These tips will help you make your front yard more welcoming while improving the value of your home. Plus, you might even get compliments from neighbors passing by.

By Kelly Roberson
Updated May 15, 2020
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Landscaping for curb appeal is at the top of many gardeners' to-do list. Maximizing your yard's attributes and minimizing its problems to create a beautiful street-side view doesn't have to be difficult, daunting, or expensive. And there can be some amazing pay-offs, like increasing the value of your home; according to the National Association of Realtors, houses with high curb appeal usually sell for an average of 7% more than similar homes without the same landscaping. No matter your style or plant preferences, these tips will help transform your front yard into a beautiful, attractive space without breaking the bank or tearing up your entire property.

Peter Krumhardt

1. Consider the House

Lots of people look at the size of the lawn or the shape and slope of the front yard, but sometimes you can overlook a critical piece of the puzzle: Your actual house. The design and architecture of your home can be a real asset when you're creating gardens around it. For example, a cottage style landscape compliments a country or farmhouse look while a spare, minimalist garden would set off a more modern building.

2. Think About Proportions

If you have a large house with a flat front, pretty little flowers aren't the plants for curb appeal for you. Instead, use plants and repetition⁠ (midsize shrubs to line a path, for example, or a row of shrubs⁠) that are inspired by and complement the shape and size of the house. You'll see the impact right away of a plant grouping that reflects the shape and lines of the house and walkways.

3. Use Hardscaping

Use secondary hardscape elements to help improve curb appeal. A deep sidewalk, for example, offers an opportunity for a wider flower bed as an accent. A bench provides a place for a gathering of shrubs and perennials. Think about what's there (or what could be added) and how to spotlight it.

Emily Minton-Redfield

4. Emphasize the Rite of Passage

Landscaping for curb appeal is ultimately about moving to the front door in a pleasing way. Try to make the transition natural and intuitive, so guests clearly know where to go. That may include a bend in a walkway (with the doorway still in sight) or urns on either side of a curve.

5. Turn to the Color Wheel

The color of your house should be a consideration when you're choosing plants for your front yard. For example, a blue house feels calm and collected accented by a collection of purple, pink, yellow, and white flowers. Red trim will pop with flowers in orange, bright yellow, and red.

6. Include Big Plantings Where Appropriate

Most of the time, people see your house⁠ (and judge its curb appeal) quickly, either on a walk or as they drive by. Use large shapes and masses of plants that are attractive from a distance to anchor your overall design. Just be careful to avoid blocking windows or doors with plants that will get too large.

7. Keep a Low-Maintenance Garden

Even if you love gardening and all of the upkeep your plants need, if you ever plan on selling your house, an elaborate garden could be a negative for a potential buyer. Potential homeowners that aren't gardeners will be discouraged by large beds or plants that create lots of natural litter like petals or seed pods. Keep it clean: Petunias that won't litter petals everywhere, for example, and shrubs that don't require a lot of tender loving care.

8. Think Through the Seasons

A landscape that goes dormant in the winter will look uninviting. The best curb appeal ideas include structural elements such as trees and shrubs, as well as materials that look good in spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

You don't have to start from scratch to boost curb appeal; you can effectively dress up your home's exterior in a way that fits your style while also appealing to others by adding a few extra elements. Use your home as a base for a full garden that just adds to the beauty of the landscape.

Comments (1)

Anonymous
July 28, 2018
This is beautiful for where it is. I live in the desert though, and would love to see something that would look good and not entail tons of water. I would also love to see desert landscaping that does not incorporate tons of rock. Lets branch out and do something that is practical for all areas of the country. We have a lot more areas of the country, besides rainy areas, that do not have tons of water to water with. My parents live in Reno, and there are watering restrictions, so they can build more casinos (they have lived there for over 60 years, and they didn't have water restrictions way back). I live in AZ and use a well. My cousin lives in southern CA and has water restrictions. We all hate rock yards. Show us small bits of grass, with dirt driveways, and few cactus. I just want a natural front yard, with a bit of oomph. I have a dirt road, and don't need fancy, just a few plantings that will emphasize the beauty of the desert, and give me a little bit of shade and flowers. My son built a planter box along the front of my covered front porch, with roses climbing up some lattice. It looks pretty, but I need something else in my 1 acre front yard. It adds shade to the porch and I can still see the epic sunsets also. The colors of a desert sunset cannot be beat.