Try This: A modern solution for hiding your trash can!

Hey, friends. Check it out! It’s the back of my house. You don’t notice anything ugly and distracting, like maybe four trash cans? Do you? No?

a big white house with lots of windows

Woooohooo! You have no idea how proud I am of my hidden trash can situation. 🙂 Here’s a quick post sharing exactly how we made this custom fence (would you call it a fence??) that hides my trash cans and gives the rest of my home the clean/modern feel we are going for.

Before photo of a brick house with lots of windowsFirst, here’s the before. This photo was taken just a couple months ago before the house was painted. You can see here (behind the ladders) that there was already a “fence” type situation around the trash cans. It looked fine before, and I was glad it was there.

Once the house was painted white, it suddenly looked really old. There was moss growing on it and a lot of the wood had rot, so my plan to paint that white quickly flew out the window. We decided to get rid of it and add a new, more modern cover for the trash cans.

I got a quote to build one with breeze blocks (we’re planning to do something else with breeze blocks as well, I promise I didn’t get a whole quote just for my trash can fence), but the quote was very expensive. Since we had just spent a pretty penny getting the house painted, we decided to hold off on any more contracted projects until next year.

Buuuutt, with the new white house, the black trash cans really stood out. See?

4 trach cansSo, I decided to try a DIY option! I thought about it a lot, and then the perfect, simple idea came.

Here’s what we did!

white plank fence around trash cansWoohoo!! So simple. So clean.

The supplies for this project ended up being around $150 for the size we needed. Not bad, not bad.

white plank fenceHere’s how it looks pulled away from the house. It is still moveable. We chose not to secure it down because it’s heavy enough that it won’t tip over in the wind or storms. And keeping it movable is the easiest way to be able to hose it down back there if we ever have a trash accident (it happens).

Oh! If you’re curious, we have a trash service that drives up to this spot so we don’t have to roll anything to the curb (it’s AWESOME).

inside of white plank fenceHere’s how it looks from behind, in case you want to make one that’s similar. It’s so easy (but also extremely custom for our house) that we didn’t think it was necessary to show you a whole DIY. But I can help you with any questions you might have if you want to make your own.

The boards are the pre-primed white boards (6″ tall by 3/4″ wide). Then there are four posts that are 2.5 inches wide on each corner. If you have that and screws, you have everything you need!

inside of white plank fence with trash cans inside itYou can see here that the cans are hidden, but still fully accessible. Since they are the small trash cans, they are easy to lift out.

I guess that’s everything! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Oh… ONE more before/after before I go!

before photo of brick house with los of windows and ladders in front of it and after photo of white house with lots of windowsI’m really excited about all the little tweaks we’ve made so far!

Click here to see our homemade flower beds, too!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!!! xx -Elsie

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5 from 1 vote

Try This: A Modern Solution for Hiding Trash Cans

Author Elsie Larson


  • pre-primed white boards (6″ tall by 3/4″ wide)
  • 4 four posts that are 2.5" x 2.5"
  • wood screws
  • power saw (jig saw, circular saw, or chop saw)


  • Measure how wide you want the sides of your trash screen to be and cut 12 boards that width (you'll use 6 on each side)
  • Measure how wide you want the front to be and cut 6 boards that width
  • Attach posts with wood screws to each side of the 6 side boards so you have two side sections with the rails evenly spaced the height that you need
  • Attach the front boards at the same spacing with wood screws
  • Move into place and you're done!

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • I have the same question as Jenny! Why so many trash cans? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • beautiful home and good solution to camouflaging the cans which seems to be an issue for you. I have to say that my very first reaction was why does anyone need that many cans? Are recycling and composting not a thing where you live? Around here there would be no point owning that many cans – we only have garbage pickup every two weeks and still cannot put out that much garbage each time. I’m not sure how it works there – maybe you have a private service so that you can put out a large amount, or maybe its only picked up once a month? Just curious. I don’t know anyone who has 4 cans. I have one plus two bins for recycling glass/plastic and paper/cardboard. We also have a separate can for compost to be picked up every week since that’s what’s most highly encouraged. Having a garbage corral wouldn’t be something I’d ever see needing to happen here. Also in the winter they’d be covered with snow and none of us want’s to go outside to put a bag in the can. And then there’s the wildlife an outdoor can would attract. The racoons would have that fence pulled out of the way and the cans dumped all over.

  • Painting brick of a house can both change it for the good or not. To me it depends on the color of the original brick, the form (whether perfectly smooth, or irregular and it’s size. In your case, the paint transformed the house for the very much better. Also, your windows already seemed to have a contemporary take and the clean white makes it more modern and cohesive looking. But that gorgeous stone wall, I almost died. That type of stone laying is an art, and the stone and color provides texture and an organic feel to balance the modern. Oh, it broke my heart to see it white!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 5 stars
      You have done a beautiful updated job in your house…Although the stone wall if not painted white would have definitely made the house look my vintage and peculiar.

  • What a great idea, cute and practical! That curb appeal is amazing. love, love, love!

  • It’s been so convenient for me that you guys are doing a remodel/revamp of your house around the same time I am.

    After we paint our stone fireplace (which I finally talked my husband in to!), next on our list is to deal with our trash can situation. It’s driving me crazy.

    Love this, thanks!!

  • The house looks amazing! Although it fascinates me how you don’t need your garage for your car (winters here make it so that garages are a hot commodity around here in Eastern Canada) I must say it looks very cool! And this is a very nice way to hide your trash cans (very clean). I’m curious though, don’t you guys have city issued cans? We have 3 bins (much bigger than the ones you have) that are issued by the city. A black one for trash, a blue one for recycling and a small green one for compost and they are not picked up on the same day of the week. Also, we have to haul them to the corner of the street (down our laneway) so that the trucks can pick it up. Anyway, it always fascinates me how things are so different in other places.

  • I’m on board with all of your improvements. Your house looks so fresh and updated. BUT THEN THE STONE WALL WAS PAINTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Love it! We store ours on the side of the house. I might do something similar! I hate how you can see ours from the road!

    =) Bridget |

  • So clever! My trashcans are on the side of the house so they’re hidden by the brick wall and gate, but man oh man would a delivery service that grabbed the cans for me be great. Haha.

    This looks like a good idea for a little potting station too. Perhaps to hide a wheelbarrow, small potting bench, and extra pots and fertilizer and some gardening tools.

  • That is impeccable! Now why didn’t we all think of that earlier? It’s easy and not that expensive either. Great job!

  • Hey Em!
    They lift them (just like they did with the set up in the “before” photo). Since they are smaller it’s not as heavy.

    I don’t think this set up would be as practical for curbside, unless you built a gate of some kind and had the cans with wheels maybe?

    xx- Elsie

  • We just planted some peony bushes and I can’t wait to see them next Spring!
    xx- Elsie

  • Wow, I don’t think I had ever seen a full photo of the outside of the house. It’s stunning, I love the white and yellow contrast.

  • I built something very similar to hide my trash cans, I just added casters and it is very easy to move out of the way to get the trash cans to the curb

  • I need to do that to hide my trash cans! They really aren’t attractive to look at.

  • what a genius idea! I love that you figured out such a simple way to hide the trash cans =o) Thanks for sharing!

  • YAY!!!!! FOR WHITE. I adore white and the staggering simplicity it brings to a space. Almost everything in my home (and blog) is white. haha! LOVE. Your house transformation looks ahhhhmazzing! Brilliant idea for the trash cans!

    Big love,
    Lynne from Design The Life You Want To Live

  • I loved the house exterior before and after! great sol’n for garbage cans. I need a lid for the racoons though. 🙂

  • looks amazing but i have a question: do the trash service people move the fence out of the way every time they pick up the trash? or do they lift the cans or the bags out? curious since i want to now how practical it would be for curbside trash pickup

    • I see it’s raised on a cement slab, and it seems to work for him. perhaps if someone else builds it, they could put wheels on all four corners where the studs are.

  • We currently use a bed of peonies to hide our’s but….its fall and they’re kind of done. This is fabulous!!

  • Love how it all looks! The windows are beautiful!!! May take a stab at something like that for ours, but it may take 3 signatures from the HOA to get it done!

  • Your house is so beautiful! I’m always looking for ways to hide some of the uglier parts of our backyard, and that looks like something I could build myself. Thanks for the always great content!

  • This is so cool, what a great idea! And the house looks amazing by the way!

  • Fairly simple yet stunning. A beautiful architectural element with a much-needed function. A+++.

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