Monday, June 22, 2015

Enhance Your Privacy

If you ask most homeowners what they look for in a great back yard, you'll hear the word "privacy" come up again and again.  We might love our neighbors and have inviting front porches, but most people also want a space where they can shut out the world and have some downtime with their family.

However, unless you live in the country and have many acres for your yard, privacy can be hard to come by.  Today we offer some tips for gaining privacy in your back yard.


The most obvious choice is installing a fence around your yard.  There are so many varieties and types of fences, you could get overwhelmed with the choices.  Start by identifying what your budget is, and then how much privacy you are hoping to get from the fence.  Do you want ultimate privacy with no visual space?  Or do you want some air circulation?  Do you need to enclose the entire yard or can you make due with a partial fence.

Make a list of everything you want your fence to accomplish, then find one that suits your budget and sense of style.

Traditional Landscape/Yard with Bloodgood Japanese Maple, Arboria Rosedale 7-ft. Cedar Pergola Arbor, Fence, Wood fence

Contemporary Patio with Trellis, Exposed beam, Exterior paint, Fence with integral planters, Small rock ground cover, Lawn

Traditional Deck with Custom fence, Fence, Wood fence, Raised beds, Pathway

Plants & Trees

A hedge, a row of evergreens, even gardens with tall plants can all give you effective, and beautiful, privacy.  Remember that unless you want to invest a lot of money on mature trees and plants, this option could take a while to become the privacy border that you desire.  There are faster growing varieties of plants, like bamboo, that will give you complete privacy in a short amount of time.

You can always do a phased approach.  Plant slow growing trees but also plant faster growing shrubs.  The shrubs will create a privacy screen in a few years and give your trees more time to reach maturity.

Traditional Exterior of Home with Private backyard, Pathway, exterior stone floors, Trellis

Traditional Swimming Pool with Private backyard, Outdoor pool, Lugano Chaise Velour Cover, Transom window, Lap pool, Pathway

Contemporary Patio with Fence, exterior stone floors, Built-in bench seating, Outdoor cushion, Private patio, Raised beds

Be Inventive

If you have portions of privacy through fencing or plants, you can find creative ways to fill in the gaps.  Install trellises, screens, even curtains.  Here are some options you might want to try.

Contemporary Deck with Gazebo

Asian Deck with Raised beds, Crate & barrel ventura bunching table, Fence

Contemporary Deck with Transom window, French doors, IPEDPOT B-grade Ipe Decking, Decorative wood deck inset, Fence

Contemporary Deck with Fire pit, exterior stone floors, Coral Coast Valencia Outdoor Toss Pillow - 20 x 20 in., Fence

Traditional Patio with exterior tile floors, Pathway, Trellis

Traditional Exterior of Home with Trellis, Outdoor fireplace, Pathway, Raised beds, exterior stone floors, Outdoor dining set

Sources:  Photos from Zillow Digs, article by Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

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