Add curves. If you’re worried about a pergola feeling too oppressive in a small yard, try a tall arched style to retain as much height as possible while still creating the feeling of an outdoor room. If you can’t find a ready-made pergola that works, you could ask a local builder to make a custom one. It could be as simple as four uprights with two curved struts overhead.
This is a cozy, inviting patio space, but look how close the building next door stands, making it impossible for neighbors not to notice you. A simple row of planters, filled with verdant palms, does the trick to screen the view. Once you and your guests are seated in this cozy outdoor living room, you'll truly feel private, thanks to that living green partition.
Add a wow factor to an enclosed patio with a stunning three-dimensional metal screening system. Perforated metal bands with a bronzy patina have been "woven" in and out of upright posts to form an extraordinary garden wall. Add a few trees and some strategically placed uplighting, and the space becomes dramatic and thoroughly private.
Here's another affordable, easy-to-create solution when you need to divide or enclose a garden space. Check it out: The planters are actually galvanized tubs, the type you can find at the hardware or farm supply store. Punch drainage holes in the bottom of each tub, line them up in a row and plant each with something uniform and tall. Any grasslike plant will do. When or if you have to move, you can take this green screen with you.
This corner seating area is furnished with two custom concrete block sofas facing a beautiful copper fire bowl. The space gains more privacy from the narrow ipe lumber installed in sections behind each sofa. The overall design forms an exotic, tropical enclosure that will transport its occupants far from the outside world.
Planting a green hedge often is the easiest way to screen a neighboring property from view. The lines of this tidy hedge echo those of the patio, making it feel more like a freestanding architectural screen rather than an ominous wall. As a bonus, the hedge becomes a lovely backdrop to the perennials and ground covers planted at its base.
Gabion retaining wall. A gabion — a metal cage or box filled with rocks or sometimes other materials — makes an eye-catching and cost-effective wall. Choose your stone carefully, as the type you use will influence the overall look and feel of the wall. For instance, smooth blue-gray river stones will have a much different effect from a random assortment of rough, locally gathered rock.