Six Creative Uses for Lattice Panels in Your Outdoor Space

From building a pergola to dressing up a fence, a designer shares her tips.

If you don't already have a lattice or two in your backyard, then now's the time to think about purchasing some. "A lattice is an open framework made from wood or metal that features a crisscross, diamond-shaped pattern," explains interior designer Michelle Gerson of Michelle Gerson Interiors. "As a decorative feature, it can be used to create an entry to a garden, divide up spaces, delineate an outdoor dining area, and more." Not only does lattice allow you to carve out distinct zones and create visual interest in an outdoor area, bubt it's also affordable. "Lattice is a great way to charm up a space without spending a lot of money," Gerson says. "You can either custom build one or buy it in sheets, and turn it into a fun and practical DIY project."

unfinished wooden garden lattice with greenery
Mona Makela / Getty Images

Curious about how you can use lattice in your yard to create a unique outdoor display? From making your own backyard pergola to dressing up a fence, we asked Gerson to share some ideas to get you started.

Paint a lattice pergola.

If you want to create a source of shade for your outdoor dining area, Gerson suggests building a pergola from lattice. "For a more eye-catching display, buy the lattice in sheets and paint them in different colors for a cost-effective way to stay cool outside."

Create a lattice canopy with curtains.

Searching for an affordable way to turn a sliver of your yard into an outdoor lounge spot? Gerson recommends hanging curtain panels from lattice. "Add curtains made of performance fabric to the sides of a lattice to warm up the design or on the top of them to provide more shade in an outdoor area," she says.

Hang bistro lights.

Gerson says a few strands of sparkling string lights go a long way in dressing up an outdoor dining area, especially when they're strewn from lattice. "When using lattice to delineate an outdoor dining space, I like to hang bistro lights off of it," she says. "It helps to create a more ambient atmosphere that you can spend time in after the sun sets."

Define a garden area.

Much like how you can use lattice to carve out a distinct dining space in your outdoor area, Gerson says you can also use it to define your backyard garden in style. "You can use lattice to create a unique entrance to your garden," she explains. "Incorporate elements of your garden into the lattice design; it's really pretty to let roses or vines grow up it."

Try a lattice trellis.

If you grow vegetables in your backyard, Gerson suggests using lattice to support your taller plants, particularly tomatoes, instead of a traditional trellis. "Lattice is a great way to help hold up tomato vines," she says. Simply use twine or thick string to tie parts of the vine to the lattice for a beautiful but inexpensive way to support your plants as they grow.

Upgrade a fence.

Uninspired by the look of your plain wooden fence? Gerson says to consider dressing it up with some lattice. "Lattice is a beautiful decorative element for a fence," she explains. Attach lattice to the top of your fence for an affordable upgrade that won't sacrifice any privacy, or add it to the sides, and allow vines and other plants to grow up it freely.

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