Lattice Fence Ideas

Lattice fence

Are you looking to add fun to your front yard? Do you want to make your pergola pop? If you’ve chosen a lattice fence, you’re on the right track. But how can you make an old-school lattice fence look new? In this article, we’ll cover lattice fence ideas to give you the outdoor space you’ll love.

What is a Lattice Fence?

The lattice pattern is formed by crisscrossing thin slats to create square or diamond holes. The crisscross pattern can be tight, with smaller holes, or loose, with bigger holes. Each lattice panel attaches to posts, then to top and bottom rails. Voila! A lattice fence is born.

Due to the holes in the lattice design, lattice fences generally don’t make good privacy fences unless they are combined with shrubbery or other dense plants. That doesn’t mean lattice isn’t functional. Lattice is quite versatile and can be used to delineate or decorate property and is ideal for gardens.

The origin of latticework is unclear, but it dates back to at least the Classical Antiquity period (Greco-Roman times). Latticework is found throughout human history, including in India, the Islamic World, and the Eiffel Tower. The lattice design is even found on the classic American dessert, apple pie.

What are the Different Types of Lattice Material?

Wood

wooden lattice fence
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Wood is a common and classic choice for a lattice fence. You can customize the color with paint or stain. A wood lattice fence is affordable, easy to find, and easy to install. Be sure to use pressure-treated wood to ensure longevity.

Vinyl

vinyl lattice fence
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Vinyl is a solid choice because it requires the least amount of maintenance. It also lasts in most climates. Vinyl lattice fences are growing in popularity, are widely available in garden centers, and are easy to install. Although not as inexpensive as wood, vinyl is still affordable.

Metal

metal lattice fence
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Metal is the most sturdy choice for a lattice fence. Metal lattice is a durable option that withstands all climates and weather conditions. It’s a popular choice, but it’s also the most expensive. If you decide to go with metal, you have a few options.

  • Aluminum. Aluminum is the most rust-resistant metal but the weakest of the three metals. It’s also recyclable.
  • Steel. For durability and cost, steel is a middle ground between aluminum and wrought iron.
  • Wrought iron. Wrought iron is the strongest of the three metals but the most expensive.

Composite

Composite fencing is a close second to metal in durability. It’s also manufactured in many different styles and has the pleasing look of wood. Composite fencing is expensive but, unlike wood, requires very little maintenance.

Bamboo

bamboo lattice
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Bamboo makes such intriguing lattice fencing that it’s worth a separate mention. Due to bamboo’s rapid regrowth, it’s environmentally friendly. It’s easy to assemble, requires little maintenance, and, unlike most wood, it stands up well to moisture and sun. The downside? Because it grows overseas, it can be expensive.

Brick

masonry lattice fence
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Brick can be laid in a lattice pattern, creating an interesting fence-wall combo. It’s very durable, easy to maintain, and very long-lasting. It’s also unique and adds curb appeal. On the other hand, if you use a mason for installation, it can be pricey.

Cool Lattice Fence Ideas

The only limitation on what you can do with lattice fencing is your imagination. Not sure where to start? Here are some ways to begin your lattice fence journey.

Change the Color

When it comes to the color of your fence, the world is your oyster. But how? There are a lot of ways to do that, after all. Let’s break it down into two main categories – paint and stain.

Paint

Paint is excellent for fences for many reasons.

  • It lasts a long time. If your fence is diligently maintained, your paint job can last up to 10 years.
  • Sun and rain-resistant. The paint acts as a UV blocker, and it’s water resistant. It protects your fence, giving it a longer lifespan.
  • Color variety. While stain is limited to wood tones, paint is not. Do you want a neon orange fence? There’s a paint for that.

If you choose to paint, you’ll have to pick a color. First, it should match the house. If you have an HOA, you’ll need to see what colors are allowed. Aside from those limitations, it depends on the look you want. Here are a few popular color choices.

  • White. White is classic. It also matches any color house. You could also choose an off-white color like cream or ivory.
  • Black. Using black as your fence color will make other lawn features, like flowers or lights, stand out. Black is bold but not garish.
  • Gray. Gray is a neutral middle ground that varies in shade. A lighter shade is gentle, but a darker shade is striking.
  • Navy. Like black, navy is a bold color that will accent your landscaping. Yet, navy is softer than black and looks beautiful when paired with a cool-colored home.
  • Green. A natural green will act as a hedge and blend nicely with nearby flowers and shrubs. It also pairs well with neutral and warm-colored homes.

Stain

Before you whip out the paint can, consider a stain. Many professionals recommend stain over paint, and there are several reasons why.

  • Stain is cheaper. Sometimes, our final decision comes down to budget.
  • It fades, but paint chips. If you don’t have the time for maintenance, a stain may be the way to go.
  • It provides strong protection. Stain protects your fence from the elements while allowing the wood to breathe. Try an oil-based stain for the best results.

You’ve decided to go with stain, but how do you choose a shade? Consider matching or coordinating the stain with other outdoor wooden structures? It’s also important to remember that the more opaque a stain is, the more faded it becomes over time. Otherwise, you have a plethora of choices.

  • Dark stains. Dark stains make your fence pop, giving your outdoor area rich color and depth. Try mahogany, espresso, or chestnut.
  • Light stains. Light stains are moderate, allowing other outdoor features to stand out. Try oak, pine, or driftwood.
  • Red stains. Stains with a red tint give a splash of color while maintaining the stunning wood grain look. Try cedar, cherry, or redwood.

Accessorize

Adding accessories is a great way to personalize your outdoor space. Options range from simple and inexpensive to grandiose and pricey. Let’s look at a few popular accessories.

Climbing Plants

lattice fence
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Climbing plants are beautiful and relatively easy to maintain. On lattice, they can create a living fence or wall. Not sure which climbing plant to choose? Here are a few possibilities.

  • Ivy (English, Boston, or Persian)
  • Carolina Jessamine vine
  • Climbing roses
  • Morning Glory
  • Wisteria
  • Honeysuckle

String Lights

String lights, sometimes called fairy lights, are magical, especially at night. The bonus is that they’re affordable and super easy to personalize, too. Here are some ways to individualize string lights.

  • Colors. Pick a complementary color that pairs with your other outdoor features.
  • Seasons. Choose a light that matches the seasons. Tiny white lights are perfect for winter. Larger multicolored lights match the summertime vibe.
  • Holidays. Celebrate the holiday cheer while personalizing your space. Simply replace your everyday lights with festive ones.

Embellishments

Add some extras to your lattice fence to make it pop. Here are some ideas.

  • Carvings. Add interesting carvings to your fence like characters, flowers, or shapes.
  • Plaques. Add your house number or an inspirational quote to a plaque and attach it to your fence. Face it outward to inspire the world (or at least your neighborhood) or inward to motivate yourself.
  • Custom. Add something that’s unique to you or your family – a pet’s plaster pawprints, a cool antique found at a flea market, or an arts and crafts piece made by children. 

Post Caps

Fence caps protect posts from weather and rot, and they can be subtle or bold in appearance. Changing them can be a quick and easy way to dramatically change your fence’s look. How easy? Caulk or screws affix caps to the fence posts, so if you can wield a screwdriver, you can change a cap. While the possibilities are endless, let’s look at a few ideas.

  • Classic cap. There is something about keeping it simple. A standard flat square cap looks classic and sleek and comes in many colors and materials.
  • Lighted cap. Installing LED caps is a beautiful way to make your fence stand out. Choose from hardwired or solar lights. Not only do they look fantastic, but they provide extra light and security to your property.
  • Fleur de Lis cap. This design is often seen on metal fences. This interesting spearhead-like design is bold enough to stand out without being ostentatious.
  • Ball cap. As the name suggests, a ball post cap has a ball on the top. It’s softer than a Fleur de Lis cap but still stands out. They come in several varieties, like oval and carved.
  • Custom. If you want your fence to stand out, consider a custom design. You can custom design any post cap, including hearts, Avengers, or even birdhouses.

Top Line

Changing the line of your fence will change the overall feel. There are four main lattice fence line styles.

  • Straight. A straight fence line is flat and straight. For a simple look, a straight line is your best choice. You might see this design in a cottage garden.
  • Scalloped. A scalloped line is an inverted arch, creating a classic but atypical look.
  • Arched. An arched line is like it sounds. The fence line creates an arch.
  • Alternating panels. The alternating style mixes short and high panels. This interesting look is sometimes featured in Japanese gardens.

Lattice Top

If you love lattice fences but want privacy, consider a lattice top. Add a lattice top to your new or existing fence to make a traditional privacy fence more unique.

Flower and Storage Boxes

Lattice fence
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Beautify and organize your outdoor space with flower and storage boxes. Besides flowers, what exactly would you put in these boxes? Try these.

  • Herbs and spices
  • Vegetables like potatoes, radishes, peppers, or tomatoes
  • Garden tools
  • Outside or sandbox toys
  • Small rock collection

Boxes are fantastic. Personalize them with paintings and carvings. Or you can try using other containers too. 

  • Coffee cans
  • Shoes
  • Hanging plants
  • Hooks
  • Repurposed kitchen items like vases, teapots, mugs, or water bottles.

Before you adorn your fence, be mindful that lattice has a weight limit.

Gates

If you have a fence, you likely have a gate. Changing up the look of your fence gate can add flair or complexity to your home’s exterior. Here are some design ideas.

  • Switch up the design. Just because you have a lattice fence doesn’t mean you have to have a lattice gate. A different style gate makes your fence stand out. A lattice fence with a picket gate pops.
  • Hardware. Add interesting or unique hardware to your gate. Simply switching out the hinge or latch can change the whole look.
  • Change the color. Choose an opposite or complementary color for your gate. This simple change can have a dramatic, fun visual effect with minimal effort.

Arbors

An arbor is a creative adornment for your home. Many arbors use lattice in their design, so an arbor and lattice fence pairing is natural. There are five main styles of arbors, but if none of them strikes your fancy, you can have one custom designed. Let’s check out the main options.

  • Gabled. A gabled arbor has a pitched roof. These are typically made from wood and metal but can also be constructed from bricks or other masonry.
  • Formal.  Formal arbor designs have clean lines, usually with well-manicured plantings nearby. Wedding and formal venues often feature these arbors.
  • Arched. An arched arbor is like its name, crafted with an arched roof. 
  • Traditional. Traditional arbors have either an arched or flat roof and built-in trellises. In general, there are few to no embellishments, keeping the design simplistic.
  • Natural. A natural arbor incorporates natural material into its simple design. You’ll see materials like rough tree branches, limbs, and rocks.

Landscapes, Hardscapes, and Walkways

Larger outdoor DIY projects compliment your fence and enhance your garden oasis. While some ideas are pricier, they all have a wow factor.

Landscapes

Landscape design is a lovely and natural way to complement your fence. Trees, shrubs, and flowers can work together to create a harmonious look. Or, you can choose contrasting plants to make them all emerge as stars. Think of garden fence ideas or add a wooden lattice fence divider to make your landscaping stand out.

Hardscapes

Hardscapes can work in tandem with your fence to make your outdoor space a tranquil haven. Try a fire pit, a patio, or a rock wall.

Walkways

You can choose many different materials to build a walkway. They’re also a fantastic way to compliment your fence. You can choose matching colors, like a cedar fence with a brick walkway. Or you can choose contrasting colors, like a navy fence with a cobblestone walkway.

FAQ About Lattice Fences

Are Lattice Fences Sturdy?

Yes, lattice fences are sturdy. The lattice design allows wind to pass through the gaps. But they’re not as sturdy as traditional fences. There are many factors that will determine the sturdiness of your lattice fence.

Material. The building materials of your fence is the most important factor in your fence’s sturdiness. For example, a wrought iron fence is stronger than a wood fence.
Maintenance. The upkeep of your fence makes a big difference in your fence’s strength and longevity. If you don’t take care of rot, your fence will weaken.
Slat Width. The width of your slats will largely determine your fence’s strength. Although some wood is harder than others, wood is among the weakest fence materials. But the thicker the slats, the stronger your fence.

How Tall is a Lattice Fence?

In general, fences are 3-4 feet tall. However, the purpose of your lattice fence will determine its height. A pool fence, for example, must be at least 4 feet tall. A garden fence is about 3 feet tall but will vary depending on the animals you want to keep out. Privacy fences are about 6 feet tall.

How Long Does a Lattice Fence Last?

As a general rule, fences last about 20 years. However, the longevity will rely on its construction material. An unmaintained wooden fence crumbles within 10 years, but a maintained wrought iron fence can last for a century. Maintenance is the second factor in longevity. Like everything in life, the better care you provide, the longer it lasts.

Lost in Lattice? 

Choosing your lattice fence design is half the battle. But, installing the fence is another battle entirely. If you need a helping hammer, highly rated local professionals can help. For more information or a quick quote, contact LawnStarter today.

Main Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicki DeStasi

Nicki DeStasi

Nicki DeStasi is a writer, author, and teacher who grew up in western Massachusetts and currently resides in the Austin area. She enjoys flower and vegetable gardening, reading, cooking, listening to true-crime podcasts, and spending time with her husband, two children, dog, and cat.