Decorative Screens Add Privacy and Pattern to Outdoor Living Spaces
The allure of the outdoors beckons. Having some type of outdoor space has always been essential to most homeowners, but the concept of indoor-outdoor living ignited in 2008 when, because of the recession, “staycations” became a “thing.”
Since then, the desire for curated outdoor living spaces has blossomed. These exterior sanctuaries not only increase a home’s value, but research shows spending time outside and in nature improves our mental and physical wellbeing.
The desirability of outdoor living space has been a priority for homeowners for quite a while, but with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, yards became essential areas for families to cook, dine, play, exercise, and relax.
A FIXR Trend Report discovered that 85% of residential construction experts believe that homeowners are more willing to invest in outdoor living spaces.
At Harrell Design + Build, when it comes to outdoor living, we turn to award-winning landscape designer Lisa Parramore, APLD to create inviting, purposeful, and beautifully distinct spaces. There are numerous ways to define and accessorize outdoor rooms, but one of Lisa’s favorite methods is using decorative screens.
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“Screens in the garden have so much potential. They delineate specific spaces, provide privacy, and obscure eyesores. Patterned screens act as backdrops for plant material, cast interesting shadows, and even double as works of art,” Lisa explains. “The possibilities are endless. Perforated screens offer privacy and conceal unattractive areas such as open areas beneath decks, they can disguise garbage cans, electrical panels, and HVAC units. Screens can also be used as railings on patios, decks, and balconies, and can be used to create raised planters or beautify a storage area’s exterior. I also appreciate that decorative screens block views while allowing sunlight to stream in.”
Lisa currently has three “go-to” companies for decorative screens. Each is based in the United States and offers different patterns, materials, and price points.
“Bridging art and environment,” Parasoleil provides fully customizable decorative panels to “create places where people want to be.”
Parasoleil offers “thousands of combinations of patterns, posts, fastening methods, and panel sizes to build a stand-alone screen that defines space and creates privacy.” The panels are aluminum and are available in varying thicknesses depending upon the structural integrity required. The privacy screens are powder coated with (almost) maintenance-free finishes that withstand the elements. Deep Bronze, Copper Foil, Galvanate, Black Licorice, Burgundy, and Liberty Verdigris (a lovely patinaed blue-green) are among the dozen finishes available.
In addition to their architectural integrity and beauty, Parasoleil engineers their patterned privacy screens to exceed all necessary codes and building department requirements.
Says Lisa about Parasoleil’s decorative screen product line: “Parasoleil is an incredible product that can be customized in finish, function, and design. The catalog of available designs includes geometric, abstract, and nature-inspired, or what the company calls biomimicry. The degree of privacy desired can be created by choosing a design with more or less openness.”
The panels are available in 4′ X 6′ and 4′ X 8′ “off the shelf” sizes, but the company can accommodate alternate dimensions. The privacy screens can be connected horizontally, stacked vertically, or used as stand-alone panels. Lisa has specified Parasoleil’s screens as the infill for deck railings, as a partition to conceal service equipment, and as a divider separating an outdoor kitchen from a more casual play space.
A product for commercial and luxury residential spaces, Parasoleil aluminum screens are an appealing alternative to wood in high fire risk areas.
“Privacy and style that is uniquely sustainable, Outdeco privacy screens transform any space into a sanctuary.”
Constructed of eco-friendly Weathertex, Outdeco panels are crafted from a mixture of organic, sustainably sourced Australian hardwood fibers that otherwise would be regarded as waste.
Created for projects of all sizes, Outdeco’s standard modular panels come in 22 patterns and three sizes, 48” X 70”, 36” X 48” and 24” X 28.” The Outdeco LITE series is available in eight patterns and two sizes, 24” X 48” and 24” X 70.” The 48-inch panels are ideal for deck skirts and rails, while the 70-inch length allows for fewer supports for applications such as fences and fence extensions. Both can be used as décor in a myriad of applications. Outdeco’s screens are lightweight and protected with a coating of Decoshield™, a transparent preservative.
Both sizes of Outdeco panels are available in designs offering light (60%), moderate (80%), and high (90%) privacy ratings. This product lends itself to a myriad of finishes, including installation without a finish for a patinaed appearance. For homeowners who wish to introduce color, the panels can be sealed, stained, or opaque color applied using low VOC water-based exterior paint. The company also offers an industrial-chic weathered steel finish for a more modern aesthetic.
Lisa points out that for eco- and budget-conscious homeowners looking for a durable, attractive product at a great price-point, Outdeco is a fantastic option with amazing applications.
Based in San Francisco, LatticeStix expands upon traditional latticework by “bringing pattern to life” with more modern and distinct designs.
Crafted from solid redwood, each decorative screen is free of mechanical fasters, which can cause discoloration from rust. Instead, the panels are joined with dowels, lap joints, and waterproof wood glue.
LatticeStix has three categories of privacy screens: Classic framed screens, modular screens, and decorative panels.
Classic screens are ideal for outdoor space dividers or to disguise unsightly areas, such as HVAC units, garbage bins, and pool equipment. Available in nine basic patterns, the classic line can be manufactured to any dimension, oriented vertically or horizontally, and are reversible.
The Modulatis modular screen line is a contemporary version of lattice in two standard sizes. These attractive reversible panels can be connected to construct a privacy screen, define a space, or hide trash containers and outdoor equipment.
Decorative lattice panels are narrower and are ideal for creating a sense of privacy in smaller spaces or concealing electrical panels. They also lend themselves to being used as decorative “columns” on a porch or entry.
There are eight LatticeStix pattern collections, all of which have primarily linear designs, making them more “open” and transparent than patterns offered by Outdeco and Parasoleil.
LatticeStix screens come unpainted and will eventually develop a natural gray burnish when exposed to the elements. As protection, an exterior stain can be applied but isn’t necessary. The panels can be painted, if desired, but Lisa cautions that doing so requires considerable ongoing maintenance.
Defining outdoor living spaces creates intention and an inviting atmosphere. Using decorative screens introduces art, pattern, and purpose in a personalized way.
Is the outdoors calling your name? We invite you to schedule a complimentary discussion with one of our experienced Designers to imagine the possibilities of an outdoor living space.
Or attend one of our virtual workshops to learn more about the Harrell Design + Build Design + Build experience.
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