Yes, You Can Hide Your Neighbor’s House With a Ship Sail—Plus 4 More Patio Privacy Ideas

There’s even a cave on the list.

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Imagine if your patio was fully camouflaged before your neighbor witnessed your solo dance-a-thon from the other side of the fence. Fortunately, there are a few easy fixes that can save you from such cringe-worthy encounters—even a simple plant wall can guarantee that some of what happens in your outdoor space stays there. The best patio privacy ideas allow you to control what you hear and see, as well as who hears and sees you. These five spaces show you how.

Bring the Cabana Vibes

cabana with bamboo roof and white curtains
Photography by Sophie Carpenter

Los Angeles interior designer Sophie Carpenter replaced the old lattice roof on her backyard pergola with one made of two sheets of bamboo reed garden fencing from Home Depot (a $25 upgrade that only needs replacing every few years) and white curtains made out of Sunbrella fabric.

Fence Off Activity Nooks

patio with wooden fence surrounded by greenery
Photo by Minta Maria

To give her family space to spread out, designer Consuelo Pierrepont Spitler divided their Austin backyard into sections. This foliage-filled corner is enclosed by a wood fence for undisturbed lounging and reading sessions. The fence blends into the landscaping because she allowed plants to grow on it, giving the boundary a more natural appearance.

Take Cover

covered patio with hanging rattan globe pendant
Photography by Justin Chung; Styling by Scott Horne

Relish in the best of indoor-outdoor living with an open-air but fully covered patio like the one in textile designer Heather Taylor’s Laurel Canyon property, one of its original features. Make the space feel like an enclosed room with a hanging globe pendant lamp with a rattan shade.

Get Nautical With It

ship sail covering vinyl siding
Photography by Andie Diemer

To keep neighbors (and their vinyl siding) out of view, People of 2morrow founder Sybil Domond and her husband, Dan Lessin, built an 8-by-18-foot cedar fence in the backyard of their Brooklyn townhome, then mounted a sail—a vintage number they scored for $250—by screwing it to the exterior with hooks.

Hide Out in a Cave

backyard grotto built next to sandstone
Photography by Anson Smart

It’s cooler than it sounds. Landscape architect Anthony Wyer carved a cozy grotto next to a sandstone boulder in his Sydney backyard, then topped it with greenery for a lush, jungle-like appearance. The structure takes the place of large trees, naturally blocking neighbors’ sight lines into the space.

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