Decorating & Design

March 16, 2009

Adding A Fence To Your Outdoor Space

When planning or redoing your home’s exterior, consider adding a fence or gate to add form and function.

With warmer weather comes the desire to make improvements to our home’s exterior. If you are considering a garden or yard renovation, working on a new landscape design or embarking on an entrance makeover, consider integrating a fence or gate into your plans. Fences or gates are most often thought of as functional items, structures used to keep people out or pets in, or to provide some privacy from neighbours. But a fence, even if only used to mark an area of the yard, can offer visual interest and architectural detailing while being a practical way to enhance the look of your home’s exterior.

When planning a fence or gate, be creative and look beyond wood to visually interesting materials like stone, iron, plastic, metal or hedges and other plantings as interesting boundary markers.

Note: Always check local laws before installing a fence. Bylaws dictate details regarding type and height of fence required around a pool.

Create more curb appeal for your home by adding a fence or gate to the front yard landscape plan. Even a simple, inexpensive pergola and gate can transform a dull walkway into a welcoming path.

English or country-style homes look best with a traditional paneled, architectural fence. Height is an important consideration where privacy is a concern, but fences need not appear imposing. Painting out your fence with the same colour as your home’s siding will help make it look more like part of the house and will draw attention to the whole package, not just to the fence itself.

Traditional gardens and homes can be improved by adding fencing in a layered look. Latticework is very common as a fence material and with a little ingenuity and paint, can add visual interest. Paint one section of the fence a different yet complementary colour to draw the eye or apply lattice over wood panel for a layered effect.

Stone fences, while more expensive than wood or iron, offer a permanent, almost majestic feel to the outdoor space they are defining. If budget allows, even a short section of stone fence can not only separate a space, but can act as a bench for extra seating if topped with a few flat cushions.

For urban gardens and rooftop terraces that call for a more contemporary feel, consider screens or panels made from bamboo, steel or even types of plastic for a modern twist.

Fences are a great way to delineate outdoor living areas, define play areas or provide privacy. Just one section of fence can be enough to direct guests to a sitting area or give kids their own space in the yard.

Use a fence or gate as an opportunity to add visual interest to your garden or front yard. Imagination and sometimes just a gallon of paint can go a long way to giving a new look to the old picket fence.