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DIY Modern Privacy Fence : The Weekender

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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Hey! This post is part of The Weekender Makeover Series- Watch all 10 episodes and get project details using the buttons below!



The Weekender: DIY Urban Patio Makeover – Watch Below!

DIY Modern Privacy Fence : The Weekender Urban Patio Makeover

DIY Patio Makeover Modern Privacy Screen

When I arrived at Tess & Barry’s home to work on their urban patio makeover, the very first thing I noticed were the mismatched fences on either side of the yard.  Giving them a new, modern privacy fence rocketed to the top of my TO-DO list.

The right side featured dark wood and some kind of vines taking over


The left side had white painted boards, some new pine boards, and a tree branch (which I loved and planned to keep!)


The existing fences were actually the neighbors, thus the mismatched styles.  Tess & Barry loved the privacy, but wanted something with a bit more style. Their yard is pretty huge for Manhattan and I needed to come up with something that had cool style and wouldn’t cost a lot or take a long time to install, since we only had 2 days to pull off this makeover.


I was walking around Lowe’s brainstorming, and came across their wood lattice panels, yes the kind of lattice that usually gets an “old lady” bad rap.  I played around with some options right in the middle of the lumber aisle at Lowe’s (the employees used to think I was crazy, but they’re use to my antics now) and figured out that if I combined lattice with some horizontal boards that it didn’t look so granny anymore… it actually looked modern and pretty cool!

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Privacy Fence Planters Outdoor Bench

Here’s how we made this modern privacy fence

1- We were able to work right off the existing posts from the neighbor’s houses (it was agreed upon by the homeowners), so we didn’t have to put in new fence posts. If you were starting from scratch you would need to.

2- We leveled and then attached the lattice panels to the fence posts using screws and a drill.  There will be a seam between each lattice panel, where the edges meet up. Don’t worry about that, we have a trick to hide those later.

3- After the lattice was attached, we added three 1×6 inch pine boards to the top, overlapping the lattice by a few inches at the bottom.  This is what takes the lattice from sweet little granny to hip upper west side.  Make sure that your spacing between each board is the same or they’ll look wonky. We added a little frame around the tree branch, because when you live in NYC and have a huge tree, well, if you’ve got it-flaunt it!

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Seating Area

4- We used 1×3 pine boards to cover up the seams where the lattice met.  This also helped make more clearly defined sections of lattice, which I liked.   We used the same 1×3 wood to trim out the outdoor chalkboard that we made for the kids area- get all the details on that project HERE.


5- We stained and sealed the wood in one step using Olympic Elite from Lowe’s.  The color we used is called Wenge – and it looks really red on the website, but it was a nice, rich brown with no red tone to it.


We used the same stain on both the lattice and the pine boards, but because of the different wood types, the lattice looks darker, which is awesome, because we got a two tone look and only had to use one product.  Sweet!

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Reveal1

To apply the stain, we rolled the lattice first and then went back with a brush to get in all the cracks and crevices.  For the top boards, I would recommend only using a brush. We tried a roller at first and it looked splotchy.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Entertaining Seating Area Faux Grass

I was pretty proud that we figured out a way to make lattice look cool and the privacy fence ended up being one of the homeowner’s favorite projects of the whole makeover.

DIY Urban Patio Makeover Reveal3

As you can see, this urban patio makeover was filled with DIY projects. You can check out the makeover BEFORE & AFTER Reveal HERE and use the links below to check out the other project tutorials!

Urban Patio Makeover Reveal

DIY Cinderblock Planter

DIY Artificial Turf (yes, that’s fake grass and it’s amazing!)

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard & Kid’s Area

And don’t miss a Weekender Episode- make sure you subscribe HERE to catch all 10!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.53.50 AM

*The Weekender Series is a paid collaboration with Lowe’s Home Improvement. I’m thankful for the brands that believe in the mission of East Coast Creative and support my work!*

The comments +

  1. Patti McGarry says:

    I love this look! Would it be feasible to do this without a “backer” fence? We put in a large pool a few years ago and now want to add a little privacy. This fence is perfect!

    • Monica says:

      Yup! You would just need to install your own posts. Could be a good way to add some privacy! Good luck! -Mon

  2. I really appreciate the way you talked about kind of coming up with a creative way to make your own fencing. I know a lot of contractors are starting to do more custom designs, so in the end that may be a more labor effective choice, but I still loved the ideas you put forward. Thanks for the advice!

  3. Elaine Crum says:

    That was a semi-transparent stained you used correct?

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