A cohesive and well-designed yard is flows into and away from a well-designed interior, and just like your interior, you want to ensure that the layout, color scheme, and general planning of the design is cohesive and provides a seamless path into (or out of) the entrance of your home.
First impressions when you meet someone literally define how that person sees you moving forward and are pretty hard to change. Think of your front yard as the physical first impression anyone has when “meeting” your home.
Don’t even know where to start?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your front yard:
What landscaping will best emphasize the structure of your home?
For modern architecture, it’s best to stick to clean lines and simple plants such as ornamental grasses. It’s best to stick with greenery as opposed to
For traditional and classical architecture, a variety of landscape design will flow well with the house’s design, so you can stick to greenery or introduce a variety of florals.
How much effort will go into maintenance?
Make sure you only plant what you are able to take care of. If you’re maintaining the yard on your own, determine your time budget that you’ll be able to allocate to the plant maintenance. If you have a landscaping or ground maintenance crew, determine the added (if any) cost that will be associated with maintaining the new plantings.
Keep in mind what type of plants are being used; perennials grow back every season, so there’s little maintenance, whereas annuals must be planted each year. For overall landscape design, perennials are recommended. Annuals are best in a small garden in your backyard, or for homeowners that enjoy gardening themselves.
Is there a functional use for the planting design, or is it simply for aesthetics?
Plants can be used solely for art and design, but can also be designed to afford more functional features such as privacy or even concealment of structural faults in the property.
Privacy: Hedges or tall grasses, tress, or plants, are a softer approach to privacy than a standard fence and can be designed to whatever height or density you’d like.
Obscurity: whether it’s a wall that’s exposed to the weather that you’re just sick of repainting every year or foundational aspects of your home that you simply don’t love, plants can be used to hide imperfections.
Who is using the pathway, and what design fits its use best?
Formal pathways ensure that guests can get to your front door without ruining your beautiful design, providing ease of entrance.
Solid concrete and/or pavers or stones offer the most specific, defined direction for pathways. Traditional pathways will be a solid application with grouted/concrete seams, but many clients will opt for concrete “tiles” with grass “grout” between, which provides a beautiful contrast of greenery against the stone. Keep in mind, with this application, that the grass between does need to be properly maintained, or else it will die and completely defeat the purpose of the design. If you like the idea of the concrete “tiles” as a path but want a less-stress option, you can use the same design, but simply use gravel or fine pebbles as the “grout” lines.
To go softer you can instead use ground gravel, such as this modern application of a gravel pathway, or spaced stepping stones. When using stepping stones, make sure that they’re spaced as someone would step.
NOTE: when designing pathways that lead directly to your door, keep in mind function: do you have elderly people living in, or visiting the home often? Ground pebbles or uneven steppingstones may not be the best fit. Do you/a family member living in the home wear heels often, and use the front door as the main entrance? Definitely not a great idea to have any uneven surface; smooth pavers or solid concrete are the best fit to ensure there are no twisted ankles!
Are there specific areas you want defined?
Plantings with clean lines define areas of interest, such as the front door, pathways, or a structure in your front yard that you’d like to emphasize. For other areas of your yard, it’s best to keep softer corners and lines – unless your structure is modern, in which case clean lines are always your best bet.
We’re here to help you determine your optimal landscape design. For more ideas, take a look at our gallery, full of designs from modern to classical. Even easier – simply give us a call!