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7 ways to add privacy to your outdoor area

Projects Editor
Projects Editor

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Adding privacy to your outdoor area is a great way to make it more relaxing and comfortable for entertaining.


We asked Jane Wright, merchandise trend and design manager at Bunnings, for expert ideas on how to make outdoor areas more private.


1. Install screening


To create an intimate and private outdoor space, consider adding an overhead structure like a pergola or gazebo. These structures provide a sense of enclosure and cosiness, while also concealing your area from neighbours.


Incorporating plant cover, panels, or trellises can protect seating or dining areas from strong breezes and create dappled shade. Screens, such as bamboo, contemporary metal, or outdoor privacy screens, can be used to partition and define "open" rooms in your outdoor oasis.


Experienced Bunnings Workshop member Adam Woodhams (@Adam_W) shares step-by-step instructions on How to build privacy screening.


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Find more ideas with the Top 10 most popular screening projects shared on Workshop.


2. Design an inward-facing layout


Position your seating area to face towards your house rather than outward to maximise privacy, especially in tight spaces. Built-in seating combined with ample planting can enhance the sense of seclusion.


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Check out 6 ways to add privacy to your home for more inspiration.


3. Use awnings


Awnings not only provide shade and colour but also act as effective screens. Look for awnings that extend both horizontally and vertically for added privacy and weather protection.


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The Bunnings team shares tips on choosing awnings in A buyer’s guide to outdoor shade options.


4. Create sunken gardens


Lowered garden spaces, such as sunken gardens, offer excellent retreats and work particularly well in urban settings.

Lowering a terrace slightly can make it easier to incorporate screening elements like planting or awnings. In sloping gardens, terraces can be carved out to create outdoor rooms at different levels.


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Have a look at Top 10 most popular landscaping projects for more creative ideas.


5. Add vertical gardens


Vertical gardens can serve a dual purpose by concealing unsightly boundaries and adding a new dimension to your garden with lush greenery. They're particularly valuable in smaller spaces like courtyards and balconies.


Judy (@kel)'s self-watering vertical garden allows her to grow more in a compact space and is also an attractive screening solution.


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Here are 5 ways to create a vertical garden.


6. Plant along boundaries


Planting hedges or rows of trees along boundaries not only creates a garden screen but also adds depth to the space. Carefully select trees that offer both privacy and aesthetic appeal to enhance your outdoor oasis.


Sue (@suequarford) planted Port wine magnolias to screen the front of her property


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Adam's comprehensive guide How to choose a screening plant contains useful advice.


7. Use outdoor features to mask noise


Incorporating water features, like fountains and water spouts, helps mask traffic noise and disruptive neighbours, contributing to a serene ambiance.


Adam's raised water feature has built-in seating that creates a relaxing space to enjoy the garden.


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An outdoor water feature doesn’t have to be a difficult D.I.Y. project. You can create a pond in a pot in a few hours. 


More advice and inspiration on adding privacy to your outdoor area


The Bunnings team has shared many guides on renovating outdoor areas, including How to install bistro blinds.

For more project inspiration, check out the Top 10 most popular outdoor projects shared by Workshop members and 10 ways to transform your outdoor entertaining area.


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Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Jane shares more expert advice on making your outdoor entertaining area more stylish and functional in this article: Outdoor furniture trends.


Do let us know if you have any specific questions. Our wonderful Workshop community members will be happy to help.




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