You've finally set aside some time to spend out on the deck, but unfortunately the rest of the neighborhood isn't cooperating. Kids are playing right next door, dogs are barking, music from three competing stations is playing loudly – so much for the peace and quiet.
Unfortunately, short of moving or living behind a fortress, the average homeowner is going to have to deal with a certain amount of noise. There are some ways, however, to minimize that distraction and make your outdoor living area, a bit more serene.
Make some noise of your own by adding a fountain or any other feature that has running water. Often you can make your own by getting a large planter, adding a pump, some water plants and a couple of goldfish.
Create a green wall with evergreens. Even planted in containers, they grow nice and thick, filter noise and block unwanted views.
Add a roof or pergola to define your area and make it feel cozier. It provides natural shade and provides a great structure for hanging plants or a hammock.
In the warmer months, place your indoor tropical plants out on the deck. Not only do they create an exotic feel, but they'll appreciate the sun and fresh air.
Build a wooden screen that doesn't quite block the view, but prevents others from seeing in. For more privacy, build a solid fence. You'll be creating a wall, so you may want to add some container plants to warm up the area.
Plant a tree in a large container, or cut a hole in the deck to allow for a larger species. They provide natural shade and give an aura of seclusion. Plant a few small potted trees chosen for their varying colors or bloom times.
Add a canopy or awning. They come in all sizes and colors and some are retractable when not being used.
Sometimes you may only want to block part of your view, keeping a portion of your deck open. In our home, we had a glass railing that didn't obstruct our lake view, but we added pickets to the sides for a little more privacy from the neighbors. When we wanted complete privacy on the sides, we pulled down bamboo shades.
Vines added to a pergola or trellis can keep out the wind and rain as well as form a natural roof over the area.
Add outdoor curtains or shades for privacy and extra color. It also helps to simulate the feeling that the deck is an extension of your indoor living area.
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