For people living in climates of ‘perennial spring’, the yard is an integral part of the home, with dining and lounging outside a part of their daily routine. On the other hand, people who live through all the four seasons, welcome spring as a long-awaited holiday. Still, backyard delight can be spoiled by street noise or prying eyes. It doesn’t matter if the family next door has purchased a backyard pool that is filled with happy children yelling all day, or they are taking full advantage of their deck kitchen – there are ways to protect your privacy.
Curtains curtail gawkers
Outdoor curtains is a perfectly unobtrusive way to define a space within your yard. They can be easily attached to porches, cabanas, pergolas and gazebos for both privacy and sun protection. While not completely blocking the natural light, they’re versatile and can be removed or folded when needed. Unless you’re planning to affix them to an existing structure, purchase marine-grade rods that are resistant to corrosion and weather resistant fabric, which can stay outside for the whole season.
Colour tip: The lush greenery of your garden can be complemented by vibrant pinks and purples. On the other hand, if your flowerbeds are colourful enough, opt for earthy tones that will put the focus to landscaping.
In either high-end-lines or at moderate prices, it seems that home improvement suppliers just cannot sell enough of portable tents and pavilions. Popularised by outdoor weddings, these foldable structures create a private environment for entertaining and dining. In some options, they come with bug screens, as well as four zipper doors that can shelter from a sudden shower. The only problem with these is that you might have such a good time that you feel guilty and invite everyone you wanted privacy from to your party.
Once rarely seen outside hospitality industry, these sturdy, ribbed umbrellas made of fibreglass have found their way to private backyards. They can be installed almost anywhere; in a corner of the yard or over a patio. They have water-resistant roofs and offer people privacy and protection from the sun for a fraction of the price and no need for a permanent fixture. Their frames are made of high-grade powder coated steel that resists chipping, peeling, rust and corrosion. Backyard umbrellas are especially useful if you need privacy from above.
While people who are renting will probably find umbrellas, tents and canopies more convenient, homeowners might want a more permanent investment. Upcycled wooden pallets can be turned into an artistic arched trellis that can obstruct views from above, too. Due to a high level of sun exposure in the area, commercial shade sails are becoming quite popular. Made of UV treated materials, they can be attached to existing fences to extend their height, offering protection from the sun and blocking unwanted looks.
There are endless possibilities how to add some privacy with plants. Not to mention that this approach is absolutely discreet. Unless you can include mature trees in your “green perimeter” start with leafy plants and perennials in oversized pots, or plant a screen of hedges and shrubs. If you’re more of a DIY gardener, consider projects like a gazebo kit or raised flowerbeds around a patio. Combined with creeping vines, they can give you some natural privacy without looking like you are trying too hard.
A backyard is an oasis and a place to escape from burdens of everyday life. Whether you need a quiet and cosy reading corner or a patio kitchen, the complete experience can be marred by surrounding noise and prying eyes. These five tips will surely sprout an idea or two for every yard.