Many people search for homes that fit their personality, and for some, a home needs to be unique. Whether you’re into bright colors or vintage fixtures, your home should feel like… well, like home. This extends to your yard as well. The space around your house should be inviting and show the type of person who lives and relaxes there. You don’t need to stick with a boring fence. Adding some unique fence features can transform your whole yard. Here are some ideas to make your fence pop. See what inspires you!
Use your fence as a backdrop for a mural
Why settle for a plain wood fence when you can beautify your yard and make your fence into a visual centerpiece? A mural-based fence isn’t content to just sit in the background, and neither are you! Who knows? Maybe the mural artist you choose will be the next Banksy and your fence will be worth a fortune. Or perhaps you have artistic skills to show off or want to make a family project out of the fence painting.
When painting your fence, be sure the fence itself is a material you can paint. Wood fences work best as an artistic canvas, but some vinyl fences can be painted as long as you check with your fence manufacturer and use paint that is appropriate for vinyl. Although you can paint aluminum, most aluminum fences are spaced picket, which is not the ideal type of fence for a mural.
Paint will also help protect your wood fence from moisture, insects, and other damage, so a mural can really be considered good fence maintenance.
Attract animals with bird or bat houses
While fences can do a good job of keeping some animals out of your yard, there are also animals that should be welcome in your outdoor space.
You don’t have to be an ornithologist to want to attract birds to your backyard — especially birds as pretty and interesting as blue jays, cardinals, or purple martins. To make a martin house you need to keep safety in mind. A fence that is not climbable by predators can create a good base or backdrop for poles on which to install or hang martin houses. You don’t even need anything fancy; a large, hollowed-out gourd makes the perfect predator-free martin space. Hang multiple gourds in a group in order to attract a martin colony, year after year. Regular bird houses, either plain or painted, and hummingbird feeders also create visual interest and are a plus to your wildlife community.
Bat houses might seem spooky to some people, but bats are really beneficial for your yard. If you enjoy hanging out on your deck in the evening with your favorite bev, you’ll probably be happy to have bats around to eat the mosquitoes that seem to flock to everyone’s yard this time of year. Fewer garden bugs also means less spraying of your backyard veggies – bats are the key to organic gardening! Buy a bat house certified by Bat Conservation International or look for plans online that meet the same requirements, mount it on your fence, then watch as mama bats move in and raise their pups!
Find new ways to add plants and foliage
Many people have gardens, bushes or plants surrounding their fence, or use a fence to mark off garden space in the yard and keep it free of small animals. But what about using the fence itself as your garden?
Go for height with trellises, safe climbing vines, vertical planter boxes, and hanging baskets on your fence. Annuals, perennials, and even edible plants can make a great looking (and tasting) backyard feature. The lush greenery offers a pleasing palette, not to mention good environmental ju-ju (returning oxygen to the air and removing carbon dioxide and all that). Plants can even help dampen noise nearby roadways or neighbors produce. Imagine the difference between laying on your lawn and laying on your driveway and you’ll realize right away the great qualities a vertical garden can bring, including not trapping heat in your yard when the sun goes down.
A trellis can create a solid wall of plant life on your fence, but you can also go funky by arranging flower pots or boxes – plain or painted – to create three-dimensional decoration. Just be confident in your placement. There’s no going back once you have flower pots and plants permanently installed on a fence!
Use found art to create free customization
Why pay for fence customization when you can upcycle things you already have or can find free or cheap? Speaking of three dimensional objects, plenty of plain household items can make amazing fence sculptures!
You’ve probably heard that one man’s (or woman’s) trash is another’s treasure. You’ll definitely treasure your cool fence art when you reveal what can be done with simple picture frames, shutters, wood letters, or shelves. Try painted metal garden decorations – just make sure your metal is coated with a rust proof sealer so you don’t leave stains on your fence! Like planters, this is one fence decoration you’ll probably have for awhile.
Lights lead the way… to your fence
If you’re like many people with full-time jobs, you probably use your backyard mostly in the evenings. Nighttime on the deck or patio can be the best time — aside from the pesky mosquitoes. Once the weather is cooler, you can enjoy dinner or your favorite bev in comfort, watching the sunset and fireflies to the sounds of the ice cream truck traveling your neighborhood.
After the sun goes down, what kind of light are you left with? That tiny citronella candle? Turn your fence into a light feature. It will likely draw the bugs away from you, illuminate your yard, and create a really cool conversation piece. Depending on the lighting you choose, your fence may look relatively fence-like during the day, or you could add some visual interest while the sun is high, too.
Fairy lights can create an entire net of warm glow, or else a single string of lights can simply outline your fence. Create simple shapes on your fence with strings of lights, too! Spotlights are relatively hidden during the day, but can turn on at night, maybe even highlighting that fence mural you’re working on. Solar lights come in many forms, including post caps. You can even put candles (electric or solar ones for safety) in mason jars and hang them on your fence for a feature you can enjoy during the day. Any of these options can also use colored lights for even more pop.
Or do anything your creative heart wants
The basis of jazz is improvisation. Change up your fence from year to year or season to season. Do you have more interesting ideas for your fence or have you undertaken a cool fence project? Let us know in the comments or share your photos with us on Facebook!