On the Fence

I’ve been thinking about trying to create a little privacy along our back fence for quite some time. I saw the DYNING wind/sun shield at IKEA this weekend, and at just $7.99 I figured it was worth a try. I’m not sure if I like it or not now that it’s up though.

DYNING wind/sunshield


The weather has warmed up but the trees and bushes have not leafed out yet, so everything looks a bit dead and brown. I almost didn’t post this photo because the yard looks so bad right now, but the neighbor’s weeping cherry trees are in bloom and at least those look nice. We’re going to add some Hicks Yews to that area soon, and that will probably give us the privacy we’re looking for. Until the evergreens grow in though, the stripes could look cool as a background. Plus, they’re fun to see from the alley.

Here’s an old picture, just for reference so you can see what the area looks like when the leaves are on the trees.

The Backyard

I think I need to see what that portion of the yard looks like in a few weeks to make my decision.

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  • Shanon
    April 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    It actually reminds me of the time that Madonna painted her house in those crazy stripes or whatever is it that she did. lol =)

  • robyn blaikie collins
    April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am

    how fun and whimsical. people passing by will think… oh, yeah, cool people live there.

  • Kathleen
    April 12, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I’ve seen some pieces of material (like plastic or thin wood) woven vertically or diagonally into chain link fences to provide privacy. Sometimes it looks cheesy but I think you could totally rock it.

  • A Jill of All Trades
    April 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I know it is inexpensive, but I think once you put it around the whole fence it will look overwhelming. (I am always honest)

    Lowes and Home Depot carry wooden fences that are 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide that are $23. The difference would certainly be worth it.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

      Oh, no! I wouldn’t put it around the whole yard! Just that back section.

  • Melissa Irvin
    April 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Nicole, we have a similar spot that we needed to block for privacy. Dwight picked up some type of reed fencing at Home Depot and it really did the trick.

  • christina in nh
    April 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

    i love weeping cherries so much <333

  • Patti
    April 12, 2010 at 11:31 am

    I’m a big fan of “natural fences”… no matter how long or high, a “green” fence fits in well in any landscape :) My husband and I had to make a similar decision a few years ago. We went with Leland Cyprus in the areas that we needed true, year-round privacy and in the areas that just needed a little “something” we used privet hedge trimmed to about 5 feet. And as a side note: privet hedge is not expensive and grows easily. Hope this helps in your decision! :)

  • Alana
    April 12, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    If you planted a flowering vine every few feet, in 2-3 years you’d have a gorgeous natural privacy barrier.

    • Alana
      April 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      I was struggling with the name of the flower we used along the back of our house and it came to me: Clematis. It’ll climb about 4 feet high and about 5-6 feet wide within the first couple of years. At about year 3, you’ll get this gorgeous waterfall of blooms for a few weeks, then nice greenery the rest of the summer.

  • Liz
    April 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I actually love it!

  • Jessie
    April 12, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I really like it, but I’m also a fan of the natural covering. We use Jasmine and it smells nice and looks pretty.

  • Liz
    April 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I like it, but I think it would be better in the green/white stripe–the same impact, but less intrusive.

  • Licia
    April 12, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Wow! I really like those privacy screens. I think they would work really well in a balcony also.

  • Melissa
    April 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I actually think it is very fun and will add the needed privacy. Once the trees/bushes grow in over it some it will be more of a backdrop. Adds spunk to your backyard. Go for it!

  • Nat
    April 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Nicole, I think it looks super chic. Sometimes you just need to go for it :) and I like the black/white stripes. Once the trees leaf, any other colour combo will blend in too much. This way it is an interesting accent all summer long :)

  • Kim
    April 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I think it looks great! What a unique solution.

  • Kathy
    April 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Nicole, I have enjoyed reading your blog. You have so many creative ideas…even someone “old” like myself can learn from you! With that said, I’m going to be a bit motherly in my advice on this screen. You might want to ask your neighbors who share the fence with you if they are ok with the it. It’s simply of matter of doing the right thing and kharma – It’s something one learns if you are old like me and have made mistakes and learned from them.
    I agree with the reader who suggested an inexpensive wood fence. We put one up once. We had some of my husband’s friends stop by to help install the posts, but all in all it was pretty cheap and easy. ;)
    Good luck!

  • In Honor Of Design
    April 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    If its just the back section I think it is too fun to pass up. Its unique and easy to match with. great find!

  • Kristín
    April 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I love it! – agree with in honor of design :)

  • Susie
    April 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    If you added another one to form a corner it would make the area cosy. Vines are wonderful, but take a while to create this much impact. So much fun for not much money!

  • Bridget
    April 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I like it . . . in the black. Simple and doesn’t attention away from the house!! ;-)

  • Amy
    April 12, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    How do you think it’ll do in the wind? I want to do something similar in our backyard, but my husband (the downer) says it’ll get ripped apart in the wind out here. I know it’s supposed to be a wind shield, but would it flap around too much?

  • Amie
    April 12, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I really like it. It’s so cute and fun.
    Besides you can always take it down later if you get sick of it.

  • Tracy
    April 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Don’t worry, this is the time of year when your yard absolutely looks the worst! Then you look closer at all the lovely little greening bits in the ground and on the trees, before you know it everything’s filled in! I would wait to really decide on the fabric until later in the spring/summer, when it’s warmer and you’ll really use the yard.

  • Nicole
    April 12, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    i love the colorful ones, but when i was at ikea all they had was black & white which kind of resembles a referee’s jersey. it’s a great idea though. their patio stuff this season is awesome!

  • Kerry
    April 12, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I’m looking for a kind of “temporary” solution to add some privacy to the little vegetable garden we’re putting our backyard. It looks like it’s a similar area to yours. For $7.99 it may be just the thing we need for one season (it’s $14.99 here in Canada… but we’ll be in Boston next weekend… guess what I’ll be buying!) Thanks for sharing :)

  • Desiree Fawn
    April 13, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Oh wow! I’ve been looking for something exactly like this — such a neat idea — thank you!

  • Sarah
    April 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

    We’ve been looking for something like this too. I haven’t been to Ikea in ages so this gives me a reason to go :) Thanks for sharing!!

  • Bonnie
    April 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Ok, Nicole, which Chicagoland Ikea location did you find that? I saw it on your blog last year and made the trip to Schaumburg from Milwaukee only to find it was sold out with no plans to re-stock. I went down again two or three weeks ago and they didn’t have it again. I have some very old and rusty fencing to cover up between our driveway and our neighbor’s yard and thought it would be perfect and cost-effective, especially since the fence is actually our neighbor’s, not ours. So, I went and bought vinyl lattice panels and put that up instead. Worked like a charm. I like the way the striped panel looks in your yard, but I probably would have gone with the green.

  • Kristen
    April 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Bonnie: you can check availability by store of all items on Ikea’s website (at least you can on the Canadian one – I’m assuming it would be the same for the US) – that way you won’t have to make the drive only to find out it’s not there.

  • jbhat
    April 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Hmm. I am on the fence about this one. : )


  • Amanda
    April 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with a few comments on here. I think it’s super cute but it maybe better in blue or green.

  • krissy
    April 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    coco + kelley just posted about this. I like how some of the examples tie in graphic patterns and the black and white to other parts of the outdoor space.


  • Katrina C.
    April 13, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I love the idea..I need just one area view blocked! I don’t want to wait!

  • chelsea
    April 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I just put the black and white on my apartment balcony. I liked that it was easy to install and take down and gave me privacy and pattern. I dont know if i would do it on something large though, my balcony is only 8 feet long

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    April 15, 2010 at 4:30 am

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  • Elle
    April 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve tried searching for this item for a few years now with no luck. I live about 35 minutes away from the closest Ikea and 45 minutes away to an hour from the other. You can’t purchase online and they’re not in stock once again, in either of the stores closest to me. Also, there’s no date as to when they’ll be available again. I was hoping they’d have it in a solid color possible white?? Ebay has one seller but they’re from Canada and selling for $24.99 ea. Wish they were available on their online store.

  • Heather
    April 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Have you considered using bamboo panels… you know, that skinny bamboo that’s sewn together?

  • shelly
    April 20, 2010 at 8:38 am

    this is a great product! I wish I lived even a little bit
    close to IKEA!

    your designs are wonderful…
    i’ve enjoyed following yoru biz over the years!


  • jenny
    April 21, 2010 at 12:12 am

    sorry, i didn’t read all of the comments. home depot sells skinny woven bamboo/twiggy stuff in rolls. with the texture of your egg chair and such, it could be a nice soft privacy addition while blending right in. i prefer privacy in the backyard as well!

    • michelle
      April 26, 2010 at 10:54 pm

      lol I didn’t see your post!

  • michelle
    April 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    How about a reed fence? $22.00 16×6 at Home Depot!

  • Renee'
    October 23, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Love this, it has an elegant look to it, almost like cabana style. The black and and light blue are sharp, and always classic anywhere. The trees without their green are like a work of art. Don’t fret over that.Just take this time to clean them up good. Too many trees and yard bushes can cause their own problems,so keeping them down to a select few is good too. Almost a less is more thing. I would say wrap that whole side with the canvas fence, and enjoy it, maybe in the future paint the house, a nice polar white with a deep charcoal gray trim, or paint the siding in medium charcoal gray with an olive green, which is a deep green just no blue in it, as with a forest green, olive green has the golden hues that would work with the charcoal gray, and look so good when the sun shines on it.

  • Renee'
    October 23, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Wow looked into your site a little more, very charming, came here looking for ideas about sunshade for my porch, and found your lovely site. After checking it more came across your awesome paint colors for your interior, really awesome,love what you’ve done, and it tells me your fence choice is a great option for your houses personality, but for sure consider waking up the exterior paint away from the biege/tan/brown. The roof is a neutral, so don’t concern it when choosing, you could go with any color and the roof would work with it. White siding will make the house appear larger and closer to the street, a deep color siding will make the house appear further from the street and cozy. Whatever the case a reed fence would not work with the house, it is more a tropical atmosphere product, and I imagine the house is up North. ok well hope this helped, forgive me for the paint ideas, you just seem to creative to settle for a biege house exterior. Go for it, have fun canvas fence and all.

  • brooke
    May 18, 2012 at 6:52 am

    i’m in a similar situation. ugly chain link fence, and trying to find a creative, easy solution to fix it up. what did you end up doing?