Kristi York Wooten

front yard landscaping
Many native and sustainable plants were used in this south eastern Michigan front yard.

Maximize the visual impact of your home and create a curb appeal landscape design with our easy tips and ideas. 


33 Spectacular Landscaping Ideas 33 photos

Providing curb appeal is one of the most important functions of your front yard. Although the term may be a 20th century phrase popularized in the suburbia of post-WW II America, its origins date back to a time before streets were paved. Homeowners taking pride in the appearance of their property – especially the front outdoor space or whichever side of the house faces the curb – is a proud tradition that we Americans owe primarily to our English, French and Italian ancestors.

Here's how to create a curb appeal landscape design:

Take a few pictures of your home from the street at different angles. If possible, make sure the entire street-facing portion of your property, including your house, driveway, walkways and mailbox are in the shots.

Next, put on your critical thinking cap and review the photos. If you were a prospective home buyer or even a visitor who had never seen your home and yard before, what would you think? Cute, but needs work? Oh, what a mess? Nice – but needs improvement? 

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see the photos of your home and yard? Is it the state of your lawn? A need for more or fewer flowers and shrubs? General upkeep? A misguided front walkway in a state of disrepair? Overgrown trees hide front door or porch? Keep these thoughts in mind as you plan a new landscape design to enhance the curb appeal of your home. 

Now it's time to make a wish list, a reality list, and an action list – based upon what you would do if you could give your front yard a complete makeover.

Your "wish list" could include big ticket labor items such as sodding the lawn and adding a sprinkler system, removing or planting large trees, moving or repaving a walkway or driveway, re-siding your house or painting the exterior of the entire house.

"Reality list" items could include simple, effective fixes such as painting the front door and garage doors, replacing your mailbox, replacing or removing old shutters, trimming trees and hedges, re-seeding the lawn, planting flowers and shrubs, and creating a path of stepping stones or pavers.

Your "action list" should include the things you need to do in order to create your ultimate curb appeal landscape design. Start with drawing a design plan based on your photos. Think about symmetry, tidiness, and maintenance. Go with a look that works well with the architectural style of your home and fits in with (or exceeds the standards of) the other yards in the neighborhood. Next, make a list of tasks. Then create a shopping list for tools and supplies. Finally, put your plan into action.

What started with a photo could soon become a whole new look for your home!

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