Rain barrels are a practical and eco-friendly solution for harvesting rainwater in your backyard. However, their utilitarian appearance may not always blend well with the surrounding landscaping or match the style of your home.
Fortunately, there are several effective ways to disguise rain barrels, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into your outdoor space. Here are 5 options that use different materials to create visually appealing disguises for rain barrels.
By incorporating natural materials, plantings, painting, customized enclosures and clever screens or panels, you can transform these functional containers into beautiful elements that enhance the overall aesthetic of your backyard.
1. Use Natural Materials to Conceal Your Rain Barrel:
To achieve an organic look that harmonizes with the outdoor environment, consider using wooden barrels, bamboo coverings, or stone veneers. By opting for a wooden barrel, you can instantly infuse a rustic charm into your backyard.
Crafted from weather-resistant wood (or even faux wine barrels), these barrels offer durability while seamlessly blending into the landscape. Alternatively, bamboo screens can be wrapped around the barrel, creating an elegant and tropical feel.
For a touch of sophistication, stone veneers or stacked stone can be applied to or around the exterior, lending a natural and textured appearance to the rain barrel.
2. Conceal Your Rain Barrel with Lush Plants Around It:
Second, you can soften the appearance of the rain barrel by using plants or vines. If your yard already has lots of plants and trees, you may be able to seamlessly integrate a water tank with the surrounding landscaping.
Consider creating a trellis adjacent to the rain barrel and training climbing plants to grow upon it. For example, the freestanding trellis planters shown on the left can stand on their own, roll around easily on wheels and you can set them up on multiple sides of your barrel.
This is a super easy technique for incorporating greenery on decks, patios or concrete pads. Plus, you can choose from a variety of vibrant, flowering vines that complement the color palette of your backyard.
Furthermore, you can place potted flowers nearby and add a burst of color while effectively concealing (and distracting from) the rain barrel. (Look for plants that grow naturally in your area for a lower-maintenance garden.)
3. Disguise a Rain Barrel with Paint:
A simple yet effective way to disguise a rain barrel is by painting it to match the exterior of your house. Use non-toxic, outdoor-grade paint in a shade that complements your home’s color scheme.
By “minimizing” the barrel’s appearance, you can sometimes make it invisible, especially if your yard has other attractive focal points. On the other hand, you can paint it to become an artistic focal point in your yard.
4. Construct a Customized Enclosure for Your Water Storage Tank:
If you want to completely conceal your rain barrel, you can build a custom enclosure around it. You can either match it to your home or blend it into your existing landscape design.
For example, use materials such as wood, lattice or recycled pallets to construct a small enclosure that effectively conceals the barrel. Then, incorporate design elements that match your home’s architectural features. Remember to allow for access points and ventilation.
However, you don’t have to build something from scratch. In fact, you have lots of pre-made privacy screen kits to choose from that are typically made for hiding outdoor air conditioning units or furnaces.
Many of these kits are really affordable because they only measure about 4 feet tall. Consequently, this makes them easier and less time-consuming to install as well. Double bonus!
5. Camouflage a Rain Barrel with Artificial Hedge Panels:
Faux greenery offers an easy (and low maintenance) way to camouflage and beautify rain barrels without having to build a surrounding structure.
Artificial hedge panels are simple to buy and install because they come as “snap-and-lock” panels that you attach together. You can also easily cut them to size with a pair of scissors.
Plus, some of these faux plants look surprisingly realistic without requiring irrigation or upkeep. Ans, you can use them indoors or outside, no problem.
Now, you can harvest rainwater without having to look at an ugly water tank in your backyard. And in many cases, it doesn’t take a lot of work, money or even creativity to cleverly disguise a rain barrel.