Privacy is a major concern, too, with the exposure in all directions making usable outdoor living space hard to define.
If left open, the lawn on a corner lot all too often becomes a shortcut from one sidewalk to the other. Such lawns may pose great dangers, too: Balls and children are much more apt to run into the street.
To solve many of the problems associated with a corner lot, plant a hedge along the entire side street and the largest part of the front yard. Such a hedge screens the house from the view of passing traffic. It also absorbs noise, blocks headlights at night, and provides a barrier for children playing in the yard or passing by it. Planting the hedge near the sidewalk, instead of against the house, helps break up the expanse of lawn.
To further absorb noise and visually separate the house from the street -- plus stop shortcutters -- establish a front-yard focal point in the corner where the two streets intersect. An ornamental tree surrounded by shrubs and flowers often works well. To help expand the house into the site, widen the front-entry walk.
In the after photo, a hedge along one side yard and part of the front now shields the homeowners from public display. Trees across the back and a fence along a portion of the hedge bring added privacy.
The planting circling the tree near the corner gives a focal point for the front yard. A wide front-entry walk helps tie the house to the site.
Off-street parking for an extra car uses otherwise wasted side-yard space. The back section on that side has become a service area. A pavilion and a larger patio yield better outdoor living facilities.