How to Design Your Deck for Privacy

A deck should be for outdoor living, not for putting you on display. Yet you want to enjoy your outdoor living without feeling like you're still inside. Design a deck with beautiful features that promote privacy while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.


As you design your new deck, consider placing it up against the exterior wall of your home. This way you use the house itself for privacy. When planning the actual layout of the deck, let the lines of your house drive the design. For instance, you might even decide to extend the roof partially over the deck itself. Alternatively, construct it out of materials that echo those in your home. Finally, place work stations near the wall of the house to facilitate indoor-outdoor tasks, such as food preparation or repotting plants.


If extending the roof of your house over the deck feels too much like creating another inside room, consider adding a pergola instead. At its most basic, a pergola is a simple roof on a stand. However, place it so that it in a direct sightline on your deck. Add privacy features such as hanging plants, a geometric trellis or even hanging fabric. Such a private corner can be made to multitask. Roll a mobile bar under the pergola during parties, set up a lounge during lazy days or plan to dine al fresco.


If you have large garden features such as trees or shrubs, plan your deck so that the greenery shields it. However, it's still possible to create this ambiance with containers. Place large pots on decorative wagons for portability. Plant them with decorative trees and shrubs or even large, leafy plants such as elephant ears or irises. If necessary, roll the planters inside during the coldest months.

Another option is to install a trellis wall. You can train trailing plants such as ivy or begonias. You can even plant jasmine, honeysuckle or sweet pea in containers for fragrance.

Another option is using the trellis as a work wall. Hang decorative containers on hooks, and fill them with the tools you need for your outdoor tasks. In this way, the trellis affords you privacy while providing necessary storage space as well.

Water Feature

Including a water feature in your deck design will not shield you physically from the rest of the world, it will just make you feel that way. Add a fountain, pond or waterfall for background noise as well as beauty. Place it in a corner that won't impede traffic, whether on a wall or tucked in a corner. Have a large enough feature installed that the trickling water sound creates your desired ambiance.

As you plan your deck, start with a layout that promotes your privacy. Add to that privacy features such as a water fountain, pergola or a shielding container garden. For more tips and assistance, refer to resources such as Alfa Decking & Floors.