above as well as the side. This cozy patio area is sheltered by a Craftsman-style fence (check out those tapered columns) that supports an overhead pergola. The pergola rafters shield views from second-story windows in nearby houses.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsFence Cover Up
Chain-link fences may be sturdy and low-cost, but they’re not an attractive way to define property lines. The remedy? This homeowner planted burning bush along the chain-link fence separating her yard from a neighbor’s. Four years later, a lush green hedge covers the steel mesh. Other possibilities: clematis, rose of sharon, and trumpet vine. Be sure to tell your neighbor if you plan to plant vines that’ll grow up both sides of the fence.
Image: Jo Macalik
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsFrosty Fix-Up
This homeowner loved her kitchen windows but didn’t love that she could see her neighbors — and they could see her — especially in winter when leaves had fallen. So she created a translucent screen for the lower sashes using frosted window film. Generous margins around the film and a hand-cut fleur-de-lis gives the solution an airy feeling and lets light in, too. Window films come in decorative designs and help save energy.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsCurtain Call
Balconies are great perks for apartments, but they often overlook parking lots. This apartment dweller screened out the cars with a simple set of curtains bought at a local big box store for $10 and nailed to the balcony ceiling. The curtains can screen the view, add privacy, and block low-angled sunlight. Open or closed, they make the space comfy and livable.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsMove the Window
If you can’t change the view, try changing your perspective. A smaller window set high on your wall increases privacy, avoids the gnarly view, and still gets plenty of light. The strategy works great in bedrooms and bathrooms, too.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsHere’s Looking at You
What’s one of the best things you can see when looking out your urban high-rise window? Greenery, naturally. A rooftop garden is a soul-soothing, two-way experience — for those who tend it, and for those who get to see it.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsFreestanding Screens
No need to look over a chain-link fence at your neighbor’s pool — a few well-placed screens made from low-cost salvaged shutters are a shabby chic solution. Because they’re freestanding, they can be taller than fence-height restrictions mandated by local building codes.
Outdoor Privacy Ideas to Hide Ugly Views and Nosy NeighborsDon’t Like the View? Then Cool It!
Window air conditioners have an unintended drawback — a big, industrialized metal box hangs right outside your window. This ingenious solution turns that blank surface into a miniature lawn, complete with picket fence. Artificial grass never needs watering and doesn’t mind if the AC motor heats up.