There are two kinds of BlueBarrel customer (or so we like to say!): those who boast their blue, and those who's first question is how to mask, hide, or decorate rain barrels.
While we love it when people put their rain barrels on display (what better way to inspire others to take eco-friendly action, right?) we do understand that blue barrels in the front yard aren't for everyone.
We're here with a handful of great ideas for decorating, masking, or blending your BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System™ - inspired by our very own customers across the USA.
1. Creative Covers
Contributed by Laura | Fort Collins, CO
Laura's BlueBarrel System is a poster-child for Colorado, maximizing the 2-barrel per household limit in that state.
Wait, that's a BlueBarrel System? YES! Underneath the wood veneer is a classic 2-barrel BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment System™.
Wood strips are secured to pre-drilled plumber's tape, measured to wrap the circumference of each barrel.
BlueBarrel's signature under-plumbing easily exits the bottom of the setup for full drainage, and a single hole near the the top of the wood veneer allows for the downspout diverter to handle inflow and overflow automatically.
Laura's system is also elevated on a stable foundation to provide more natural head pressure for gravity-fed drip irrigation.
Well done Laura!
2. Posed with Plants
Contributed by Erik | Moreno Valley, CA
The aesthetic of a BlueBarrel System can be softened by placing potted plants around and on top of the barrels.
Erik also painted his barrels (more on that below), but the potted plants help to nestle the system and soften its look. This is one of the better-composed photos we have, but some customers surround their barrels with much larger plants such as potted citrus trees, or install behind trees and hedges.
Put up a trellis around your barrels and grow a vine as another vegetated approach to fully-masked barrels.
Erik did a number of creative things with his BlueBarrel Systems (he has three separate systems on his site for a total of 27 barrels!). Click here for a full tour of Erik's place.
3. Painted to Perfection
Contributed by Wendy | Minneapolis, MN
Painting is a simple thing that can be done to change the look of your barrels. Whether you paint to match the house, or just choose the color you like best, you can really exercise your creativity with this approach.
Decorative designs are also possible, but as of this writing, all the painted barrel photos submitted by BlueBarrel customers show solid colors.
Wendy left a hint of blue at the bottom of each drum. Erik (above) painted his to the very bottom. Learn all about how to paint your rain barrels here. (And check back soon for a new posting on how to use paint to decorate rain barrels.)
4. Hidden in the Hinterlands
Contributed by Tim | Sebastopol, CA
These nine barrels are installed under the deck on Tim's country hillside property. With the ground sloping away under the house, there's plenty of clearance for barrels, and with garden beds even further down the hill, the outlet on this BlueBarrel System exits through the trellis-walls for an ideal gravity-feed setup.
Narrow side-yard corridors are another great out-of-the-way spot to hide a long line of barrels.
Full disclosure: Tim has another 10 barrels lined up in plain sight, so hiding barrels wasn't his primary motivation. But the under-deck provided another great space for water storage.
Tim used BlueBarrel's multi-row connection to double up on barrels - one of many customizations available to our customers.
5. Boast your Blue!
Contributed by Randy | Sacramento, CA
With a streamlined, uniform look, many of our customers don't mind keeping their BlueBarrel Systems in plain sight. Even an Eichler-inspired home can benefit from the adornment of rain barrels, as Randy shows us here!
With a set of rain barrels next to each downspout, the clean lines and fresh paint on the house combine with the regularly-spaced vertical massing of the barrels for a clean, architectural look.
A talking-piece for every backyard barbecue!
We've featured front-yard installations in some of our other posts as well.
What better way to inspire ecological action than to let everybody see your water system at work!