Warning: May cause dog walkers to linger in front of your house
While we’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, most people can’t help but judge a home by its exterior appearance. Whether you’re looking to make your home the envy of the neighborhood, you don’t want to annoy your neighbors with your landscaping choices, or you want to attract potential buyers, these front yard landscaping ideas can improve the curb appeal of your home.
1. Create a Pathway
Yes, you likely already have a sidewalk that leads to the front door of your home. But a separate pathway can add interest to your landscape design and beautify your home’s curb appeal. It can also help link points of interest in your yard, such as visually connecting a fountain to a flower bed or a tree to the main sidewalk. Here’s one of just a few hardscaping tips—you can make a pathway from stepping stones, pebbles, or gravel.
2. Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is not only good for the environment, but also improves your landscape design when done well. When choosing a tree location, take into account the growth over the next decade or so. Plant the tree at least half the distance of its mature canopy width from the home. For example, if a tree’s canopy is 40 feet at maturity, plant it at least 20 feet from the home.
It's also a good idea to call 811 to have the utility lines in your yard marked before digging and planting anything, especially a large tree. This will help you determine where to plant to avoid potential root damage to underground pipes.
3. Mulch Your Beds
Adding fresh mulch around your shrubs and flower beds is an affordable way to boost your home’s curb appeal. Plus, mulch helps discourage weeds and retain moisture in your garden. Even better? It’s a low maintenance way to periodically refresh your yard.
4. Illuminate Your Home with Lights
Nothing feels more welcoming than bright, warm lighting at night. Use pathway lights or small lanterns to highlight stairs and walkways. Try strategically placed porch lighting to help highlight your entryway. Or, install a headlight to make a particular landscape feature the star of the show.
5. Hang a Plant or Two
Looking for super easy landscaping ideas for the front of the house? Hook some hanging baskets on your porch to help highlight the entry and patio area of your home. Choose one large hanging plant or a couple of smaller identical ones to prevent the look from being overwhelming.
6. Decorate Your Entryway with Planters
There’s no better way to welcome guests to your home than with a pop of color from some flowers gathered on your front porch or stairs. Try coordinating front porch planters with a painted front door to create a cohesive look.
7. Incorporate Bright Colors
If your front yard is a sea of green, add color to balance things out. Strategically incorporating brightly colored flowers or shrubbery throughout your front yard will add cheer and prevent monotony.
Also, don’t be afraid to blend hues and work with a variety of shades. Choose a color theme that you think goes best with your home and work around it.
8. Install a Fence
While fences are often associated with privacy and safety, they can also be used in the front yard to bestow beauty on your property. Vinyl, wood, aluminum, and iron are all attractive front yard fence materials.
Just make sure you know the local rules before installing, as not all localities allow front yard fences. Plus, you may want to consider leveling your front yard before installing a new fence if your yard is uneven. That way, you’ll have a perfectly symmetrical front fence.
9. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Before planting new trees and shrubs, take a look at the ones you already have. Pruning trees and shrubs to a manageable size can polish the appearance of your home’s exterior and keep it from looking neglected. Shrubs should be pruned to the same size to create a uniform look, and they typically shouldn’t be any taller than waist-high.
10. Green Your Lawn
Lush green grass can make a big impact on your curb appeal. Fortunately, making your grass greener doesn’t have to break the bank, as it only requires a few supplies and a little effort. Focus on watering your lawn deeply instead of often, and remember to fertilize your grass in the fall. This is when your grass absorbs nutrients and stores energy for the next growing season.
11. Clean Up the Edges of Your Lawn
If the edges of your lawn are spilling into your driveway, it’s time to bust out your string trimmer. Trimming up the edges of your lawn will instantly give your front yard a manicured look, and it’ll smarten up your footpaths.
12. Plant a Flower Bed
Homeowners often reserve flower beds for the backyard. However, a front yard flower bed can make a huge impact on curb appeal. For a modern and clean look, select one type of flower in just one or two different colors. For a more English-style garden design, add flowers in a variety of colors and variations, and pack the flowers close together.
13. Install Window Boxes
If your home is lacking color, try adding window boxes. Install them on your front porch railings as well as below your windows. Paint the window boxes the same color as the trim of your home to give the boxes a custom look and tie them into your home’s color scheme.
14. Use Rocks to Fill Gaps
Do your flower beds look sparse? Lug some rocks or large boulders to the front of your home to fill in the gaps. Rocks add dimension and year-round interest to your landscape. Buying large boulders can be expensive, though, so check local construction sites for discounted or free rocks.
15. Add a Water Feature
Enhancing your front yard with a water feature helps create a tranquil, one-of-a-kind landscape. Plus, water features are low maintenance, and because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they work on a range of landscapes. Large front yards will do well with waterfalls or cascading streams, while fountains or birdbaths will complement small front yards.