Backyard Privacy Screen Ideas?

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Q: We recently got some new neighbors — a couple with five kids.  They sure love their family time in their backyard. That's fine with us except that when they are outside, they can see right into our house. Unfortunately, the city has restrictions on fence height — no higher than 6 feet. 

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With their deck built 4 feet off the ground and their yard at a higher elevation than ours (we're on a slope), their deck is essentially level with the top of the fence. Next to the fence on our side of the house is a 6 foot easement that we have to keep clear, so planting a tree is also out of the question.  Does anyone out there have a similar problem? How can I add some filter between us and the neighbors without keeping our curtains closed? (The picture is taken at my patio door that leads right into the kitchen.)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.