City living has its advantages – shorter commutes, highly developed infrastructure, and all the amenities you could want right at your fingertips. With it, though, often comes smaller block sizes and neighbouring houses butting up against your shared fence. This means having to deal with a backyard that is a little more public than you might want.
So how can you combat ever-shrinking urban spaces and ensure the privacy of your backyard?
Screen your space
If the idea of a privacy screen makes you cringe, don’t stress. Gone are the days of ugly plastic and lattice barriers that deteriorate over time. Now you can get stylish and durable screens that tie right in with your outdoor décor, giving your space a secure feeling without making it seem claustrophobic.
Hedge your bets
Hedges are a handy way to introduce extra greenery into an outdoor space while also creating a visual barrier that makes it difficult for random eyes to peer into your backyard. While they do require some maintenance, you will generally be rewarded with a thick, natural screen that not only protects your privacy, but also looks great. The most popular types of hedge in Australia are:
• Lilly Pilly
You should be able to find any of these plants – and learn how to take to take care of them properly – at your local nursery.
Find your best angle
When setting up your outdoor area, consider your neighbour’s line of sight. While some of the surrounding houses are sure to be positioned so that the occupants will be able to see into your yard, you may have the opportunity to construct your outdoor living area in a space blocked out by an existing structure, like your home, a large tree, or a small pergola. Consider this when you arrange your furniture, or when deciding where to build a new patio or pergola.
Feature some water noise
Privacy is more than visual – if you can’t have a conversation outside without the neighbour hearing every detail, then you may want some sort of background noise. Luckily, there is a way to do this that is both beautiful and soothing. Water features are a great way to add an extra element of sophistication to your yard, as well as giving you a way to mask your exact words when Cheryl next door is outside hanging out her washing.
Get into fencing
While solid fences like Colorbond aren’t for everyone, they can be a handy way to block out views of your yard. If you choose to go down this path, make sure you discuss it with your neighbours first – not everyone will be thrilled to have a new fence installed without prior knowledge. They may need to fork out for half the cost, so don’t skip having the chat, even if you haven’t formally met them before!
Looking for some screening inspiration? Head over to our privacy and weather screens gallery to see what can be done!