Perfect patio privacy ideas for a peaceful yard — 10 ways to create seclusion

Get cozy with these easy-to-implement patio privacy ideas

A wooden patio chair with white cushions, throw, twisted design side table on paver patio with a tall gray fence behind
(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Patio privacy ideas can make all the difference to your outside space. A screen, pergola or the right hanging plants can help shelter your green oasis from nosy neighbors and overlooked setups.

To discover the best ways to achieve this, we spoke to landscaping and outdoor design experts for 10 tips on creating a perfectly private patio nook without breaking the bank.

Whether you’ve got a larger patio to shield or a smaller space you want to keep cozy up in, these backyard privacy ideas will help you get more from your space, all year round.

The best 10 patio privacy ideas to try

Whether it's a privacy screen idea or a pergola idea that you settle on, these patio privacy ideas are easy to implement and won't see you go over budget, with tips and ideas for all price points. 

Where our experts have suggested products, we have carefully curated matching picks to shop, considering their features, customer ratings and reviews. 

All prices were correct at the time of publication.

1. Use tall plants

A small patio surrounded by hedges next to a river

(Image credit: Rosie Hilder)

Molly Werner, director of marketing for the fencing, decking and railing categories of Barrette Outdoor Living, says, "If you are trying to keep things very low cost, you can add tall plants, such as grasses or smaller trees, to add privacy in different areas of your space."

Fast-growing shrubs such as bamboo and cherry laurel are particularly good at ushering in privacy on your patio without making your eyes water at the cost. Buy them smaller, plant them well, and watch them grow into a beautiful, natural privacy tool.

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

The Flowerland Leyland Cypress from Walmart is another great choice as it grows three to five feet per year, is quite drought-resistant, and once established, will only need pruning or cutting back once or twice a year. Low maintenance, high impact and fast-growing? A sure winner!

2. Get hanging plants

Patio with black slatted wooden pergola, red cushioned mid-century outdoor chairs and landscaped gray patio with trimmed shrubs and lawn and hanging baskets

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

As well as using a variety of large potted plants, Aaron Brundage, director of operations at System Pavers, says, “Hanging planters can work wonders for creating a more private feel that’s brimming with lush beauty”. 

We suggest nabbing one of our best hanging planters and filling it with greenery available from Amazon using their petunia seeds, cascading lobelia mixes or orange begonias.

“Hanging plants and vertical gardens can be an especially good addition if your space is limited,” adds Aaron. This is because you get privacy up top where it's needed, without taking up valuable floor space. 

Use a metal hanging plant hook such as the FUPODJH two-pack of leaf-design iron wall hooks from Amazon, which come with hardware to install to create a stable place to hang you planters. You can also use them for your rain chains and hummingbird feeders

3. Add a screen

patio with two Adirondack gray plastic patio chairs and a black metal screen in the background

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

“If you have a bit more budget to play with, items like decorative screen panels are a great option for increased privacy,” says Molly. “They are easy to install and low maintenance, as they are made out of durable materials.”

You don’t need to worry about finding one that’s the exact fit or color you want, either. “If you want to make changes, you can easily paint them or trim them down,” explains Molly.

We love this Barrette Outdoor Living decorative screen panel from Amazon (similar to the one pictured above), which is easy to install and works either outdoors or indoors.

4. Consider a pergola

A black metal pergola with slatted screens on a patio blue outdoor rug, gray Adirondack chairs and cozy soft furnishings in yellow, blue and cream

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Adding a pergola is a fantastic way to create a sense of privacy on your patio and the panels to the side, back and top not only shade you from the sun and prying eyes nearby, they create the perfect cozy nook to host or relax in.

Attaching canopy curtains (such as the outdoor Sun Zero Sailor olive green UV protectant curtains from Walmart) or hanging plants to your sturdy pergola will further enhance the feeling of privacy on your patio.

Aaron says there are other benefits too. “Because a pergola provides shade while allowing you to enjoy the breeze, you’ll have a patio you love to share throughout all seasons.

Why not try a pergola like the one above, sold via Wayfair or a wooden cedar wood gazebo from Amazon with arch features, made from solid cedar and built to last?

5. Get an umbrella

If a pergola won’t fit in your space, or is too expensive, don't despair. “For homes where a pergola isn’t an option, you can create a similar feel by simply getting a patio umbrella,” says Aaron.

They are often cheap, cheerful, colorful and do the job without the need for you to shell out hundreds of dollars. 

Molly agrees: “Having a dining table with an umbrella can help seclude you from neighborhood views.” A canopy can also have a similar effect.

We've rounded up some useful retailer hubs with outdoor umbrellas for quick shopping:

6. Add outdoor curtains

Cream floor to roof outdoor curtains surrounding a patio paver area

(Image credit: Bonzer)

Outdoor curtains are an elegant way to get more privacy on your patio, and they don’t have to be expensive. 

“With a pergola it’s simple to make the feel even more private by adding billowing outdoor curtains or trailing vines to craft a natural barrier from prying eyes,” says Aaron.

Make sure you choose your fabric carefully though, Aaron suggests using weather-resistant fabrics. Something like Bonzer’s waterproof outdoor curtains (pictured above) should do the job nicely.

If you prefer to keep the view, opt for lighter weatherproof sheer curtains Eider and Ivory Hamman Polyester Sheer Curtain Panels on Wayfair, perfect for outdoor use and easy on the pocket.

7. Add lights

wooden pergola on a patio with curtains and lighting around the top

(Image credit: System Pavers)

Lighting can mark pathways and create the sense of a perimeter which is a savvy little trick in creating a sense of intimacy and privacy in a space.

There are a number of ways you can add lighting to your patio, depending on your budget and space. One option is to add LED lights around the perimeter of your yard. “This creates a sense of enclosure that’s especially enjoyable in the evening hours,” says Aaron.

Other patio lighting ideas include using candles, lanterns or solar powered fairy lights like these Henderson fairy light strings from Wayfair.

8. Rearrange the furniture


(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

Making your space feel more private can come down to something as simple as how you arrange your patio furniture, according to Aaron.

“By facing your primary seating away from high traffic areas, you’ll ensure guests have a peaceful view that feels relaxing and inviting,” he says. Having your small patio furniture facing each other is another way to create an intimate feel.

If your budget allows, your seating can also act as a more permanent divider. “You also can opt for built-in seating made from concrete panels that doubles as a wall or barrier,” Molly adds.

Moveable planters are also brilliant ways to build privacy or zone an area of your patio when you're using it. Consider one with a trellis so your natural growers and climbers bring in more visual privacy, such as the Mobile Vegetable Planter with Trellis from The Lakeside Collection.

9. Put up a fence

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

(Image credit: Barrette Outdoor Living)

If your budget is larger, you can consider putting up a fence to increase privacy. “Privacy fencing will maximize the amount of seclusion in your yard, as they tend to be made from opaque vinyl,” says Molly. See our how to build a fence guide if you want to try creating your own.

To go one step further, Aaron has some suggestions: “If you’re looking to boost the wow factor, choose a fence with more decorative features, or have lighting professionally installed within a retaining or sitting wall to make your space functional after dark.”

10. Get cozy with a fire pit

patio with a fire pit and low chairs looking out onto a wide street

(Image credit: System Pavers)

When space is tight, it might seem counterintuitive to add more elements, but a fire pit can add a cosy and private feel to your yard or patio. “The crackling fire creates a focal point that effortlessly blocks out outside distractions and creates a private feel you can enjoy nearly any time of year,” says Aaron.

We like the OutVue wood burning fire pit from Amazon, which doubles as a table, and for something more portable, try the waaliji portable fire pit from Amazon, which also works as a BBQ.

For any nosy neighbours looking in, the light from the fire will also put you in shadow, so even if it doesn't physically block people from seeing you, they won't be able to make out details and features as easily.

Meet our experts

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 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.

Now that you've learned how to make your patio more private, you may also be interested in paver patio ideas, how to clean a patio without a pressure washer or porch privacy ideas.

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.