18 Deck Privacy Ideas to Create a Secluded Backyard Retreat

outdoor furniture sitting area of deck tree privacy
Photo: Keller and Keller Photography Inc

Your deck should be your own personal outdoor oasis, and a lack of privacy can throw off the whole vibe. Whether you're dealing with neighbors in close proximity, traffic noise, or an unsightly view, these deck privacy ideas offer simple solutions for a more secluded outdoor space. Turn your deck or patio into a private, relaxing retreat with these easy projects and tips.

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Create the Lush Look

Exterior of house with patio and garden
Keller and Keller Photography Inc

Ideal for warm-winter climates, leafy tropical plants can create almost instant privacy. However, even gardeners in the North can enjoy these fast-growing, big-leaf plants. Grow them as houseplants and move them in and out each season, or treat them as exotic annuals.

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Add a Wall

outdoor deck sitting area with tall fencing
Kritsada Panichgul

A privacy fence is one of the most common ways to block a view. Here, a simple fence caps off a backyard retreat, providing a perfect, secluded gathering space. A series of container gardens soften the deck, making it even more inviting.

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Plant Trees

garden bed in front of rear deck
Laurie Black

A few small trees dotted around the edge of your deck create a soft, leafy curtain without taking up too much space in the yard. Add drama and interest by selecting different types of trees. Small maples (such as Amur maple), for example, provide bold fall colors, while crabapples offer springtime blooms.

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Split the View

wood deck furniture with raised garden beds
Kritsada Panichgul

If blocking the view of your entire deck isn't possible, then work on a section of it. Here, a vegetable garden and grasses create a beautiful focal point that draws your eye away from the more visible deck areas behind it. Planting the garden so close to the stairs also helps the deck feel more intimate and secluded.

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Create a Canopy

Tree House Deck Home Back Exterior
Bob Stefko

A traditional awning offers protection from the blazing summer sun, as well as from the neighbors' second-floor windows. Awnings come in a range of styles and options, including retractable types that you can unroll whenever you want. Choose a fabric that complements your home and landscaping for a deck privacy idea that adds both style and function.

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Add Height with Hedges

outdoor furniture sitting area of deck tree privacy
Keller and Keller Photography Inc

If building a fence isn't a possibility, create deck privacy with a border of tall hedges. Not only will they block views, but they also help tame high winds and buffer noise. Varieties like Juniper and Japanese Euonymus grow fast and respond well to pruning.

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Mix and Match

Furniture arranged on patio with fire place
Adam Albright

Deck privacy solutions can include both store-bought and natural solutions. This outdoor family hangout benefits from a traditional white fence, a fireplace wall, and fetching container gardens at various heights. Tall trees surrounding the deck cloak the space in shade and block views of nearby neighbors.

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Incorporate a Tree

outdoor wooden table on deck blue yellow decor
David Tsay

Instead of clearing the ground when you add a deck, take advantage of what's already there. An old tree, for example, helps give the deck more privacy by creating a soft, natural canopy. Lush plantings around the edge of the deck also help it feel softer and more secluded.

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Build a Trellis

two light-blue cushioned chairs in front of upper railing wood design on deck
ED GOHLICH PHOTOGRAPHY INC

Break up the line of sight by building a trellis on top of the deck railing. Although it won't offer complete privacy, a patterned wood trellis serves as a decorative element for your backyard and creates a sense of coziness. Plant shrubs or a hedge along the side of the deck to further block the view.

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Supplement with an Umbrella

back patio privacy metal yellow chairs
Kimberly Gavin

An umbrella might be all you need to bring a sense of privacy to your outdoor patio. Place the umbrella against an existing fence or shrubbery to extend the view-blocking capabilities. You can easily adjust the angle to better block the sun or protect from prying eyes.

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Hang Outdoor Curtains

home exterior back deck seating area
Erica George

Hang curtains from your deck's pergola to instantly give your outdoor living space a more intimate feel. You can also pull them closed on warm summer days to help block the sun and keep you cool. Choose curtains in a sturdy outdoor fabric that will stand up well in all types of weather.

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Use Your House

picket fence entry to deck backyard garden
Laurie Black

When deciding where to place a deck, look at the lines of your home. Some spots offer more privacy than others, so choose a corner or side of the house that's most out-of-the-way. Extending the roofline of this home over the deck helps the area look as if it's always been part of the landscape.

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Utilize Evergreens

back exterior large deck wooded yard area
Brian Gomsak

Dense evergreen trees are first-rate picks for creating privacy. They block any view, help filter noise, and offer a lush, green backdrop. There's an evergreen for almost every garden; they come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, including columnar types that grow no more than 2 feet across.

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Add a Roof

home exterior patio area wooden dining table
Eric Roth

A pergola can do triple duty for your deck. Beyond helping your space feel cozier, a pergola creates shade and adds interest. Enhance the structure with hanging baskets, planters, or light fixtures to turn your deck into an attractive living space.

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Surround the Space

Rooftop Garden Green Black Outdoor Furniture
Werner Straube Photography

Combine a pergola and a trellis to section off your deck space. Even though this trellis doesn't completely block the view beyond, it provides enough protection to make the deck more enjoyable. Plant vines along the deck line and watch as they wind their way up the trellis over the seasons.

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Embrace Vines

outdoor sitting area wooden roof top
Edward Gohlich

Vines are the ultimate plant for providing privacy. Here, a hearty vine forms a lush roof over this small deck. It also provides an extra privacy "wall" as it scrambles up the support posts and pergola.

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Add the Sound of Water

outdoor dining table built in fountain
Edward Gohlich

Background noise from a busy street can be just as annoying as seeing your neighbor's weedy backyard. Solve this kind of problem by adding a fountain or other water feature to your deck. Even a gentle trickle of water can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your time outdoors.

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Add a Touch of Fabric

porch sitting area with white wicker furniture
GREG SCHIEDEMANN

Check out the wide variety of outdoor-friendly fabrics to create a DIY privacy screen. Sheets of fabric sewn like curtains and hung from curtain rods or wire are quick and easy to put together. Plus, they're inexpensive, so you can create a couple of different options to change out according to the season or your mood.

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