10 deck privacy ideas for a beautifully secluded space

These deck privacy ideas will help you create an outdoor sanctuary

deck area in the front of a house with two chairs and a small table, plus a vertical planter
(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

With the right deck privacy ideas, you can turn your deck into a beautifully secluded spot for soaking up the sun. If your deck currently feels a little exposed to the elements (and the neighbors), these ideas will help you create a cozy nook that's just for you and your guests.

To discover ways to create a quiet deck, we've spoken to outdoor and garden experts for their tips on deck privacy, and we asked them specifically to focus on DIY and budget ideas.

They've provided us with plenty of backyard garden ideas to get your space feeling nice and private.

10 deck privacy ideas to try 

We've spoken to three experts to gather 10 deck privacy ideas that will work on a budget. Where relevant, we've also suggested products that will help you achieve deck privacy.

Prices correct at the time of writing.

1. Divide with planting

deck area with a pool and planting round the side

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

For those on a budget, planting, like ornamental grasses, may be the easiest way to achieve privacy on your deck. "Planting certain things like taller grasses, shrubs, and hedges, or small trees can help you separate property lines and add privacy in different areas of your outdoor space," says Molly Werner, director of marketing for the fencing, decking, and railing categories of Barrette Outdoor Living.

Molly_Werner bio pic, a white woman with dark hair in black and white
Molly Werner

Molly Werner is the director of marketing for the fencing, decking and railing categories of Barrette Outdoor Living, a division of Oldcastle APG. She is a highly accomplished marketing leader with several years' experience in brand strategy and management in the homes space.

Aaron Brundage, director of operations at System Pavers, agrees. “Plants and greenery can be your privacy powerhouse! Opt for tall foliage such as bamboo and decorative grasses to block sight lines.” This bamboo palm or ornamental grass, both from Walmart, should be a good starting point.

Aaron Brundage headshot - white man with dark hair and a blue shirt
Aaron Brundage

As director of operations at System Pavers, the nation’s leading outdoor remodeling company, Aaron has 15+ years of leadership and sales experience in the construction industry. He attended State University of New York at Oswego and currently lives in Syracuse, New York with his family.

2. Think evergreens

a black pergola on a decking area with cosy seating

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Tilly's director of design, Cate Singleton, agrees that tall evergreen shrubs can do wonders for blocking out neighboring views and providing privacy for an outdoor space. "[Shrubs] can be placed along the perimeter of the yard, the perimeter of the outdoor living space, or even in containers with casters that can be moved as needed to achieve the desired screening," she explains.

As well as planting shrubs or grasses, the right evergreen plants can also provide visual privacy and work as "noise buffers along busy streets or common areas", says Cate. "Many evergreens, such as Little Gem Magnolias, will also provide seasonal blooms to double as a focal feature in the garden," she adds. Try this Little Gem Magnolia tree from Amazon to get you started or see our fast-growing evergreens for privacy ideas.

Choosing shrubs that are seasonal is a big patio privacy mistake, so evergreens are the best option you can choose.

Cate Singleton, white woman with brown hair against greenery
Cate Singleton

Cate is director of design at Tilly, a landscape design company that serves homeowners nationwide. Homeowners are matched with a professional designer to create a custom plan for their yard based on their geography, goals and needs. 

3. Use furniture wisely

deck area with seating enclosed by a black screen with a pattern

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

The way your furniture is arranged can make a difference in how private your deck feels. "Arranging your outdoor furniture in a way that creates a more intimate space can help with creating privacy," explains Cate. To create a cozy feel to your deck, try moving furniture away from walkways and focusing it towards a coffee table or a view.

4. Think vertical

deck area with two chairs, orange pouffes and a vertical planter, surrounded by a fence

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Cate suggests that thinking vertically when it comes to furniture might be useful for deck privacy. "Incorporating taller pieces, such as shelving units, vertical garden panels, and planters with taller plants can also help with creating a more private feeling on a deck," she says. You don't have to stick to straight vertical lines either, with options such as this fun Nierenberg metal vertical garden from Wayfair, which has a folding design.

5. Get a pergola

a black pergola with privacy screens and a seating area on a deck

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

"Pergolas are always a great addition to an outdoor space," says Molly, who adds that pergolas can often be adapted. "You can make modifications to most pergolas to increase privacy, such as adding curtains or panels."

Molly recommends this pergola from Barrette Outdoor Living, sold via Wayfair (above) which also comes with the option to add one or two side-wall panels (sold separately at Wayfair). These pergola ideas can help you place your pergola.

6. Create a barrier

deck area with a table, lantern, sofa and a fence in the background

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Aside from a pergola, building a barrier is another way to add privacy to your deck. "Fencing and retaining walls are more traditional ways to add privacy to your space," says Aaron. "This can be as easy as adding a trellis of lattice or building a small border or picket fence." See our landscaping privacy ideas for more options.

7. Get shady

patio next to a river with patio furniture and an umbrella

(Image credit: Rosie Hilder)

Some of the best ways to add privacy to your deck will also have the benefit of adding shade. "A large umbrella, pergola, or retractable awning can add quite a bit of privacy to an outdoor space," says Cate. Something like this pop-up canopy from Wayfair can also help here.

8. Use accessories

deck next to a kitchen with a screen and a sofa

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Other accessories can help add a cozy feel to your deck. Cate loves "drop down screens, curtains, and lattice panels for adding that extra bit of privacy to an outdoor space". These options have other benefits, too: "They can also help with sun exposure and even deter outdoor pests from sharing the space," says Cate.

9. Add personal touches

sunset scene of a patio with a wooden table and chairs and a windchime in the foreground

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

"Another great way to create a more private feel for your space is by adding your own touches of décor," says Aaron. "Outdoor art, sculptures and wind chimes can turn a boring deck into a haven that feels all yours and is brimming with personal style." Something like this Capiz wind chime, from Wayfair, comes in a variety of colors.

10. Get a water feature

Water Dome 48 by Solus Decor

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

Water features can not only add a sense of calm to a space but also block out background noises such as traffic and noisy neighbors. “Water features add visual appeal that will give your yard a tranquil spa-like feel,” says Aaron, who notes that they are ideal if your space feels a bit chaotic.

See our garden water feature ideas piece if you’re not sure where to start.

For more on creating private outdoor spaces, see our how to enclose your apartment's balcony and front yard privacy ideas pieces.

Rosie Hilder

I'm deputy editor on Real Homes' sister site, Creative Bloq, which covers all things art and design. In a former life, I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was deputy editor on Time Out Buenos Aires magazine. Reviewing hotels, restaurants and shops, I developed a love of quirky and stylish interiors. 

Since moving back to the UK, I've worked for a variety of titles, including Woman & Home, graphic design title Computer Arts and traditional art magazine Paint & Draw. 

I've recently moved in to a townhouse in Bristol, where I am slowly but surely redecorating and restyling every room.