How do you create an enclosed outdoor space? We collected a few practical enclosed patio ideas. Some will cost more to install and some are so simple that they can be done on a cheap budget.
The definition of enclosed is fenced in or closed with walls. There is no mention of a roof. If you prefer a roofed design then our covered deck guide is for you. A patio can also be partially or semi enclosed using some creative ideas. DIY ideas should also be considered if you’re DIY savvy, especially with the recent availability of decorative privacy walls.
We suggest these 8 ways to create an enclosed patio:
- On a Budget Ideas – using canvas, plastic sheets, chicken wire, etc.
- Semi Enclosed Ideas or partial enclosures (only enclose the minimal amount of space you need)
- Fenced In Patio Ideas (a fence that provides privacy and also great looks)
- Lattice Patio Enclosures (works best where fences are not allowed)
- Vines on Trellis (if you prefer climbing plants to fences and walls)
- Courtyard – my favorite idea (your house architecture is built around a patio)
- Walled In – using your house walls as enclosures
- Decorative Privacy Walls and Screens – a new modern approach
Pictures are worth thousands of words. So let’s explore these 25 inspirational photos and examples organized by categories.
1. On a Budget Ideas
This is where you use your creativity and attempt to enclose your patio with cheap, inexpensive materials that are readily available. But don’t forget about the looks. Cheap should not mean cheap looks. The con here is that your patio may look like it was DIY-ed. The pro is that you saved money on something else. Let’s consider ideas using canvas, plastic panels, outdoor fabric, and chicken wire.
The owners of this patio (above) wanted to enclose themselves from being seen from the second-floor windows of the neighbor’s house. They chose to go with canvas. I estimate that two canvases of this size would cost around $200. Plus some hardware, to attach them to the pergola.
We’ve found a similar color canvas tarp that would do trick. It’s heavy duty and water resistant.
They hung two metal accent pieces over the canvas, to visually break up the sheer size of the enclosure. And they pained the roof frame green. Green and yellow in combination create a nice summer-like appeal.
Overall, it was a cool DIY project on a small budget. Adding this improvised wall changed the appeal of the space – this patio feels like a room now.
Shown above is an unusual and inexpensive idea for creating an enclosed space. The owners decided to cover a see-through fence with a semi-transparent fabric. They also hung string lights that just slide down the fence, creating a romantic atmosphere.
Transparency leads to visually larger space. But despite it, the feeling of privacy was achieved. It’s a very organic-looking patio design, with a wood deck and plants in pots.
We’ve found these Waterproof Outdoor Curtains Sheer on Amazon that could be a good choice if you’d like to reproduce the above idea on your patio.
Another relatively inexpensive idea is to build an enclosure from clear or translucent plastic panels. The pros are that it lets the light in and it’s easier to attach (than let’s say glass), the cons is that it starts to look dirty with time.
Another pro is that plastic is safer for your kids playing ball in the backyard. Just like glass, such enclosure is letting through a good amount of light – but it also creates a feeling of an enclosed space, achieved for less money than with glass.
One suitable material for such application would be the Coroplast Sheets. We found one source on Amazon. Coroplast corrugated twin plastic sheets are translucent (they transmit light but are not completely clear). They can be used indoors and outdoors, and are very durable and versatile. You can easily cut or fold them. They are also lightweight and weather resistant.
Chicken wire and other metal mesh type fences cost much less than wooden or concrete or even chainlink fences for that reason. That’s the pro. The con here is that using them to enclose a patio works best for warm climates only where leaves never fall.
Climbing plants don’t have to be the decorative vines type, they can be climbing veggies as well. Cucumbers, squash and beans will cover a large size fence in no time if seeded properly. The only disadvantage is that you’ll have to re-plant them often. While many decorative vines once planted grow forever providing you with more and more seclusion.
The same idea (as with the chicken wire above) works well with the metal mesh fences. The pro difference is that mesh makes a stronger fence than a chicken wire, the con is that it costs more.
2. Partially or Semi Enclosed Patio Ideas
‘Semi’ means to some extent, partly or incompletely.
Often is just enough to create an illusion of an enclosed space, especially when you don’t want to block the views but still desire some privacy. Look at this awesome patio image above – you feel enclosed yet it’s wide open. In this beautifully executed design, a short concrete fence (3 to 3.5 feet tall) creates just enough privacy but doesn’t obstruct the views as much. It’s high enough to protect you on windy nights and allow you to snuggle by the fireplace in the outdoors.
This patio design looks Moroccan inspired. It makes you feel like you’re traveling in a faraway Africa. Add colorful pillows and other accents to dress it up. Or go with Mexican or Arizona style decor accessories. This place is easy to transform to your preferences. If you could DIY the cushions and build the seats out of pallets, you can get this awesome idea accomplished on a cheap.
This wooden deck is only partially enclosed at one corner, just to create a small enclave of privacy. This idea is quite simple to DIY. Extend some or add a few railing posts and install lattice sheets in between. You’ve created a partially secluded outdoor space that is large enough to accommodate seating for 4 people and a table.
This enclosure can be built in a day, creating a very livable and cozy space.
3. Fenced In Patio Ideas
This could be a decorative fence if your municipality permits. Build a fence that not only provides privacy but also great looks.
This nicely fenced-in patio achieves a more modern look thanks to wooden boards attached horizontally. And when complete privacy is desired then there is a garden room. A living room-like space in the middle with a matching outdoor sectional completes the design of this fully enclosed patio.
Fencing In a Tiny Patio
Here’s a tiny patio fenced in with wooden lattice partitions. The fence is very tall, I estimate it’s at least 10ft high. Install a higher fence where it’s absolutely necessary. Leave a shorter fence where it’s not that terribly needed. This saves money and adds nice visual contrast and openness to an already very boxed in small space. The patio is decorated with hanging flower pots that let the space be used to the max without creating too much clutter. Two outdoor planters enhance the otherwise boring view of the wood deck. What a simple but well thought out idea!
Small Encaged Space Idea
This small enclosed patio idea (see image above) was very easy to achieve. The green color on the wall mimics the color of the greenery. The earthy looking tile helps with creating a very natural look. The white painted fence creates an illusion of a wider space. And finally, the pergola roof overhead completes the design. This patio looks completely encaged but it doesn’t feel encaged at all.
4. Walled in Patios
Walled in patio designs are similar to fenced in. The difference is that this approach uses either house or property walls or both. It’s not the same as a courtyard (see below). This approach works great in limited spaces where home walls can get extended into the backyard to enclose it. This is possible for brick or concrete homes.
Here’s a walled in multi-level patio that is made fully enclosed. This idea uses walls belonging to two different homes, plus a wooden fence. Only a few small steps separate you from the outdoor dining area. This contemporary styled backyard can be easily decorated to your taste by adding a few accents. The big tree creates natural shade. The light-colored walls complement the white countertop.
Tall concrete walls enclose this patio, making it completely boxed in and so very private. The rear bamboo fence and the bamboo wall rug help create the needed contrast with otherwise plain looking white walls. Add a small dining table of any shape and you’ve got a very simple but useful outdoor living space. Note that the outdoor tile matches the wall color. It reminds us of a kitchen floor tile as if the kitchen floor continues into outdoors. That would be nice!
Use your house walls! Hang some decor, plant some climbing vines in pots, to create a nicely decorated enclosed patio. You can tile the floor or leave it covered with grass.
Shown above is a large walled in patio with a fireplace and a modern outdoor dining room. In this minimalist design, clean straight lines of the pergola are complemented by the long horizontal shapes of the planters. Notice that outdoor shower tucked away in the corner.
5. Courtyard Ideas
A home courtyard is an architectural feature that is an area enclosed by home walls from at least 3 sides. It may or may not have a roof.
Shown above is a true architectural courtyard design that encloses a concrete patio. It is enclosed on three sides. The folding patio door opens up the entire wall making this design look very cozy and private. The ample size yard easily incorporates an outdoor fireplace and an outdoor living room. There is a lighting fixture hanging from the roof that covers the entire courtyard.
Here’s another interesting idea showcasing how a courtyard can be designed to allow the interiors to continue into the outdoors. When building a new home or remodeling an existing one, you can design your backyard as fully enclosed by extending the house walls into a yard. They can be decorated with the same roof shingles, to continue the decor theme throughout.
6. Vines on Trellis
In this very cute backyard, wood trellises are built into the fence. Trellises by themselves create partial privacy only, as their cells are wide enough for onlookers to still see what’s inside the fence. Climbing vines close those cells from view and add beauty to the yard. If you live in warm climates, vines will retain leaves all year long, creating a natural cover.
7. Lattice Patio Enclosures
Fenced-in ideas are not always possible as not every municipality allows solid fences or tall fences. So the lattice is the solution in such cases. You can add lattice sheets to a low fence to increase its height or simply install a partial lattice enclosure instead of a fence. Lattice is great to grow climbing vines which will create even more privacy and beautify your space at the same time.
Shown in the image above, a beautiful lattice fence encloses a wooden deck on one side. The fence and the deck are painted in the same color, creating a tranquil place.
Home Depot is one good source where I go to buy lattice panels.
A partial decorative lattice enclosure adds ambiance to this patio and also defines the space for relaxing.
In this example above, we see a wide cell lattice enclosing a small patio from townhomes built across. Also, a white vinyl partition is installed to separate the owners from the neighbors’ patio. Notice, that the two lattice panels are simply attached to the metal railing. A wood planter is positioned right next to them in hopes that vines planted in it will climb up the lattice to close the view. What an interesting setup!
Instead of freestanding planters, you could have pots hung at the top of the lattice and train the vines to grow down. Just like it’s shown in this photo below.
These wood planters with diamond lattice trellis on wheels can be purchased on Amazon.
A wood fence and small cell lattice sheets are used in this enclosed patio design. Lattice installed on top of the fence adds decorative accents to the design. Also, notice that nice looking outdoor cupboard.
Cool lattice patio enclosure idea. In this design (above), a short lattice fence separates a small tiled patio from the rest of the backyard. Visually, it clearly identifies different use areas.
8. Decorative Privacy Walls and Screens
These are enclosures made up of Plastic, Metal, Wood or WPC (wood-plastic composite) panels. Sold as kits or as separate panels, these are premade partitions that can be attached to an existing fence or to their own posts. They can also be installed as freestanding by mounting them to concrete or wooden patio.
The image above presents an idea of combining two decorative privacy walls with a natural greenery fence (using arborvitae trees in this case). The two walls are basically sections of a wooden fence with lattice panels mounted on top. You could try to DIY them.
We don’t normally think about shadows as a decor feature. This idea is a perfect example of how planned shadows can create beautiful looks for the enclosure. Add an outdoor rug, a beautiful red vase, and voila, you’ve got a very cozy outdoor space.
While building the above privacy walls may require you to call a professional, there are other products in this category that can be easily assembled from a kit and installed by yourself. And they are commonly made from materials other than wood. Here’re a few examples.
WPC – wood-plastic composite
In this photo above, a small patio is enclosed with a privacy wall made up of 5 decorative screens of tropical design. The screens are manufactured from a composite material (usually a combination of plastic and wood) that is weather and UV resistant. You can buy them here.
The above is an example of a corner privacy wall sold as a kit. It’s made from Polypropylene, and its installation requires a corner post sold here. The panels can be purchased here. I recommend you call Wayfair before buying to make sure the posts and panels fit together.
Consider other alternatives to the lattice to achieve privacy on an enclosed patio. Decorative metal panels such as the one shown above are similar to lattice by design but will last forever and could offer a more modern look. Made in lightweight metal, they are CNC machined. I’ve found these panels on Amazon.