Landscape For Large Front Yard – Home > The Team > Design Basics > 12 functional front yard ideas that increase the livable value (and beauty) of the square meter
In theory, pandemic isolation is putting pressure on our homes to meet all of our functional needs. Homeowners began expanding indoor activities into their yards because they had space and caught cabin fever. Outdoor living became essential for well-being.
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Pandemic isolation has lessened, but our love of living in nature has not. We’ve learned firsthand how spending time outdoors improves our quality of life. That’s why we’re redesigning our garden so we can spend more time outside.
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For generations, front yards have been merely ornamental, but the standards for what we can do with them are rapidly evolving. More than ever, it’s about designing front yards that meet the needs of homeowners by providing spaces to work, play, eat, grow food, or just hang out with friends and neighbors.
Are you ready to get more out of your garden? Are you looking for front yard design ideas? Splendid! Let’s take a look at some designs that reimagine the front yard as a space not only for viewing but also for living.
Plants, a clear view and a comfortable place to sit are all you need to give your garden a sociable look.
The answer depends on your garden and your goals, but as this model shows, attractive plantings, clear views of the street and comfortable seating are a good place to start.
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Garden beds with perennials and flowering shrubs surround the front garden, which is paved with sharp, weathered granite, creating a relaxed, rustic atmosphere. Vigorous bougainvilleas and an exemplary olive tree form a triangle with centerpieces that mark the boundaries and maintain open ends for most of the garden’s perimeter.
These open ends are important – sight lines connect the walkway and seating area, inviting neighbors to pull up a chair. In order to extend the attic onto the sidewalk, permission is also required to enter the property.
After all, it doesn’t take much to create an inviting, sociable outdoor area. In fact, the lightweight feel we see here has benefits such as lower installation costs and greater flexibility – these movable pieces of furniture can be added or removed as needed.
A series of outdoor spaces surround this front yard, curving effortlessly around the axis of the sidewalk that ends at the front door.
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The owners of this modern Austin rental wanted the front yard design to feel like an extension of the home itself. This goal is best achieved with the pergola, which perfectly matches the black and light exterior of the house and expands the space without a wall from its front facade.
However, once you get to grips with the initial “wow” of a pergola, you’ll quickly realize that the three main areas of garden design – dining room, lounge and fire pit – create a seamless transition to outdoor living.
Careful border planning also plays a role. A semi-transparent pergola separates the living and dining areas, otherwise all ends are left open, creating a feeling of shared space and easy circulation, making the rooms appear larger and more connected.
It is important that each room has a direct view of the front garden planting, whose colorful canopy of leaves and swaying ornamental grasses add softness and grace to the overall atmosphere.
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This is not as simple as the previous design, but is no less attractive with a unified aesthetic, a flowing layout and strong integration between landscape and planting.
A limited color palette in both the planting design and the massive-looking design creates a unified atmosphere and puts the spotlight on the spectacular architecture.
As in the previous project, the design offers multiple seating areas throughout the common area. However, instead of decking and grasses, we get ivory herringbone pavers and a lovely mix of shrubs and perennials, not to mention a large front lawn.
In the paved area, the furniture is placed in separate areas, which in turn are highlighted by the material changes in the facade of the house.
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As with the previous project, the design minimized the physical barriers between spaces, opting instead for maximum openness and connection. This creates a spacious, flowing feeling in the garden. It also creates a nice, unified foreground that allows the home’s complex design to shine through – a nice trick to increase curb appeal.
Answer? It depends on your HOA, but if you want a functional yard, it’s almost always possible.
Customers who live with a more traditional aesthetic, including many HOA communities, may encounter a little more resistance to the idea of moving functional spaces to the front yard, especially if they are flying away from the house.
If this describes your situation, lean on our old friend Front Porch. By incorporating functional spaces into porch design, front gardens can maintain their traditional look and improve their functional performance.
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Here the classic porch swing on one side contrasts with comfortable deck chairs on the other side. The design is simple, attractive and suitable for social gatherings.
Where there is a will, there’s a way. If you have a porch but its space is limited, try adding functional areas next to it.
Some features, like fire pits or dining areas, require a little more space than some porches can provide.
No worries! Try placing new functional areas near the porch, as is the case in this model.
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Repeated motifs from other parts of the porch provide a sense of belonging to the new space. In this case, the design takes up the decorative grass planting motif and the light, neutral color palette of the furniture and base material. This visual unity makes the new functional space appear like an extension of the veranda.
Front yard fences intended to create play areas in the front yard must balance attractive design and visual permeability with the need to effectively contain children and pets.
Dogs and children, thank God, cannot be trusted to think twice before setting off.
Unless your dog is a jumper, all you need is a low fence that is strong enough to prevent children and puppies from slipping. We recommend wire mesh or board fence designs with moderate spacing (less than 3 inches) to keep your loved ones out while letting in light and creating a welcoming atmosphere for passersby.
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This design takes exactly that approach and features attractive planting beds at the end of the roadside fence, providing plenty of grassy space for children to run around within the safe confines of the fence.
Rather than investing in large, permanent play structures that children will eventually outgrow, we recommend a flexible space where lighter play elements can be rotated to meet the changing needs of children – or adults.
This children’s area offers natural wood play options for children and adults. We all have to have fun, right?
Instead of a fence, these homeowners rely on plantings to ensure the safety of their children. Garden design consists of sturdy, child-safe shrubs (non-toxic or pungent) and perennials, planted close together to avoid gaps for little ones to climb through.
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Adults, on the other hand, get a personalized seating area at one end of the lawn where they can relax while keeping an eye on the kids. A water feature at the far end of the lawn along the driveway creates a calming atmosphere and keeps children entertained.
This design cleverly combines modern and rustic elements. The treatment of privacy – blocking some views and allowing others – follows a similar approach, conveying a sense of retreat to nature without being completely disconnected from the urban environment.
Privacy may be the biggest concern for customers when it comes to functional front yards. Homeowners like the idea of making more use of their yard space, but they don’t necessarily want to be visible in the neighborhood.
Good news? You can customize the design of your front yard to provide as much or as little privacy as you want.
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Planting is often enough. Ground-level greenery combined with understory trees such as Japanese maple or dogwood can create an attractive, layered planting pattern that also blocks most sight lines. If you are looking for more complete protection from prying eyes, you can get a privacy fence or a dense evergreen hedge. The best view can often be obscured by a well-placed tree, tall grass or shrubs, or even a trellis panel planted with a climbing plant.
Your privacy solution should be tailored to the style of your home. To conserve your free time, you should also choose plants that are easy to care for.
Combining modern decking, patios and lighting with rustic gravel and robust, naturalistic planting, this design uses evenly spaced evergreens and a 4-foot-tall hedge to give this outdoor fire pit area a semi-private feel. A fence blocks the view of those sitting, while gaps between the evergreen plants reveal a view of the raised terrace and living room.
During the day, colorful shade illuminates the tree canopy, while landscape lighting and a fire pit create a cozy spot to spend an evening under the stars.
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The bamboo range offers maximum privacy with minimal space requirements, leaving additional space for a functional patio.
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