17 Stylish Horizontal Fence Ideas for the Backyard

Last updated: March 6, 2024

This guide explores 17 stylish and creative horizontal fence ideas that are easy to implement and will improve the look and feel of your outdoor space.

Most people will install a fence for practical and safety reasons, but fencing can also have great aesthetic value.

While vertical fencing is still the most traditional way of designing a fence, horizontal fencing offers more room for creativity and more opportunities to complement the overall landscaping and architecture of your outdoor space.

In this article, I will share 17 modern, classic, and stylish horizontal fencing ideas to help you find inspiration for your outdoor space.

1. Backyard Privacy Fence

A horizontally designed fence can seem a bit untraditional and may even raise a few eyebrows from concerned neighbors, but with the right design and using the right materials, a horizontal fence can transform a backyard.

This particular board-on-board fence uses cedar wood with posts on the outside for a cleaner look from the inside. The posts are metal but are covered with cedar to give them a more finished look.

2. Contemporary Fence

A contemporary fence can come in various styles, but for me, contemporary means simplicity combined with sophistication.

In this particular horizontal fence, the straight lines, the clean-looking hardwood, and the dark-ish yet modern color of the wood make this a very stylish, contemporary fence that can work for any outdoor space.

3. Horizontal Slat Fence

Up for a DIY project? This horizontal slat fence works fantastically from both a functional and an architectural perspective.

Slat fencing means installing several horizontal boards to create a fence that offers privacy as well as protection, while still having some sort of connection with the world on the other side of the fence. You can use different materials for slat fencing, but wood often looks the best.

Slat fences are easy to construct, very robust, and also easy to maintain. If one slat is broken, simply replace it with a new one, and your fence still stands strong.

4. Horizontal Timber Pool Fence

Horizontal timber pool fence
Horizontal timber pool fence

A timber fence is a great way to add some privacy to a pool area in the backyard, especially when that pool is visible from the streets or from any neighbors’ backyards.

But privacy is not the only reason to opt for this type of fencing. A horizontal timber pool fence also increases the visual appeal, even more so when it’s done on one side only.

5. Private Patio Fence

This may not be for everyone, but a fence can be an effective way to turn patios into a more designated, private space. And it can also help with preventing pets such as dogs and cats from wandering off.

The simple fence in the above picture is made with vinyl, which is becoming increasingly popular and is quickly replacing more traditional white wooden fences.

6. Horizontal Reed Fence

A reed fence is often used to cover an already existing fence to provide more privacy or an improved aesthetic feel to your outdoor space. Reeds are inexpensive, easy to install, and generally quite robust.

There are many different widths of the actual reeds, from thick to thin, to match your personal needs and to create the look and feel you want for your backyard.

7. Dark Painted Fence

Black might not be the most logical choice of color for a fence, but it can work amazingly well as part of a well-designed backyard living space with garden beds, toy structures, outdoor furniture, etc.

So, if you’re keen to try something a little different, why not install a horizontal fence and paint it entirely in black, like this backyard in Brooklyn.

8. DIY Pallet Fence

Perhaps one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to create a horizontal-style fence is by reusing old pallets!

The benefits of using pallets are truly plentiful; they are durable and sturdy, free or otherwise cheap to purchase, and offer lots of flexibility.

9. Horizontal Dog Fence

The pallets above can also be used to create a fence around an area where dogs (or goats, pigs, chickens) can play and run around. Of course, you don’t have to use pallets to create a horizontal dog fence.

A dog fence will be lower than a standard backyard fence, and the area to cover is also much smaller, so the cost of wood will also be much more manageable if you prefer to invest in wood materials.

10. Black Aluminum Metal Fence Panel

This horizontal fence is created with low-maintenance, durable, easy-to-install, and long-lasting aluminum boards that offer a warm, rich appearance to your outdoor space.

The boards lock tightly together for optimum privacy, and the fence as a whole looks attractive on both sides, keeping the neighbors happy as well.

11. DIY Horizontal Cedar Fence

This is another DIY project for a board-on-board horizontal fence using cedar, which not only looks fabulous and neat but also offers the necessary privacy.

The western red cedar wood is what makes this fence stand out and gives it a natural look that blends in nicely with the environment.

12. Horizontal Front Yard Fence

For a slightly easier project, this horizontal yard fence is a great aesthetic addition to the front yard (although I would’ve designed it to be a bit lower).

A fence in the front yard should ideally be low. It should be designed to emphasize boundaries, not so much to create extra privacy.

13. Horizontal Garden Fence

Horizontal garden fence
Horizontal garden fence

This horizontal garden fence is very similar to what I used to have in my backyard. It only covered one side of the backyard where the garden was.

I love the rusty brown color of the wooden boards, which always works so well with plants and flowers in a garden. My garden fence actually got destroyed in a storm a few years ago, but that’s a story for another day.

14. Classic Horizontal Backyard Fence

Classic horizontal backyard fence
Classic horizontal backyard fence

A classic-style backyard fence, like the one in the above picture, is still one of my favorite designs. The posts and the board are all different; there is no symmetry, which creates a more natural look.

You can often buy a set of fence posts and boards in DIY stores to create that look, but for smaller fences, you could also collect your own materials from pretty much anywhere you can find wood and timber.

15. Woven Wood Fence

Woven wood fence
Woven wood fence

Another specific style of creating horizontal fences is by weaving the fence boards around spacers, creating a lovely aesthetic effect. Admittedly, this horizontal design is a bit more challenging to implement.

Make sure that the wood that you’re going to use for this type of design offers enough flexibility, and also make sure that the fence boards will need to be longer than the distance between the posts.

16. Horizontal Aluminum Fence

Aluminum fences have become increasingly popular in recent times, for many good reasons. One reason is that aluminum is extremely weather- and rust-resistant and, as such, is a very low-maintenance material.

Additionally, aluminum is very lightweight, which makes it relatively easy to construct fences. Lastly, aluminum allows for creative and stylish horizontal fences, like the one in the above picture.

17. DIY Intertwined Branches Fence

DIY intertwined branches fence
DIY intertwined branches fence

This horizontal fence is a bit harder to make and might not be as sturdy, but I do love the natural look of it.

You’re going to need a lot of branches and some good handyman skills and patience, but the result will be a great-looking fence in the backyard.

Benefits of Horizontal Fencing

Hopefully the above list of horizontal fence ideas has given you some inspiration for your next project. Still not sure whether you should go vertical or horizontal?

Here are some benefits of horizontally designed fences:

  • A horizontal fence design looks and feels far less restrictive but does provide sufficient privacy.
  • Horizontal fences are generally more stylish and can be designed as modern, contemporary, classic, etc.
  • You can use all sorts of materials, such as wood, vinyl, and metal.
  • You have flexibility regarding the spacing between the boards.

It’s important to point out that horizontal fences are generally more expensive than vertical fences.

But if they are permanent, you might as well try and get it right from the beginning and invest in something you will benefit from for many years to come.


17 Stylish horizontal fence ideas for the backyard

Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends or to simply relax with a bit of sunshine and some fresh air. I've been passionate about the backyard lifestyle ever since my childhood, and with this website, I hope to share that passion with you.

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