How to create backyard privacy without blocking light — 7 clever solutions for a bright and beautiful space

Our design pros share smart tips on how to create backyard privacy without blocking light

Learn how to create backyard privacy without blocking light. For example, here is a white macrame panel behind a white outdoor seat with orange, purple, and striped throw pillows on it
(Image credit: Lush Decor)

Learning how to create backyard privacy without blocking light will come in useful if you want to catch rays in your outdoor space without feeling like your life is on display for neighbours.

Our designers have created outdoor spaces and in this guide, share seven ways to usher in privacy without making your backyard gloomy, including tips on natural and decorative methods. Think tall trees, lush screens, and sheer curtains.

If you're looking for backyard privacy ideas but don't want to say goodbye to glowing sunshine, these smart ideas are worth keeping in mind.

Pros reveal best ways to create backyard privacy without blocking light

Avoid backyard privacy mistakes with our designer-led guide featuring a host of different techniques that will still allow your place to become a sun-kissed oasis.

Some of their solutions are shoppable buys, which we matched with high-quality picks from trusted retailers throughout to help you start styling your yard.

All prices were correct at the time of publishing.

1. Outdoor curtains

A backyard area with two white macrame panels with a white seat underneath it with orange, purple, and striped pillows underneath it

(Image credit: Lush Decor)

When looking for backyard ideas, choosing elegant options like outdoor curtains can turn even the smallest of spaces into a sophisticated setting.

“Install sheer outdoor curtains on pergolas, pavilions, or overhangs to create a soft and elegant privacy solution,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

“Sheer fabrics like voile or linen (the Jinchan Linen Curtains from Amazon are made from recycled materials and are waterproof) gently diffuse sunlight while offering privacy from neighboring properties,” she adds.

Be sure to choose light-colored curtains to maintain an airy and inviting ambiance.

2. Louvered panels

A green backyard area with a white pergola with black metal louvered panels, a dining table with glasses and flowers on it, and four black and white cushioned chairs, all on a grassy lawn

(Image credit: Fency)

If you want to control the sun’s rays when creating backyard privacy without blocking light, choose a striking addition like louvered panels.

“Opt for ones made from materials like aluminum or composite wood that are durable and weather-resistant,” Nina explains. “From here, you can customize the angle of the louvers to optimize light and privacy throughout the day.”

Go for a versatile style to blend in with your patio decor or a daring shade to create a standout feature. 

For example, the Oriental Furniture Louvered Divider from Walmart is made with rich red New Zealand Pine and can be folded both ways.

3. Ornamental grasses

Rows of feather reed grass with pnk fluffy tops and dark green stems

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Head down the natural route when creating backyard privacy without blocking light by planting ornamental grasses.

“Use raised planters filled with tall ornamental grasses like miscanthus or feather reed grass. The grasses create a soft, semi-transparent barrier that offers privacy without obstructing light,” says Nisha Maxwell, garden designer and founder of Mantis Planting.

Look for rectangular planters you can move around when required, such as the Costway Wooden Raised Garden Bed from Target which has an efficient water drainage system design and handily comes with a garden bed liner.

4. Living wall

A backyard with a metal living wall with light green leafy plants hanging from the slats and trees and plants above and below it

(Image credit: Getty Images / Timothy Roesdiah)

Bring together natural and decorative elements beautifully by creating a gorgeous, vibrant living privacy wall.

“Construct living privacy walls using innovative materials like outdoor fabric panels or metal mesh filled with greenery,” Nina suggests. “These dynamic structures provide privacy, while allowing light to filter through, creating a modern and visually interesting focal point in your backyard.”

You can also use a trellis to create a similar effect. I really love the Amagabeli 2 Pack Black Garden Trellis from Walmart which is giving me all the Bridgerton design vibes, is made from a rust-resistant material, and is easy to assemble.

5. Decorative fencing

A white picket fence with a dark green bush of pink and white rose blossoms hanging above it

(Image credit: Getty Images / Catherine McQueen)

If you're in need of something more permanent, go for outdoor fencing ideas which will allow plenty of privacy and allow in lots of light.

Nina explains, “Choose decorative fencing designs like picket or lattice panels, as these will allow airflow and sunlight to pass through while creating a sense of seclusion.”

You can also paint or stain the fencing in light colors (the Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in Antique White from Amazon dries in just one hour and will highlight the natural wood grain) to enhance brightness and openness in your outdoor space.

6. Tall, narrow trees

A backyard with two tall cypress trees, a tall green hedge behind these, and a collection of bushes below it

(Image credit: Getty Images / pchagai)

This solution might be a long-term game, but if you’ve settled into your forever home, this will be worth the wait.

“Choose trees with a slim profile, such as cypress or columnar juniper,” Nisha says. “These trees provide vertical privacy without casting wide shadows that block sunlight."

Grow your own with a starter kit such as the Flowerwood Leyland Cypress from Walmart, which grows three to five feet per year and only needs watering a couple of times a week.

7. Lattice panels

A backyard with tall green trees, a light wooden lattice panel with plants in it and around it, tall ornamental rgass next to it, and pink flowers in front of it

(Image credit: Getty Images / TorriPhoto)

Go for a dreamy, romantic look in your backyard with a lovely lattice paired with pretty plants. One of the biggest outdoor decor trends at the moment is cottagecore design, and this is an easy way to bring this in (or out!).

Nisha suggests, “Install lattice panels or trellises and train climbing plants like clematis or ivy to grow on them.”

She says this will create a screen with plenty of privacy and will allow you to control how much light filters through the gaps, too.

I like lattice, but if you want something a touch more whimsical, the Pergola Garden Plant Trellis from Walmart has a cute moon design, a smooth wooden surface, and can simply be slotted into the ground.

With decorative elements and thoughtful design solutions, creating backyard privacy without blocking light could not be easier.

“Bringing in creative ideas can enhance your outdoor living experience with the perfect blend of fabulous and function,” Nina finishes by saying.

If you live in an apartment and can’t add fencing or trees, balcony privacy ideas will also help you shut the world out in style.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.