Recycled wood finds a new home as a fence in a rustic city garden.
An addition to a stucco wall provides more privacy and shade.
Personalize picket fences with shapes, cutouts and signage.

Spring cleaning doesn’t stop with sorting out the closets and washing down the windows. It is time to start looking outside again. Time to make a plan to rejuvenate your property on the other side of the door. What are your views from the back or front patio? Does your home’s exterior have an attractive and welcome sense of well-being?

A simple upgrade that builds instant character is the addition of a fence. Whether in a small city space or a wide-open rural lot, a fence delineates the boundaries of your property. Why not choose a design that fuses with the natural setting and your personal style? Or create beauty where views may be less than ideal? Before you begin, inquire about any laws regarding placement and heights for fencing in your area. It’s also a good idea to chat with your neighbours. Here are some options for building attractive barriers.

Rustic wood. Shown here, recycled wood planks and ends of lumber cuts are fashioned into a DIYer’s fence, built to enclose an ecologically friendly backyard space. Create a series of wood panels to front a shed or storage area. The weathered wood fence, old plank table and stools, along with the pebbled ground cover, blend seamlessly with the out-of-doors.

The right height. You may have a privacy boundary already in place but find that it is not high enough to achieve the degree of shade you are after. A brightly painted stucco wall encloses this Caribbean style oasis, The hammock swings over a mosaic tile patio that is softened with a few scatter rugs. To increase the level of privacy, a weathered wood pole fence was added to the top of the wall. You can add height by constructing a simple chain link topper to an existing fence. Decorate with vines.

Shape your gate. You can’t go wrong with a white picket fence. It signals nostalgic imaginings of home sweet home. There are many ways to personalize this familiar fence. Pickets are available with different cuts or you can shape the tops to vary height and motifs.

Add designs. Give your fence or garden gate some special treatment. If pickets are placed close together, use a jigsaw to cut out a welcome shape such as a butterfly, bee, or heart. Space the designs along the fence pickets leaving some plain. To break up a solid wood gate a single cutout motif, maybe a pineapple or a puppy dog, provides a friendly peep hole.

A perfect backdrop. Just like the walls inside your home, fences afford a flat, vertical surface that can be adorned with any colours or items that strike your fancy. Wrought iron and metal fences are designed for any age. Weathered materials are rustic, white and stained wood is traditional and black wood has a modern edge. The obvious adornment for a fence is flowers — climbing ivies and hanging flower pots. Up the fun by displaying garden sculptures, artwork, stained glass and antique finds – old pails, watering cans, garden tools.

Readymade. Fencing and trellises ready to install are available in wood, plastic, chain link, and metals. Check out the best options for your outdoor space and elevate the charm of your home.