Turn your outdoor space into your own personal (and private!) retreat.

By Katie Holdefehr
July 10, 2020
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With many of us spending more time than ever in our backyards this summer—and planning elaborate at-home staycations rather than vacations—we may have noticed some things we'd like to change about our outdoor spaces. At the top of many wishlists: more privacy. Especially since our neighbors also happen to be hanging out at home this summer, backyard privacy is a must. But because hedges, trees, and other plantable forms of privacy might take several years to grow tall enough and permanent fences are a big commitment, we rounded up some backyard privacy ideas that are easy to install right away. These barriers strike the right balance between subtle and effective, so you can enjoy your yard in peace, without sending the wrong message to your neighbors. Plus, they'll match seamlessly with your outdoor decor.

Terrain

Crafted from real willow branches, this divider will look like a natural part of your backyard. Each branch is spaced close enough to afford you some privacy, while still allowing small leaves to poke through for an organic effect. 

To buy: $88, terrain.com

Pottery Barn

If you have a pergola or arbor in your backyard, a set of weather-resistant outdoor curtains is all it takes to transform it into your private oasis (away from your neighbors and the sun). Or, install curtains just on the side nearest the neighboring yard, so you can enjoy some privacy while catching some rays. 

To buy: From $149, potterybarn.com

Grandin Road

This wooden screen looks stylish the moment it's set up—but over time, as clematis or roses climb up the structure, it will look even more elegant. For maximum privacy, plant leafy vines. 

To buy: $699, grandinroad.com

IKEA

If you have a balcony or deck, this lightweight screen attaches directly to the railing. It provides plenty of privacy, yet still lets light filter through. 

To buy: $15, ikea.com

Home Depot

For those who aren't afraid of a DIY project, durable, weather-resistant vinyl lattice is the solution to your privacy problems. Just add sturdy trim to create a free-standing privacy fence, or use it to enclose one side of a covered patio. 

To buy: $19 for 4 x 8', homedepot.com

Amazon

To make one area of your yard, like the dining table or a lounge chair, a little more secluded, set up this wooden slatted screen. Not only does it create a visual barrier, but the built-in planters let you grow fast-growing climbers like wisteria or trumpet vine. 

To buy: $285, amazon.com