Basic black

Fence color lets plants stand out

You can't go wrong with black, says Huntington Beach homeowner Brian Sullivan: "It looks modern yet classic." That's how he persuaded his dubious wife, Barbara, to let him install a black fence ― a radical departure in their traditional white-picket-fence neighborhood. Now Barbara's glad she agreed. The fence complements the house's black shutters and doors, and everything planted in front of it appears to sparkle. White impatiens and mandevilla are especially pretty, gleaming like pearls against the black.

Good thing Barbara likes the fence, because Brian built it to last. To keep the wood off wet ground and to prevent rot, he set the fence on a concrete footing. The custom-built columns, added to give the fence more presence, also protect metal support brackets from exposure. Even the paint ― marine enamel ― was chosen for endurance. "It costs more," he says, "but it wears like iron."

 

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