It’s a tale as old as time- the love hate relationship with your backyard shed. On one hand, the structure provides you much needed storage space to cram all of your utility or off-season items. Pool noodles, patio furniture, landscaping equipment, the list goes on and on. On the other hand, backyard sheds typically aren’t the highlight of your outdoor space, and sometimes they’re just downright ugly.
While removing the structure may be an option for some, many homeowners find the convenience of outdoor storage too appealing to get rid of. Additionally, those renting a home or apartment are unlikely to be able to modify the property significantly.
If you’re struggling to blend a backyard shed into your space, don’t despair. WIth a little bit of creativity, you can hide your trusty storage unit, or any outdoor structure you find less than appealing.
Camouflage with Paint
A fresh coat of a paint can make almost anything look ten times better, and a backyard shed is no exception. Occasionally, homeowners will acquire property where the previous owners have allowed backyard installations such as sheds and fences to fall into disrepair. Chipped paint, faded wood, and sheds and fencing that are battered by the elements can easily become eyesores. In these cases, the visual disruption can be remedied with a little bit of TLC.
A fresh coat of paint can clean up a shed so that it no longer is disruptive to the landscape. You can take this concept a step further by using paint to further camouflage the structure within your space. Browns, greys, and even greens can help sheds blend into your landscape. Bright whites or lighter colors can bring attention to the structure by drawing the eye in, so take care to choose a shade that matches the environment.
When painting, be sure to choose a formula graded for outdoor use. This will help prevent fading, chipping, and deterioration of the finish due to wind, rain, and sun and keep your hard work looking great for years to come.
If you’ve ever solved a problem of nosy neighbors, you know how far a few strategic plants can go in creating a natural visual block. Strategically planting taller, hardy species of plants around your shed can help disguise the structure for as long as you let them grow. Opting for taller linear evergreens such as pyramidal arborvitae or junipers can help to disguise the structure. Be careful not plant the wrong varieties, however.
Instead of opting for a “full size” version of evergreens and junipers, choose their smaller dwarf cultivars. While the full sized variety will certainly hide a shed, it will also grow much larger than structure. Not only can this overwhelm your space, but it can prove to be damaging if root structures or foliage becomes invasive.
Other great planting options include ornamental trees with decorative or flowering foliage. Again, take care to choose varieties with heights that don’t reach too far above your backyard structure.
Look to Vines
The happy medium between painting and planting, vining can help to quickly camouflage eyesores in your outdoor space. Select fast growing, non-invasive varieties, and attach in any of a variety of ways. From cost effective two by fours, to lattice, or even skillfully strung fishing line, vining is a cheap, easy way to send your shed to the background without breaking the bank.
For areas such as corners that don’t take well to vining, strategically placed tall plants such as those previously mentioned can help creating an unbroken illusion that blends into the background.
If you have fencing installed around the perimeter of your yard, hiding your backyard shed may be as easy as extending your existing barriers. Most sheds are placed in far corners or edges of lots. To hide the structure without a large amount of additional design work or complicated planning, simply extending your fence to box in and conceal the shed can be the solution you’re looking for.
Make sure that the fencing material used to create a barrier matches that of the original fencing. Discrepancies in texture, wash, or material can draw attention to the area and catch the eye.
Some homeowners may not feel the need to completely box in their structure, and may feel that it obscures access to storage. For those looking to frequently access the space, building one wall that largely obscures the shed from view may be enough to bring a cohesive feel to your yard without disrupting functionality.
Screens and Trellis
If creating vining on your shed itself is too much of a commitment, and building an extended fence is just too much work, screens and trellising may be the right fit for you. Easy to install, remove, and modify to fit your needs, screens and trellises come in a huge variety of designs and materials.
From wooden cross hatching, to metal, to composites, screens and trellis installations exist to fit any backyard aesthetic. Once positioned to block the offending structure, homeowners can either leave as is, or choose to decorate the piece as they see fit. While vines are one option, hanging or mounted planters, as well as strung lighting are great ways to add visual interest to a simple screen or trellis.
The versatility of these options makes them a popular choice for those looking to conceal more than just their shed. Air conditioning units, garden hoses, and more are all able to be quickly blocked by purchasing a proper trellis or privacy screen solution. With affordable options available for purchase everywhere from Home Depot to online sites such as Wayfair, you don’t have to look far to find something that will do the job.
Draw Attention Elsewhere
If you’re like many renting your home or apartment space, you may not be able to build, or make many modifications to the property. If this is the case, your safest bet is to disguise the existence of an unsightly shed by simply prioritizing the visual attention of the space elsewhere.
For example, creating an eye catching porch or back patio space can keep eyes from wandering towards the back of the property. Decorate your preferred space with flowers, fire pit installations, and other focal points. When your guests feel focused on the immediate surroundings of the social space, they are less likely to notice what is going on in their peripheral.
This is also true when planning out walkways in your yard. If the only existing walkway in your space leads directly to the storage structure, the eye will be drawn along this line and end inevitably on your shed. Break up this straight line with intersecting paths or sites of visual interest to stop the direct march of the eye towards the shed in question.
Most Eyesores Can Be Hidden
If you’ve ever looked at your backyard, only to be consistently irritated by one prominent, ugly feature, you’re not alone. Thankfully, disguising unsightly outdoor additions such as a backyard shed, air conditioning unit, and more, doesn’t have to be impossible or break the bank.
Simple solutions like new plantings, a fresh coat of paint, and even an affordable screen or trellis could be all the resources you need to truly transform your outdoor living space without losing storage or functionality.