Skip to main content

9 incredible backyard privacy ideas that don’t require a lot of work

As spring turns into summer, you’re probably as excited as we are to begin using your outdoor space. Part of enjoying the backyard is being able to enjoy some privacy as we eat, entertain, work, and lounge. If you’re like many who have close neighbors or live in joined housing, you may be looking for new ways to add privacy elements to your outdoor space. There are tons of backyard privacy ideas you can implement with relative ease that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Not only that, but they can also enhance your backyard design with additional pops of color, texture, and interest.

Here are nine simple ideas to give you some inspiration before your next backyard event!

Ideas for larger backyards

If you’ve got a lot of space and need multiple privacy ideas, here are a few we love.

Use landscaping

Using plants in various sizes can help create interest while offering privacy on backyard patios and decks. You can add a combination of privacy hedges, scrubs, layered plants, vines, and trees, all of which can grow over time and offer a maximum amount of privacy. Talk to your local garden center to find out which plants work in different areas (full sun vs. mostly shade) and plant accordingly.

Install a privacy fence

If your neighborhood allows it, installing a fence is the best way to add a barrier between you and your neighbors.


  • Creates a set perimeter for your yard
  • Ideal for pets and kids
  • Can add design using vertical boards or metal


  • Expensive
  • Takes time to install

Put in a privacy screen

If you’ve got a large deck or back patio, privacy screens can add another layer of privacy to areas where you entertain. They still let some natural light in while offering height and privacy around areas like outdoor tables, hot tubs, pools, and lounge chairs.

modern landscaped backyard

Ideas for smaller backyards

If you have a small patio or terrace, you may want to consider these options for more privacy.

Install pergolas

Pergolas are a great solution if you have a smaller patio. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, but you can also attach string lights, plants, and screens to them for added privacy in key areas. During the hot summer months, you can also add a screen to the top for even more sun protection.

Potted plant border

If you live in an apartment or condo and have a terrace, potted plants are a great way to add a barrier of varying height and create a solid (and living!) barrier.

Invest in a covered patio

If you have the budget, consider a more permanent structure. Covered patios not only increase the value of your home, but they also can give you more square footage for an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, or water feature.


  • Adds resale value
  • Blocks sun and adds another permanent entertainment area


  • Expensive
  • Covers from above but not on the sides

Container garden

Container gardens are perfect for smaller areas because you can affix them to a railing and make them as long or short as you’d like. As an added bonus, you can plant all of your favorite blooming flowers or herbs to create a colorful design that smells like summer.

Backyard pergola with lights at night
Randy Fath/Unsplash

Privacy just isn’t about the visual

Sure, you don’t want neighbors peeping in watching your every move, but noise can also be an issue when you want to sit outside and relax. If you live on a city block or a neighborhood filled with little kids and need a break from the noise, here are a couple of ideas to help.

Add a water feature

Not only does adding a water feature help cancel out ambient noise, but it adds a gorgeous design element that will keep you cool, calm, and collected as you chill outdoors in your backyard.

Invest in outdoor speakers

Speakers are a great way to pipe in your favorite music while you entertain, work in the garden, or relax around the pool. You can find a variety of weather-resistant speakers to add to your backyard so that all the noises around you will disappear.

These nine ideas will go a long way toward providing you with some much-needed respite in your backyard. Among other benefits, they’ll keep people from being able to see your every move while you enjoy the outdoors, enhance the design of your backyard, keep kids and pets in, add color, and give you a more enjoyable experience during those long summer months.

Editors' Recommendations

Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
7 best basement office ideas so you don’t feel like you’re working in a dungeon
Basement home office.

Working from home is now much more commonplace than it used to be, which is one of the reasons people now need office space at home. Even if you don't work from home, you may have kids that need a desk for arts and crafts or office space for homework. Whatever the reason, having an office space in your home is pretty necessary, and if you have a basement, it just may be the perfect spot for a home office. A basement home office can offer the sometimes necessary separation from the rest of the family's activities. If you're thinking about the basement being dark and dingy and, therefore, decreasing the chances anyone will actually go down there to work, don't worry; we've got you covered. We've even found some great unfinished basement office ideas for those of you starting from scratch.

Get rid of clutter
One of the first vital steps to creating a basement office is to define a specific area as office space. This will allow you to remove any boxes, clothes, and clutter, making it less like a storage area. If you’re able, use bookshelves or a place already walled off to have a specific space that doesn’t feel cluttered. You can also invest in storage solutions that hide messes. Wall-mounted units will give you a place to put all of your stuff and create a separation of space. Even a simple room divider can do the trick if you're on a budget.

Read more
10 effective ways to get rid of standing water in your yard
how to fix a yard that holds water shutterstock 1936658137

A home's yard is often a homeowner's pride and joy. A big yard is valuable. A pristine yard is coveted. Nothing gives you quite as much satisfaction as working hard on your lawn and seeing awesome results. When you see your lawn declining, though, it's a huge disappointment. Whether it's drought conditions or drainage problems, issues with your soil and grass make your yard an eyesore. Standing water is one of those issues. Many homeowners keep to a seasonal yard maintenance schedule and still wonder: How do I get rid of water in my yard? The good news is, we'll walk you through how to fix a yard that holds water with 10 different methods.

What causes standing water in your yard?
The first step in solving the problem of a swampy yard is to determine what the cause of the pooling water is. It could be due to:

Read more
Brighten up your walkway with landscape lighting: What you need to know
how to install outdoor lighting shutterstock 487132054

The exterior of your home is the first place guests access when they're visiting, so it needs to be safe and easy to traverse. That's why having adequate outdoor lighting is imperative. Additionally, if you're selling your home, a stylish, modern outdoor lighting solution gives prospective buyers a great first impression of the property. With a just few lighting updates, you can give your home an immediate facelift and make it more inviting for guests and prospective buyers alike. Here's how to install outdoor lighting.

Can I install outdoor lighting myself?
Adding a lighting concept to your outdoor space doesn't necessarily require a wealth of DIY skills. It does, however, require some knowledge of and comfort with electrical components. There are three main types of electrical systems for landscape lighting, and the method you choose determines the skill level required for the project.

Read more