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Seclusion in Style: 17 Creative Privacy Fence Ideas for Backyards

Your backyard can be many things – your friends’ favorite place to get together, your kids’ ultimate playground, or your own personal oasis. No matter how you’re using your yard, you want to feel safe, comfortable, and protected.

Of course, one of the very best ways to be intentional about maintaining a private outdoor space is to install a privacy fence. But maybe you’re hesitant. After all, won’t that just make your yard look small and drab?

By no means! Actually, there are a myriad of stylish privacy fence ideas to choose from for your backyard. By selecting an option that matches your needs, budget, and style, you can find a privacy fence that not only keeps you and your loved ones safe but also enhances the overall look of your yard.

Privacy Fence Ideas for Backyard

New Takes on the Traditional Wooden Fence

When first considering a privacy fence, many people immediately think of wood. A wooden fence can be less than appealing if the planks are not arranged nicely or stained well. But when it’s done right, a good wooden fence can take your entire outdoor space to the next level.

The traditional wooden privacy fence can take on a whole new look with the right design, pattern, or paint job. Here are some of our favorite twists on this timeless classic.

1. Chevron Wooden Fence

Our first creative privacy fence idea is the charming chevron wooden fence. With its unique pattern of planks, this design creates a lot of visual interest and adds an unexpected, eye-catching element to your space.

This option gives you a lot of room to play around with stains and paint colors, too. The pattern’s variations will make any color choice pop. So, whether you decide to whitewash it or leave it unpainted, it’ll look great either way.

2. Dark, High-Gloss Wood Stain

If you’re into relaxing outdoors, why not make your backyard look like your own private resort? Adding a dark, high-gloss stain is an elegant way to refresh a normal wooden privacy fence. The shiny surface will give your space a luxurious, spa-like quality that’ll have you feeling instantly at peace.

3. Interlocking Horizontal Wooden Planks

Many wooden fences are commonly constructed with vertical posts – but for an interesting twist, try out interlocking horizontal planks instead. This fence design looks modern and chic, creating a lovely visual contrast with the vertical lines of any surrounding plants.

4. Black Paint

While white is the more commonly used paint color for backyard fences, opting for black paint instead can actually add a lot of elegance and style. The dark color will provide a striking contrast with the plants around it, making it the perfect backdrop for your garden; your greens will look greener, and your brightly colored flowers will absolutely pop.

5. Wooden Lattice

Homeowners may have different preferences on how “filled in” they want their privacy fence to be. The choice is totally up to you – but if you don’t feel the need for your fence to be completely opaque, a lattice design is a beautiful option. This pattern can be easily achieved with wood and is a great way to let some extra sunlight into your space.

6. Bright Color

Additionally, some people want their privacy fences to “disappear” into the background of their backyard, while others would like it to be a beautiful visual focal point. Again, preferences vary – but if you want your fence to stand out, you can choose a paint color that’ll brighten your space. A fun hue such as teal or red can really add some character to your yard and help to make it uniquely your own.

7. Painted Mural

If you’re artistic, you could also try your hand at painting a colorful mural on your wooden privacy fence for some extra flair.

This can be an especially fun addition for families with little ones. Simply paint a whimsical mural that can serve as a backdrop for playtime–a fairy realm with a castle, a jungle safari, a spaceship among the stars–and watch as their imagination comes to life!

8. Trellised Slat Fence

Another fun privacy fence idea involves adding in an unexpected botanical element to an otherwise normal wooden fence. Your slat fence can double as a trellis for vines and climbing plants, creating a quirky, bohemian vibe. Simply place the plants where you’d like them to begin growing and watch the magic happen.

Other Materials to Consider

Clearly, there are a lot of wooden backyard privacy fence ideas to choose from – but that’s not the only option out there. If you’re going for a different look altogether, here are some other possible fence materials to consider.

9. Stone Wall

For your next privacy fence, stone can be a great low-maintenance option with impressive long-term durability. There are a few different ways you can utilize this tried-and-true material.

For instance, you can purchase prefabricated stone panels to create a modern, formal barrier around your yard. However, keep in mind that this may be a more expensive option compared to other materials and may require professional installation.

You also have the option of building the fence yourself by stacking individual stones together to achieve the desired height. Of course, this method can be pretty labor-intensive and requires ready access to loose rocks. However, the end result can create a rugged, natural look, especially if the stones are locally sourced.

10. Vinyl

Like stone, vinyl is another low-maintenance option for privacy fences. It only requires occasional upkeep, won’t need to be repainted, and can last for decades. It may be a little pricier upfront, but your investment will definitely pay off when it comes to longevity!

Vinyl privacy fences come in a variety of styles, although color options may be limited. They are relatively easy to install and will hold up well under most weather conditions.

11. Logs

If you’re aiming for a charmingly rustic vibe, look no further than a log fence! This can be a great cost-effective choice for backyard builders on a budget. All you’ll need is an assortment of logs (unprocessed is fine) and something to secure them together. Choosing logs of different heights can further enhance the natural look.

12. Wrought Iron or Steel

For a barrier that is both wonderfully low-maintenance and utterly timeless, consider a wrought iron or steel privacy fence. These fences provide top-notch security (they’re practically impossible to cut through!) while still allowing for open spaces between the poles. While these materials are more expensive at the outset, they have incredible longevity and can even add property value to your home.

13. Gabion Wall

gabion wall is another unique option for your backyard privacy fence. A “gabion” is simply a large metal frame that allows for loose material to be placed inside of it, creating a retaining wall that can serve as a fence. Stones are a popular filler for gabion fences, but other items such as wood, bricks, or other reclaimed materials can work as well.

Ideas for Natural Barriers

As you’re making plans for your next privacy fence, keep in mind that fences don’t necessarily have to be constructed from man-made materials – plants can do the job, too. Let’s look at some ideas for natural privacy fences for your backyard.

14. Shrubs

For a classic mid-height barrier option, the simple shrub is a real winner. Many people have used this seemingly ordinary plant to create a stylish privacy fence for their yard. Dogwood shrubs are especially popular for creating natural boundaries due to their fast growth rate, decent height, and thick foliage – although if you’re looking for a pop of color, you can also go with a flowering shrub such as forsythia.

To get started with your shrub privacy fence, you’ll simply want to plant the bushes in a line around the area you’re fencing in. Keep in mind that the proper space between each plant will be determined by whatever species you’ve chosen, so be sure to do your research.

Of course, even though some shrubs can grow up to 2 feet per year, it’s still going to take some time before they get big enough to form an actual barrier. Nevertheless, there’s a certain joy in being able to watch this process unfold naturally. And remember, you can always choose to prune back your plants if they grow too big for your liking.

15. Hedges

Another natural backyard privacy fence option that offers a decent amount of height and density is a hedge. While hedges have many similarities with shrubs and may even involve the same plants, the difference can be found in the way they are maintained; hedges are intentionally pruned and maintained to hold a specific, manicured shape.

If you’re interested in using hedges to create your privacy fence, you’ll begin the process just as you would for growing shrubs – by selecting and planting several woody bushes, allowing them to grow over time. As they become larger, you can begin gradually sculpting them into a rectangular hedge form. The exact maintenance schedule will vary by plant species

Boxwoods are a common choice for hedges since they grow densely and are tolerant of frequent prunings. Hornbeam trees, another popular hedge pick, are well-liked because they change color in the fall, taking on a lovely copper hue.

Now, even though we’re technically discussing natural privacy fence ideas here, we would be remiss not to mention the possibility of artificial hedges. These prefabricated panels look remarkably convincing and can be particularly useful if you don’t want to commit to the rigorous upkeep needed by natural hedges.

16. Bamboo

Bamboo makes for another beautiful backyard privacy fence option if you want to go all-natural. As a very fast-growing woody grass, it can be a great choice for getting a tall barrier going quickly. Many bamboo starter plants can grow tall enough to form a formidable privacy fence in just 3 to 5 years.

There are hundreds of bamboo varieties you can choose from for this project; you’ll want to make your selection based on your climate, desired fence height, and personal color and style preferences. As we discussed earlier with the shrubs, your actual planting process will depend on the specific needs of the plant species you choose.

Because bamboo is so fast-growing, you’ll need to be mindful of its progress as you grow your privacy fence and be diligent about properly maintaining and containing it. Good fences may make good neighbors – but those neighbors won’t be too happy if your bamboo plants take over their entire yard!

17. Evergreen Tree Line

Last but not least, an evergreen tree line can be a lovely idea for a natural backyard privacy fence. Since these trees keep their foliage all year, they’re still able to offer dense coverage at times when others are completely bare – making them an excellent choice for a privacy barrier.

It’s no secret that creating an evergreen privacy fence will definitely require some planning – and plenty of patience, as it can take several years before your vision is fully realized. But if you’re willing to invest the time, this beautiful barrier is able to provide you with privacy and gorgeous views for decades to come.

Douglas firwhite pine, and Norway spruce are all popular options for planting a privacy screen line. You’ll want to select your trees based on your area’s climate, taking your average rainfall, temperature variations, and soil quality into account. You can choose to plant one kind of evergreen, or you can mix and match varieties for a more natural, eclectic look.

Choose Your Next Backyard Privacy Fence

Whether you choose to go with a classic wooden fence, opt for another type of material, or decide to let Mother Nature be your guide, there’s a beautiful backyard privacy fence idea out there for everyone. By incorporating your personal tastes into your design, you can create a fence that’s not only functional but also adds style and character to your yard.

For more tips on making the most out of your favorite outdoor space, take a look at our other backyard living posts!