Your front yard welcomes you home every day and is the first impression you make on guests, neighbors, and—someday down the road—prospective buyers. Why not make sure it's always a good one?
Extend your favorite interior design ideas all the way out to the street and add joy and personality to your home's exterior with a few small changes. Whether you want to do a full-yard overhaul or just make some simple tweaks, bookmark these small front yard landscaping ideas to add major curb appeal to your home.
Work with Different Depths
Make a small front yard seem bigger than it is by working with layers of varying depths and heights. Planting fuller shrubs at the top of your yard next to any trees you may have will add a sense of lushness, and it allows you to go smaller and simpler right next to your home. We also love how the terra cotta pots by the door echo the home's roof.
Frame a Walkway
Make a yard more visually interesting by framing your walkway with mulch and a thin border, then adding small plants, solar lights, and stones. Your mulch beds don't have to be perfectly straight or symmetrical, and this walkway project can help you revamp your front yard in just a weekend.
Use Bold Plants
Even if you don't live in the desert, where you can get the instant 'wow' factor with large cacti, you can still create a unique hedge by crowding large plants in a row. For colder climates, try mixing Weeping Norway Spruce with Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce or Siberian Carpet Cypress for a similar, structural look.
Use Propagated Plants
Laura Genevieve of Blanco Bungalow gathered all of these plants for her front yard without going to a store—and she did it mostly for free, too. She used the gardening section on NextDoor to find neighbors who were giving out clippings of plants that you can propagate and then, transformed the exterior of her 1920s Spanish bungalow on a budget.
Plants Rows of Shrubbery
For a clean, traditional look, layer rows of shrubbery. Your front yard will look great year-round, and your only maintenance will be grabbing the shears every so often. You can play around with what shrubs you use, but just notice how the variations in shade provide contrast here.
Create Clusters of Plants
If you want to add flowers but don't want to mess with your hedges or your lawn (or your landlord's hedges or lawn), clusters of short ceramic pots will mimic the effect of a flower bed and can hide any dead patches of grass.
Putting more delicate plants in pots allows you to bring them inside for the winter or even just in the shade if you won't be able to water them for a few days.
Double Up Your Statements
You can't go wrong with two sculptural shrubs framing your front door. Notice how these shrubs go above the highest point of the archway and are also taller than the wall sconce, which maximizes the impact of this exterior's multiple layers of landscaping. For faking height, a tall pot (with good drainage) is a quick cheat.
If you're working with built-in planters and you're planting low-moisture greenery, you can get creative and paint your brick. Just do a little research beforehand, as you need to use a breathable primer and paint on exterior brick to prevent mildew buildup.
Keep It Tiled and Tight
For a super tight yard, a more natural look adds intimacy. Let your shrubs get shaggy, encourage climbing plants, and don't fuss too much. Lean into the weathered look with your planters and tile.
Opt for Sand
For coastal homes, make every day a beach day and opt for sand over rocks or mulch. The tan looks beautiful with bright succulents, and the sand will provide great drainage for everything you plant. Even better, you'll never have to mow the lawn.
Sometimes, we have big dreams but not a lot of space to work with—or flexibility in our rental agreements. This home makes use of a tall built-in side planter to add greenery to a tight concrete driveway. You can copy the look with hanging box planters, too.
Break It Into Zones
This modern, minimalist home shows how to make less into more. The driveway, walkway, and front yard are all separate squares and rectangles that match the home's face, and sticking to one plant on the porch let's the pink door take the spotlight.
Stencil Your Front Steps
Stenciling your steps is a great way to add personality to a tiny front yard. If you don't have a porch, it will make your entry look personalized as opposed to unfinished.
Skip the Grass
Grass can be fickle, even more so with our constantly changing weather patterns. If you're already working with a lot of stone, just skip it entirely and fill in empty areas with mulch and hardy plants.
Channel Modern Organic Vibes
If you do have great green grass though, let it shine. Leaving strips of grass in-between stone pavers gives a modern organic look to this front yard, and it can keep a short yard from looking cramped.
Create Space for Flowers
This yard shows once again that a small strip of plants goes a long way. These tiny but mighty flowers add pops of color to the white exterior and don't distract from the cheekiness of the pink flamingos.
Plant Hydrangea Bushes
Filing your front yard with overflowing hydrangea bushes will make your home look like a fairytale cottage or seaside bed and breakfast. Plus, these plants can withstand cold winters and will come back to delight you year after year.