Fences don’t have to be humdrum, boring affairs.

Consider these fresh fencing ideas.

Too often we resort to plain wooden fences to screen our homes from prying eyes and traffic noise. But fencing can be practical and decorative. So before you pound those stakes in the ground, identify your fence’s purpose. Do you want to cut down noise, create intimacy, or screen your home from neighbors or the street? Once you identify the purpose, think outside the box. Don’t fence yourself in by thinking planks alone are your best option. Take a cue from these functionally fabulous fences we found around town.

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Screen Out, Bring In

These two homes created privacy and screened street noise through the use of solid stone fencing and solid stucco squares. But each fence also preserves views and light by combining those materials with see-through rails and wire mesh..

Add Art

These fences are good examples of making a fence more than just a fence. Artistic gates add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be just a solid concrete barrier and a white wooden fence .

article_setbound1Top It Off

Capping this fence with decorative elements injected visual appeal. Stepping the fence down the slope is a nice touch, too..

LET NATURE RUN ITS COURSE

In these fences, potted plants, rosebushes and vines perk up traditional slats, rails and pickets, making the fences warm and inviting, while still adding to the privacy factor.

Define It

These defined entryways create a sense of entering an extension of the home rather than just the yard. Adding an entry to a fence is a great way to formalize it.

Frame It

Take advantage of beautiful views by positioning your fence line to frame them.

Mix It Up

Each of these solid stucco fences is highly effective as a privacy barrier, but the combinations of stucco with brick and stucco with wood also make them visually appealing from the street.

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Think Horizontally

These fences use horizontal slats with spaces in between to screen off unwanted views of the street and driveway. The slats are more interesting than traditional vertical planks, and the spaces allow for partial views and light.

Get Shapely

The staggered height and rounded edges of this irregularly shaped wood-and-stucco fence make for a visually pleasing surprise.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In lieu of expensive and often unsustainable materials, this home’s fence is made of bent tree branches—a low-cost, unique option.

A Zen Line

Bamboo reeds provide complete privacy in this fence, and affordably add a Zen-like quality.