Boost Your Home and Backyard Privacy

landscaped backyard with cedar privacy fence

People are enjoying outdoor living spaces and wide-open windows more than ever. We want to feel relaxed in our backyards and when we are inside, we love to see the sunlight and natural light stream into our homes. The sunshine and light breezes do a lot of good for our souls and our sanity.

But a neighbor’s prying eyes can put a damper on our enjoyment of our homes and outdoor spaces. So let’s look at some great ways to improve privacy at home both indoors and outdoors to obscure your neighbors’ view.

Many of these ideas in this post can also work to shield your front porch from view to protect your valuable packages from porch pirates.

“Privacy – like eating and breathing – is one of life’s basic requirements.”

Katherine Neville

moedern open bedroom with wall of windows and fireplace with dog on king size bed

Indoor privacy ideas

The main privacy issues indoors involve uncovered windows or windows that don’t have opaque curtains, blinds, or other view-blocking window treatments

Of course, you can add window coverings like blackout curtains to practically any window for privacy. But sometimes you really want to be able to have your windows uncovered to let in natural light. You just don’t want an invasion of privacy in your home.

One of the best ways to protect your privacy inside without obscuring your view is to apply a one-way privacy window film to the windows in question. (Please be sure to check with your window warranty if you have relatively new windows to make sure adding window film won’t nullify the warranty.)

Privacy window film

Home window tinting for privacy allows you to have your privacy without sacrificing your view of the outside world. It works almost like polarized sunglasses do. You can see outside from inside your home, although the view is a bit darker than it would normally be. But when people try to look into your windows during the day, they only see a reflection, due to the privacy glass film, like a one-way mirror. 

Some of these window tint films can also block UV light if you are looking for greater energy-efficiency, as well. 

Or you can use static window clings to create a translucent glass surface for privacy if you aren’t concerned about having access to the view—on the sidelights of your door or for your bathroom window, for example. Decorative window film comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors including geometric shapes, frosted glass, and stained glass film.

You can also use some frosted privacy window film or other decorative privacy films on glass shower doors to improve privacy there, as well.

Window privacy screen

Another option for window privacy involves creating a wooden frame and stretching fabric over it then fitting it inside all or part of a window frame.

The advantages of a decorative screen like this are that you can customize it to match your decor. It’s easily removable. No holes have to be created in the window frame or wall.

Indoor privacy screen

A privacy partition or room divider can work in a large room to section off areas for privacy or simply to create defined spaces. But a privacy screen can also be used in front of a window. This can be a great option if you don’t want to have curtains, shades, or window film but you would like a temporary way to achieve privacy in front of a specific window.

These dividers can be made of wood or metal and can include mesh panels, fabric, and all kinds of decorative designs. And they can easily be moved to provide privacy inside the home for other needs, as well.

“Solitude sometimes is the best society.”

― John Milton, Paradise Lost

privacy fence with build-in planters and red and yellow tulips

Backyard privacy ideas

When you put up a physical barrier around your backyard, you can enjoy your deck or patio without concern about other people watching your every move. The saying is true, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Privacy fences

If you appreciate privacy for your outdoor spaces, a privacy fence is often the best option. A wooden privacy fence (ie: a cedar privacy fence) can be anywhere from 6-12 ft high. With a wood fence, boards can fit close together so that there are no cracks for any visibility between your yard and another yard.

A vinyl privacy fence is another privacy fence idea we love. There’s no maintenance and the privacy is first-rate.

A less expensive fencing idea is a chain-link fence with privacy slats. These are plastic strips that can be woven through the chain so that the chain-link fence has privacy. Or if you prefer to cover the fence completely, plant morning glory, honeysuckle, or wisteria to grow over the fence and provide a beautiful, living privacy wall.

Or if you want a very sturdy fence style without any maintenance required, build a brick fence or stucco wall. 

Privacy screens

Outdoor privacy screens are similar to room dividers with panels. They can often be folded to be stored or moved. Others are free-standing panels. Privacy screen ideas include wood panels, metal panels, or frames with fabric or mesh. Some are made of bamboo and rattan. You can create a fence with privacy screens around your deck or patio.

If you don’t need complete privacy, these screens can be laser cut wood or metal with intricate, stylish designs. Or you could use something simple like lattice to create privacy panels.

Privacy mesh

Privacy mesh can be useful in a privacy screen or as a roll-down blind that can be drawn over a porch or in a gazebo, pavilion, or pagoda. Not only does this provide privacy, but the mesh is a windscreen, as well. And it cuts down on UV rays.

Living wall of evergreens for privacy

A living wall

Plants can make a wonderful privacy wall and they have the additional benefits of buffering street noise and improving the landscape and aesthetics of your yard.

Privacy trees

Fast-growing privacy trees can make a great privacy wall if your need is not immediate. The best trees for privacy generally include evergreens so they screen your yard year-round. Look for trees that reach at least 6-8 feet in height. A few options to consider include Leyland cypress, Lawson cypress, and red cedar. Ask your local plant nursery for other ideas, as well.

Privacy bushes/privacy hedges

Choose a hedge that will have high density, enough height, and will remain evergreen. Some fast-growing privacy hedge options include European beech, English laurel, and emerald green arborvitae.

Privacy plants for your deck

Other options for a living privacy screen include vines that grow on a privacy fence that has planter boxes. They can drape down the fence panel or cascade from a trellis or arbor. Chocolate vine, Boston ivy, or Carolina jessamine make great options to create a deck privacy screen or patio privacy screen.

Privacy curtains

Outdoor curtains are a great option if you don’t want something permanent to obscure your view. If you have space for a pavilion or gazebo on your deck, privacy is easy. Simply hang curtains from the edge of the inner part of the roof on a track. You can have two kinds of curtains, opaque curtains for blocking people’s views and for shade from the sun and/or mesh curtains to act as an insect screen.

If you want something more temporary, go for a pop-up canopy and use curtains to create a privacy tent.

Need help installing a privacy fence, privacy screen, or window treatments in the Columbia, SC area?

No problem! We can help.

Here are some other services we offer related to windows, doors, and fences.

Please contact us today!

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Punch List Pros

Punch List Pros was founded in the summer of 2017 with the goal of providing professional handyman services for realtors and property owners in the Columbia, SC area.

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