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Hiding the ugly in your backyard

Everybody’s got one. That single horrible thing lurking in your yard that makes you cringe every time you look at it. It might be that cement block retaining wall; the shed that’s seen better days or even that giant ugly HVAC unit. Well it's time to get up and do something about it! Our goal is to make everyone forget that blasted eye sore ever existed. Here are a few of my go-to tricks to help you hide the ugly.

A Vintage Billboard Sign

Billboards are big, graphic and a great source of color. Plus they add that little bit of vintage flair, and unexpected awesomeness that your yard needs! Whether you buy a genuine vintage billboard (which can be pricey) or DIY your own version, this is one of my favorite tricks to help "hide the ugly". Imagine how fab a hand-painted sign (the size of that old shed) would look in your yard!

What's cool about this? If you actually own the ugly fence or shed, you can paint the billboard right on top of it for the price of a can of paint! If you are not the owner of said fence, no need to worry, you can build a freestanding billboard sign. This is a great idea for both renters & homeowners who want to crank up the cool this summer. I've used the "old billboard sign concept" to hide all kinds of things from bunk beds to storage walls.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood adds killer character and style without a hefty price tag, while appealing to both men and women. So, if we all love it so much on walls and furniture inside, why the heck don't we bring it outside, too? It's already weathered but, if you like, you can always use an outdoor wood sealer to protect it from aging further. Reclaimed wood is cool because you can apply it right on top of your "surface of contention" – you know, the ugly shed – or you can build a free-standing frame, clad with your old barn wood, to place in front of the eyesore. For more flexibility you can even put it on locking casters or wheels. That way, if you need to access the area later on you just roll it out of the way.

Tip: Reclaimed lumber is easier to find than you think. When all else fails, take a cue from my friends. They go around ripping down old barns and sheds for people who no longer want them. They offer to do the work for the owner and get to keep the wood in return. Everyone wins.

Up-Cycled Divider Screen or Trellis

A trellis is a great way to distract yourself from that ugly backdrop. Plus, there is something magical about creeping flowery vines lurking in the background. Large scale trellises aren't cheap, and the ones that are, look it! Here a few killer ideas for you to make your own trellis out of everyday items lurking around your house.

1. Vintage Metal Bed/ Old Headboard

You can't get much easier than a vintage metal headboard: just dig a few holes to anchor it in the ground and plant something that likes to creep!

2. Bicycle Rims

Got some old bicycle rims lying around? Weld or tie them together for an eco-friendly, industrial look. Want to spice things up? Slap some neon colored paint on them and plant a climbing plant like Jasmine, Clematis or Honeysuckle for a super cool look.

3. A Giant Old Gate

Gates also make beautiful trellises. I've seen beautifully carved, ginormous pieces of gating from large estates for next to nothing at thrift shops. Keep your eyes peeled and don't be afraid to haggle. Chances are it's been lying there for a while, waiting on someone as creative and daring as you to notice it.