Fabulous Front Yards!

Front yards are all about first impressions! Landscaping can make a huge difference in how your house is presented and received.

Often times it is not how much landscaping is done, but that the elements that create the landscaping of the front of your house are in the exact right place and are in proportion to the house and its surroundings. I have had numerous clients tell me that the front yard landscaping helped sell their house.

Home Staging Companies have become successful for just this reason. They help you present or redesign your home with resale in mind. Again, good first impressions always make a difference!

Front Yard with Stone Wall
This house says “hello, come in”!
An old walk was removed to make room for a stone
walk that brings visitors in at an angle that shows
off the front of the house. The stone walls look
natural in this wooded setting and finishes off the
edge of the driveway. The recessed area is a welcoming
entrance to the walkway and is a place to have colorful

Special considerations need to be taken when working on
this aspect of your landscaping. Follow these
suggestions to accomplish great results:

  • One of the most important things to consider
    when landscaping the front of your house is that the
    house is the focal point.
    Other parts of
    your home grounds may focus on the view out a window
    or making a comfortable swimming pool and entertainment
    area. This is the one part of your property where
    the house should shine!

  • My philosophy for landscaping the front
    of the house is to create an overall beautiful scene.

    There has to be a balance between the landscaping and
    the architecture. When that balance is met, wow! One
    should not overpower the other. I do not like
    to see a landscaping job where all you notice is the
    landscaping. The reaction I want as a designer is for
    people to say “What a gorgeous home!”

  • You have to compliment and accent the
    architecture of the house!
    All too often I
    see plants that grow too tall and hide important
    architectural details of a home. To avoid this problem
    know what the plant’s size is going to be at maturity.
  • The front door needs to be visually and
    physically accessible.
    When your house is
    approached by a visitor, it needs to be clear how to
    get to the front door. This means having a walkway
    that leads your visitor from a driveway or if in an
    urban setting a city sidewalk to your front door.
    Planting should frame the front door which brings the
    eye to it. Do not block it with trees, not even small
    flowering trees.

  • Formal Front Yard with Fountain and Great Street Appeal
    This house could not be more impressive!
    Not only does it look beautiful from the street and
    when you approach it, but the driveway easily leads
    a visitor to the front door. The front door entrance
    is prominent, yet access is provided on curving walkways
    that go to the two side doors. The fountain in the
    center of the driveway becomes a lovely focal point
    that accents the architecture and gives the property a formal,
    welcoming appearance.

  • Driveways are a major element of the
    Design them wisely to take
    visitors easily to the front door. If the driveway also goes to the garage, design the driveway so the
    garage area is the family’s private parking. In most
    cases, I can design a driveway so the approach focuses
    on the front door, then carries a car beyond the guest
    area to the garage.

    Urban Front Yard with a concrete paver driveway.
    This house has such nice street appeal that
    it stands out in its community!
    The concrete
    paver driveway is easy to navigate, takes visitors to
    the front door and gives access to the garage, all in
    a small space. It works so well and creates an elegant
    and finished approach to the house. The cobblestone
    edge keeps the mulch off the driveway and adds a
    finishing touch. The plant combinations are unique
    and add color and interest that is different than
    the neighbors. A white brick house is striking and
    also such a nice backdrop for plants.

    Your house needs to say “welcome”!
    Landscaping does this for you! Imagine what it
    would look like without beautiful plants that integrate
    it with its surroundings. In Virginia our winters
    are not too severe, so the shrubbery is seen all year.
    Clients love evergreens for the front yard. The
    skeleton of my front yard landscape designs consist
    of evergreen shrubs that may have space forward of them
    for other types of plants. Depending on each individual
    situation, I may use a combination of evergreen and
    deciduous trees away from the house that add shade,
    color and interest. Trees are the plants that help
    frame the house and bring your eye to the front door.
    Stand away from the house and consider the
    overall area surrounding the house to create the best
    planting scheme.

    Water front homes offer a unique set of
    circumstances. They have two front yards.

    When landscaping remember you want to also create
    a beautiful view of your house to folks cruising by.
    Waterfront Home

    Please contact me
    for further information or to talk to me about my
    design services.

    Nancy Dransfield

    Landesign of Virginia, Inc.
    P.O. Box 15582
    Richmond, Virginia 23227
    Office: 804-261-6773
    Fax: 804-264-7253

    Are you working on improving the street
    appeal of your house?
    Want some help?
    Please submit a question and you will get a quick response and a page
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