Turn Your Front Lawn into a Backyard Retreat
If you want to increase the value of your home, one way is to make your front lawn look gorgeous. This real estate tip is well known among property developers, particularly when they build homes that have a spacious front yard and a next-to-nothing backyard.
If your cedar fence panels touch the edge of your patio in your backyard, barely leaving enough room for a lawn chair, consider transforming your front lawn into the outdoor living space you have always wanted.
Front Yard Design Planning
Before you begin a project to transform your front lawn, learn if there are any community restrictions you need to keep in mind if you are part of a homeowners association. Then, start planning your dream yard. Taking the time to plan in advance will help you save time, money and wasted labor.
Using a piece of graph paper, draw your front yard to scale, including the front of your home, the driveway and any walkways. On a separate sheet of paper, draw to scale the trees in your front yard, as well as any fences and garden beds already in place. Cut these elements out and place them on the drawing of your front lawn. The purpose of using cutout shapes of items in your yard is to allow you to move or remove elements of your design as you plan.
When you think of an element you want to include in your landscape design, draw it to scale on a piece of paper, cut it out and place it on the drawing of your front yard. This will help you see if the item fits well, and it allows you to experiment with different arrangements. Items to consider installing in a front yard retreat include decking, a fence install, a place to sit, and plants. Picture yourself using the area before finalizing your plans.
One of the great things about a backyard retreat is the sense of privacy it provides. You can create the same sense of serenity by installing cedar fence panels that fully or partially surround the area you want to transform. Trees such as arborvitae can create a natural fence line, as well. You can also use an arbor with flowering vines in lieu of a fence install to create a sense of seclusion.
Separating Your Retreat
One of the best locations to create a front yard retreat without reducing the size of the main lawn is on the side of the home closest to the garage. The sides of a home are often neglected and unused. If you do not have this option, a corner of your front yard is the next best location. In this case, you can install a small, semi-circular wall out of cedar fence panels or cement that is three to four feet in height. This small wall will help separate the retreat area from the rest of the yard and add to the sense of privacy without building a completely fenced-in area.
Decking can also help create a transition from the lawn to the front yard retreat. Consider creating a pathway or using stepping-stones that lead to the deck. Alternatively, you can surround the decking or the perimeter of the retreat area with stones, tall grasses, flowers or succulents.
Accessories and Décor
The accessories and decorations used should match the purpose of the front lawn retreat. If you want to entertain guests in small courtyard area, an outdoor table and chairs are more appropriate than a hammock. However, if you want to use the space for relaxing, place a hammock or an outdoor chaise lounge, along with a side table, in the space. A bench is also a great option for those who want to sit and admire their garden or visit with others.
Place decorative elements in the front yard retreat that will make it feel special to you. This can include a small water fountain, a wind chime hanging from a tree, solar lights, lawn ornaments, a small pond or decorative garden pots.
When you create a front yard retreat, keep in mind that small changes can have a big impact. This space should feel inviting to you, give your home dimension and give your neighborhood a dynamic look for maximum curb appeal.