Your Guide to Front Yard Curb Appeal

Your Guide to Front Yard Curb Appeal


Whether homeowners want to sell their homes or beautify their places, curb appeal matters. It could be as essential as layout and interior design. 

Generally, curb appeal refers to the home’s exterior design and other features. Homeowners may liken it to first impressions. The exterior home decor will give those who pass by an idea of the home’s interior quality. They need not go inside and check the home’s interior to know that it is a place of good caliber.  

Other than benefitting outside eyes, curb appeal also makes homeowners appreciate and value their place more. It is especially true for anyone that love to garden or have a cup of tea in the front yard. 

The higher the attractiveness of the home’s exterior, the higher the curb appeal is. Curb appeal goes beyond the house’s architectural beauty and may include landscaping, lighting, and color. Thus, homeowners must intentionally enhance a home’s curb appeal. 

Before considering the exact ways to boost curb appeal, let’s consider what impacts curb appeal the most. 

What adds the most curb appeal?

Some additions are weightier compared to others when it comes to curb appeal. It shows that homeowners should give some areas more focus over others. While there are several ways to boost curb appeal (see below), tweaking these three areas will significantly increase curb appeal

  • Front yard 
  • Front door
  • Porch 

All of these areas are related to the entrance of the property. Enhancing the entrance is important because it is where the homeowner, visitors, and house interior come into contact with the space. 

The front yard may weightily impact the home's curb appeal among those three areas. Front yard curb appeal is important because the front yard is literally at the face of the home. It is the first thing potential buyers see and the first thing visitors set foot on.

When you put work into your front yard. It could be a place that is full of comfort and solace. 

That being said, if homeowners want to boost their curb appeal, they should start with their front yard for buyers' or their own household's sake. 

How to add curb appeal to the front yard

Even the smallest details can impact the front yard curb appeal. Here are some ideas that homeowners can start with. 

1. Give the mailbox a makeover

While mailboxes are functional, they could also speak volumes about the homeowner’s personality. 

  • For mailboxes connected to the home, homeowners can choose a finishing style or paint color that is in line with the trimmings of the house. 
  • For mailboxes near the road, homeowners can add a flower garden to surround the mailbox. It will immediately affect the ambiance and impression that the front yard gives. 

Homeowners can also repaint the mailbox and its post to match the house's overall color palette. They can also add customized vinyl decals. 

Overall, landscaping or retouching the mailbox can boost curb appeal. 

2. Add outdoor lighting

This curb appeal idea will not just affect the front yard curb appeal but also add security and safety. Homeowners can add landscape lighting to the trees, the front of the house, or the walkway. 

To make the most of this, homeowners can use different lighting types and fixtures. If wired lighting is not feasible, homeowners can consider solar lighting fixtures. Such solar lightings are easy to install, affordable, and environmentally friendly. 

3. Maximize contrast and symmetry

Proper application of symmetry and contrast can make almost anything aesthetically pleasing. For one, homeowners can maximize contrast through color schemes. When dull or monotonous colors are concentrated in a single space, homeowners can add a splash of color to add contrast and focus. 

Symmetry, on the other hand, is a play with placement and arrangement. Light fixtures, front-door details, posts, and different accents can be designed and placed with symmetry. Taking this into account will make a huge difference to the home's aesthetics and curb appeal. 

4. Twist or upgrade the planter beds 

While the planter beds' state may differ for each home, it may be necessary to prune the plants, remove the weeds, and plant new flowers. Homeowners can also add mulch to revive the vibrance of the beds. 

These could be cleaned if bricks or stones guard the garden bed. Broken or dislodged pieces can also be replaced or fixed. 

Upgrading to stone or other decorative materials for aged bed borders can also significantly boost curb appeal. 

5. Beautify the porch

Beautifying the porch can accentuate the curb appeal. Homeowners may add decorative furniture to the patio or arrange potted plants in some porch areas. If necessary, homeowners can also add a fresh coat of paint. More accents such as rugs, pillows, small chairs, and even a window box can be installed. Homeowners can focus on small accents if the porch is too small to handle big fixtures. 

6. Go for yard landscaping

Homeowners can intentionally design the front yard for yard landscaping. Such yard landscaping efforts will tremendously accentuate the front yard curb appeal. 

One specific curb appeal idea to try out is to add either a gate, fence, or arch. 

  • A strong and attractive gate, for one, will give a welcoming vibe to visitors.
  • A surrounding fence will also give a sense of exclusivity and space; homeowners can add annuals and perennials to boost the vibrance. 
  • An arch will mark the entrance and radiate class and charm. 

Other than that, homeowners can make additions such as a flower bed, flower boxes, or flowering shrubs to make their yard landscape even more attractive. 

These yard landscaping ideas will significantly boost front yard curb appeal. It may lead to a 180-degree shift altogether. 

Homeowners with artistic gifts can take the lead in yard landscaping. Alternatively, homeowners can partner with a professional landscape architect or designer to complete the yard landscape design. 

7. Install fencing to unsightly areas 

Some spots at the front of the home are quite unsightly. These may be a disposal area or an outdoor air-conditioning unit. Adding fencing, hedges, or panels strategically can hide or accentuate these spots without compromising them.

8. Maintain the lawn

Efforts to accentuate curb appeal will fall short if homeowners do not pay attention to lawn care. 

For one, since the front yard is filled with plants, homeowners should ensure that these plants are well-watered and cared for. Homeowners can add a water feature to the landscaping design to ensure the garden is regularly watered. 

Removing weeds is also necessary, but it could also be taxing. To lessen the workload, homeowners can replace a portion of the lawn with garden beds that are low-maintenance and filled with mulch and evergreen shrubs. Homeowners can also add ornamental grass displays. 

These fixes could significantly enhance the home's exterior and front yard curb appeal. Homeowners can see the stark difference between the before and after curb appeal fix.

It is unnecessary to do everything at once; homeowners can start with what is more feasible. 

However, before proceeding with this process, homeowners must consider a few things first.

What should I consider before renovating my front yard?

Before starting front yard landscape design renovations and fixes, there are several things that homeowners should consider. Let's look at these factors. 

1. Purpose, functionality, and time spent in the front yard

Having a clear direction for the renovation should be the starting point. Homeowners must know what they will use the front yard for. Should a parking space or a bike shed be added? Should there be a place for tea or an outdoor swing? How big should the flower garden be? How much time will you spend in the front yard? 

Knowing these details will give homeowners an idea of the renovation process. While the overall goal is to boost curb appeal, it is still recommended to consider the space's practicality and functionality.

2. Cost and materials

Fixing a budget is one of the most important things homeowners should consider before renovating. The tools, materials, and labor costs need to be considered. 

Homeowners can start with an estimate or baseline for the overall project expenses. Once this is set, homeowners can adjust the budget by adding or removing certain elements. While doing so, homeowners can actively find ways to reduce costs without compromising the goals of the renovations. 

Aside from that, if the homeowner's goal is to sell the property, it is important to compute and ensure that there is still a profit margin. Homeowners should work towards boosting attractiveness to buyers without compromising profitability.

3. Pathway

Before renovations, front yards already have a standard walkway where people pass through. Homeowners should think about whether this walkway should be changed or retained. It will be significant in setting the landscape design. 

4. Privacy

The degree of preferred privacy may differ from home to home. If homeowners want to boost their overall privacy, one of the most obvious things to do is to add a huge fence. 

5. Waste Management

Poor waste management could be detrimental to the front yard curb appeal, even with a beautified front yard. If space is sufficient, homeowners can design the disposal area and hide it behind an evergreen shrub or other tall plants. Other than that, homeowners can also incorporate a wood housing or trash enclosure. 

6. Slope

The landscaping design will be different if the front yard has a noticeable slope. The slope can be used to the homeowners' advantage when coming up with the landscape design. Hence, before proceeding with the renovations, homeowners should take the form of their front yard into account. 

All these are important things to consider because even if front yard renovations could boost curb appeal and overall beauty, homeowners should not compromise other considerations for that purpose alone. Homeowners need to stay practical when planning for their front yard renovation. 

Front yard curb appeal ideas on a budget

That being said, not all efforts and ideas to boost the home's exterior and front yard curb appeal are budget-friendly. Aside from the previously mentioned tips, here are some ideas to increase curb appeal without breaking the bank or going for the services of a professional landscape designer. 

1. Plant a tree or two

A well-maintained yard with trees, shrubs, and other plants can boost curb appeal without wasting large funds. Homeowners can plant and nurture trees that grow fast. 

Trees do not just add front yard curb appeal but also boost the property's value. Not just that, they can boost air quality, decrease utility bills, and lessen stress. 

2. Retouch or replace the mailbox

Adding a twist to the mailbox is a budget-friendly way to boost curb appeal. As mentioned in one of the tips earlier, mailboxes attached to the house can be repainted, while flowers can surround mailboxes near the road. 

However, if the mailbox is old and worn, homeowners should consider replacing the mailbox altogether.

3. Add a simple but homey seating area

Including some chairs or benches in the front yard will give off a welcoming feeling that could boost the home's curb appeal. These fixes could also add more vibrance and personality to the curb appeal. 

While there are pricey fixtures, there are also some inexpensive alternatives that homeowners can choose from. Plastic chairs are affordable, so homeowners can purchase them without breaking their budget. Another option is to upcycle or retouch old indoor furniture. 

4. Retouch the garage door

Because of its size, the garage door takes up a huge chunk of the home's facade. Thus, to boost curb appeal, homeowners must ensure that the garage door looks and stays attractive. 

Small adjustments such as adding a new coat of paint to the gate, coloring the windows, or pressure washing can have a lasting impact. If the garage door does not have any windows, homeowners can also add faux garage door windows. 

These small tweaks could significantly impact a home's front yard curb appeal. They are generally budget-friendly and affordable, so homeowners will not have many financial problems proceeding with these small innovations. 

However, it is important to note that the form of the yard can also affect the renovation process. As mentioned earlier, a slope can affect the course of development. While it is still important for homeowners to stick to their budget and reduce costs, they should not turn a blind eye to both the advantages and disadvantages of a hillside or sloping front yard.

Landscape a sloping front yard

The slope of the front yard can affect its overall design and landscape. While several of the previously mentioned tips can still work well with a sloping front yard, some ideas work especially with sloping or hillside front yards.

Here are some sloping yard landscaping ideas for homeowners with sloping or hillside front yards to boost front yard curb appeal. 

1. Add a terrace with a retaining wall.

Building a retaining wall is a classic way to terrace and tame a slope. Though this may require work when the fixture is done and in place, it would not just be attractive but also functional. Homeowners can cut out a portion of the sloping area to add the retaining wall. In doing so, a part of the front yard ground can be allotted for grass expanse. 

2. Prioritize functional areas.

When the slope is significantly steep, adding stairs is necessary. However, homeowners need not landscape the entire slope at a single time. Instead of landscaping the whole area at once, homeowners must prioritize the area that is functional and nearest to the living space. 

3. Nurture a rock garden.

Slopes and hillsides could impact the growth of plants. A plant may reap the consequences of poor drainage or soil erosion. 

Thus, one way to deal with this problem is to use rocks. Organizing and arranging rocks of different sizes and shapes along the hillside can be a stable foundation for plants that thrive in rocks. These plants include ornamental grasses, stonecrops, and ground cover plants.

4. Cultivate native plants

Utilizing native plants can make maintenance much easier and bearable, especially for specific spots that are hard to landscape or mow. 

When homeowners make the most of a plant native to their area, they can rest assured that it can flourish even without much intervention. This plant can help decrease soil erosion by cultivating a network of various roots to keep the soil intact. 

These tips work specifically and exclusively in the hillside and sloping front yards. When the front yard has a noticeable slope, homeowners and landscape designers should use it to their advantage while taking into account the threats and risks that the hillside poses. 

How do you give a house with a flat front curb appeal?

Like sloping and hillside fronts, flat fronts also have certain specifications. However, unlike slopes, flat fronts lack the element of leveling. Thus, when landscape designing for flat fronts, homeowners must exercise creativity.

Here are some ideas to note when adding curb appeal to a flat-front house. 

1. Maximize contrasting elements

The proper usage of contrast can add vibrance to a dull-looking exterior. Homeowners can maximize contrast in various ways, such as using contrasting paint colors on the door, walls, trim, and shutter. Even if these accents do not change the yard's form, they give several interest points. 

2. Facilitate a sense of movement

Unlike slopes and hillsides, flat fronts lack the innate sense of movement brought about by the form of the yard. However, adding elements associated with it can cultivate a sense of action. Homeowners can do this by adding various layers in the landscaping that gives a flow of some sort. The area will not look as flat and dull even with a flat space. 

3. Use lighting to your advantage

The right lighting can bring a sense of leveling and dimensions. By incorporating dimensional lighting into their front yard, homeowners can add shape to the home's flat front. This lighting can add a visual effect that boosts the home's curb appeal. 

4. Include texture in the siding

While siding is not the most entertaining element to consider, it can make a huge difference to the curb appeal of a flat-front home. By adding variety to the siding, homeowners can add visual interest. 

For instance, if a wood plank siding is installed on the entryway while homeowners add a different type of wooding siding to other parts of the home, the design will cultivate a huge degree of visual interest. These efforts will create a sense of dimension and remove the flat dullness of the house. 

Even if there may be initial dullness in flat fronts, there are ways to maximize the form and bring out a sense of vibrance and life in the space. 

What can I install to add curb appeal? 

All the previously mentioned tips can help boost the front yard's curb appeal, be it a plain, sloping, or flat front. Incorporating any or all of them will lead to significant enhancements. 

Aside from retouching and fixing ideas, homeowners can install other concrete objects in a homeowner's front yard to add curb appeal. Some homeowners may already have these, so instead, they can look for ways to upgrade or retouch these items. Here are some items that homeowners can install on their front yard. 

1. Lighting

As mentioned earlier, outdoor lighting can boost curb appeal, especially in strategic places. Lighting to trees or the walkway could add an elegant vibe to the area, especially during the evening. It could also be an additional source of security and safety. 

2. Mailbox

Homeowners should consider adding one to their yards if a mailbox is not already installed. Despite being a small and easy fix to install, a mailbox can significantly accentuate a home's curb appeal. 

3. Garden arch

When installed at the entrance or a highlighted spot, a garden arch will be a focal point in the front yard. It will undeniably attract the attention of many and immediately boost curb appeal. 

4. Paver bricks

Homeowners can use paver bricks for their walkways, driveways, seating areas, patios, and other spots. There are a variety of paver bricks to choose from: traditional bricks, grass pavers, and different kinds of bricks. These bricks will immediately add curb appeal to the front yard. 

If adding paver bricks all over the place is out of budget, homeowners can select specific spots to install paver bricks. Other than that, homeowners can be creative by alternating paver bricks with gravel, cement, or other low-cost materials. 

5. Planting bed

While planting directly on the ground is not a bad idea, adding planting beds will beautify the space. Homeowners can plant flowers, native plants, or even vegetables on these. Instead of letting such plants grow in scattered areas, growing them in designated planting beds would help boost the front yard curb appeal. 

6. Window boxes

Homeowners can install window boxes on the front yard if windows face the front yard. These are simple and easy to do as these boxes are typically wooden and filled with low-maintenance foliage. 

7. Trellis

Like an arch, a trellis will also inevitably stand out, thus making it boost overall curb appeal. It would enhance the yard's form and complement the surrounding plantings. To cost cut more, homeowners can opt to make their DIY trellis instead of purchasing a furnished one. 

8. Outdoor art pieces

Homeowners can add weather-resistant art pieces to their front yards to increase curb appeal. Depending on the landscape and design’s overall theme, homeowners can choose pieces that fit and accentuate the elements and palette. These may include wind chimes, sculptures, birdbaths, fountains, or metal cutouts. 

9. Potted plants

Despite being an easy fix to try out, adding potted plants to the porch, stairway, or walkway would bring a huge twist to the front yard curb appeal. Homeowners can make these plants look more attractive by using unique pots or sticking to a color scheme. 

While installing all these at once may take effort, try adding these improvements step by step to make them more manageable.

What plants look good in the front yard?

Regarding plant selection for the front yard, some plants may be more suitable than others. 

Here are some plant selection ideas that homeowners can consider. 

  • Roses
  • Hydrangeas
  • Boxwoods
  • Annuals (Petunia, geranium, marigold, etc.)
  • Hostas
  • Arborvitae
  • Front door urns
  • Azaleas
  • Daylilies
  • Portulacas
  • Loropetalums
  • Peonies
  • Distyliums
  • Caladiums
  • Ornamental grasses 
  • Ornamental trees

Homeowners can choose their plant selection based on the degree of required maintenance, weather conditions, required sunlight, and overall vibrance. 

What plants look good in a planters’ box?

When it comes to planters' boxes, there are a variety of plants to choose from. Homeowners can choose between homegrown vegetables for their meals or blooming flowers to beautify their place. Either of the two can enhance the front yard curb appeal. 

Aside from the previously mentioned plant varieties, here are some plant selection ideas for a planters' box. 

  • Flowers: Salvia, Lantana, Canna Lily, Phlox, Sedum, Calibrachoa, Gomphrena, Verbena
  • Fruits and vegetables: Peppers, Strawberries, Radishes, Tomatoes, Peas, Green Beans 
  • Herbs: Thyme, Lemongrass, Mint, Rosemary, Coriander, Basil, Parsley, Chives, Dill 
  • Other plants: Firecracker plant, Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
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