Stylish Fencing: 5 Artful Fence Ideas For Outdoor Living

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Eclectic Fencing design by New York Design-build Liquidscapes

To establish any space, you need boundaries. But, that doesn’t mean that the boundaries have to be uninteresting. One go-to strategy for this in an outdoor living space is the reliable fence.
Even here, you don’t have to accept what you’re given. You can add flair, subtle or otherwise, to a fence in the same way you can with any other element in your outdoor living area.

But how?

Well, here are five ideas from guest writer Justin Krutz.


Adding a new fence to your yard doesn’t merely have to be for security, privacy or to keep children and pets safe and sound in your yard. A fence can be a great stylish addition to your yard and instantly boost your curb appeal. Fencing offers an almost unlimited variety of materials and styles to choose from, allowing you to design a fence that suits your specific needs and wants, rather than merely choosing an “off-the-rack” option that may not fit in with the look of your home and yard.

1. Create a “living” fence

Got a green thumb and want to add more plants to your yard? Create a living fence in your yard. For homeowners with time and patience, a row of small fruit trees could be espaliered into a natural barrier that is both beautiful and functional. Other options including planting privet or other shrubs that can be pruned into neat hedges.

If you already have a fence in place – adding climbing vines to the fence can make even a plain-looking fence look nice once the vines are established. Finally, you might try mounting pots on the posts of an existing fence and planting flowers that complement the color of your fence.

2. Mix and match materials

Most fences tend to use one material (iron, wood, vinyl, etc.) for the bulk of the structure, but combining different materials for your fence design can produce a very unique and attractive look. For instance, you might utilize a metal fence frame and inset decorative wooden panels into the frame that can be solid or latticed or build a wooden split-rail fence which utilizes stone or brick for the posts.

3. Create an art project

If you have a solid wooden privacy fence on your property that you want to repaint – why not use it as the basis for a mural? If you’re the artistic type or know someone who is, the fence could be repainted with a decorative pattern, a landscape or anything you can imagine that you’d like to display to the world.

Alternately, another very simple touch that you can update as you like: get some large ceramic tiles and mount them on the fence at intervals or in a pattern of your choice, then paint a design on each tile.

4. Light it up: lighting and your fence

Especially in the warm months, you’ll probably be using your yard a lot more during the evenings. Why not add some stylish lighting to the posts? A variety of attractive low-voltage or solar-powered light fixtures are available for your fence – add a touch of flair to them by using a colored LED during the holiday season or for special occasions.

5. Reuse and recycle

Recycled or reused materials can lend themselves to an unusual but attractive fence design. Reclaim debris from other home improvement projects or ask friends and family if they have anything they want to get rid of. For example, an old wooden porch railing could be stained and used as a decorative fence for the front yard or steel rebar could be welded into an ornamental metal fence.


Thanks, Justin!

Justin Krutz writes about a variety of home improvement-related topics for GSM Garage Doors, a Southern California-based company which offers a variety of services including fence design and garage door maintenance to homeowners.



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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.