Window screens are an absolute necessity here in Sydney; we use them year round to keep the critters out and our homes cool. And, though most of us…
Outdoor Privacy Screens: Beauty, Form and Function for Your Backyard
As the population of large urban centers like Sydney continues to grow, outdoor privacy screens are becoming an important concern to homeowners. It wasn’t too long ago that you could go into your backyard without worrying about prying eyes or nosy neighbors. But, as we continue to build, a simple fence doesn’t always do the trick. That’s why outdoor privacy screens are becoming even more popular among many Sydney residents.
Besides, privacy screens aren’t just about keeping prying eyes out. They can help shut out noise pollution, block unsightly views to the outside world and create a more ambient atmosphere. And, nothing compliments a great set of new aluminium windows or doors than a great backyard view, right?
Most people think of outdoor privacy screens as stone walls or wooden fences. Maybe that was enough to make your outdoor spaces feel secluded and secure a few years ago, but these days privacy screening has become more sophisticated, elegant and even part of the architecture of the home.
You don’t have to be an architect or designer to come up with a great concept to create more privacy in your backyard. We’ve put together a few ideas for you already. But, before you head over to your local hardware store, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
First, determine where you would like to place your screen. Do you want to block the view from a neighbor’s home or the street? Maybe, you’d like to create a secluded space within your yard for privacy and reflection? Where you place your outdoor privacy screen will determine its purpose and materials.
Next, you’ll want to estimate roughly how large of an area you’d like to screen off. You may have a small area such as a corner that could benefit from a large potted plant or two. Or, you may find that you have an entire side of your property line that requires fencing or a hedge.
Finally, you’ll decide on the material to use. Ultimately, the material you choose will determine what kind of privacy screen you create. There are many creative and beautiful solutions out there, so don’t limit your choices to just one. Here are a few of the options available to you and the best way to use them.
Bamboo Screens and More
Shrubbery is one of the easiest ways to create more privacy in your backyard. Shrubs with dense foliage are perfect for obscuring the view into your yard from the street or nosy neighbors and they’re versatile too.
You’ll want to make sure that you select bushes and plants with dense foliage that are known to grow to at least 2 metres in height to get the most benefit. Some good options are lilac, camellias, viburnum and bamboo. Bamboo screening is a popular idea because it’s inexpensive, fast growing and beautiful. Whichever tree or shrub you select, fast growing plants will build up to a nice privacy hedge in no time.
Screens and Panels for Posh Patios
The word privacy panel usually doesn’t conjure up images of a sophisticated solution to your backyard privacy needs. Instead, it might have you thinking of one of those green mesh fences that people put up around the perimeter of their yard during construction.
But, if you’ve taken notice, outdoor privacy screens have suddenly become sleek and sexy with the popularity of slatted designs and materials like natural cedar that also age well in the elements.
Screens and panels are ideal for covering features of your home or yard that aren’t so flattering. For instance, an unsightly generator shed or work area could benefit from a screen.
A slatted screen can be built to measure and is a project that any home handyman or woman can take on with professional looking results. Slatted privacy screens are a lightweight solution that provides air circulation, shade and ambiance.
Other ideas for outdoor privacy screens include lattice screens and Asian inspired panels. Both of these are great solutions for homeowners who are looking to add a little more interest to their backyards. Lattice screens dominated in Victorian design as a means of increasing air flow and aesthetic interest.
Shoji screens are a type of screen used traditionally in Japanese architecture and are usually made of wood and paper. Many home goods stores carry these but, you can also make your own to fit your needs. Because paper might not be the best material for the outdoors, you could substitute the “screen” part with other materials such as cloth, veneer, metal, wood or resin.
Plantings: Outdoor Privacy Screens Take a Hint From Nature
Plantings are another popular and all natural choice of screening materials for your backyard. The best thing about plantings is that they are constantly changing from season to season and require very little maintenance if you use indigenous plants.
One popular idea that we’ve seen used in places like posh hotels and swanky restaurants is the planter box. This is a box that is often built into an outdoor deck area that is filled with soil and plants to create a natural partition. The coverage won’t be as dense as a hedge or bushes, so this may be more appropriate for partitioning off cozy and secluded spaces within your yard rather than putting a barrier between you and the outside world.
Large potted plants can also be used to spruce up an unused corner or even block the view to an unsightly backyard feature. The best part is that they can be easily moved around if you decide to make any changes.
Outdoor privacy screens can go a long way in creating the seclusion and ambiance you need to really enjoy your backyard in an ever growing urban environment. With a little bit of creativity and a few simple materials, you can create an environment that’s perfect for relaxation, entertainment or simply enjoying the view!
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