Corten steel permitted to rust to a natural brown, is a popular choice for contemporary homes. This custom fence demonstrates how suitable it is for challenging desert climates hostile to wood fences due to low humidity and high winds. For added height and interest, a wood topper was added that allows slight glimpses of what lies beyond.
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When used in a new way, galvanized or powder coated sheet steel, originally developed for the skins of industrial buildings, becomes an exceptional problem solver for wind barriers or in difficult climates that challenge traditional fencing materials. This type of fence would complement a home built in the ‘50s or ‘60s well.
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One simple way to create a modern fence is to run the boards horizontally rather than vertically. In this case, the boards are varying widths and have a slight gap between them. This creates a subtle pattern that draws the eye without dominating the landscape. A very simple pergola over the gate marks the entrance to this property.
This fence is more about looks than function. Thin strips of wood running horizontally serve as a screen that separates the garage and parking area from the rest of the property. The designer then planted sculptural succulents, using the fence as a backdrop. Notice that the stain color used matches the finish on the garage door.
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Clean lines help make this fence appear fresh and modern. Again, the boards are arranged horizontally, but in this case the fence posts are completely hidden. The effect makes it look like a solid wooden wall as opposed to a fence. This allows the beauty of the wood to take center stage. Treating a fence with lacquer will bring out the natural wood grain and create an overall sheen.
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Privacy was a primary concern in this tiny urban garden. In keeping with the modern theme, Ipe fencing was used for most of the space, but the designer was concerned that enclosing the entire garden with solid fencing would block the little light that was available. The solution was to construct a portion of the back fence with opaque tempered glass panels that allow light to pass through. At night, the flames from the fire pit reflect beautifully off the surface of the glass panels, helping to wash warm glowing light across the courtyard.
See more of this project: Contemporary Urban Garden
Not every fence has to be solid. This fence has openings that let light through and reveal the greenery behind, while still providing privacy from the neighbors. The random horizontal arrangement of the boards along with the visible aluminum posts and fasteners creates a modern look.
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Gabion walls, which are made with metal baskets that are filled with stone, are used frequently to enclose modern gardens. Here they are filled with large pieces of rubble, or leftover pieces of stone. The wire grid creates an industrial look, while the rock is rather rustic. Gabions can be used as free standing walls or for retaining.
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