So, you want to plan or design your own front yard?
Good choice! Let’s get right to it!
What’s your design?
Okay, before you start with your front yard design right away: hold up a second.
If you design something with no clear end goal in mind (and on paper), you’ll fail.
You just gotta know what you want to achieve, first!
Ask yourself: What do you want your front yard to look like?
Open or closed-off? Friendly or protective?
Do you want high hedges and trees for privacy, or an open garden for everyone to see?
All the colors or a simple palette? Lots of flowers or mostly grass and stone?
Do you want to be able to use the space to hang out or play with your dog? Or is it only for good looks?
After you thought about that, I like writing down 3-5 words that should define your front yard.
Like: “Open. Friendly. Colorful. Lively.”
And from now on, think of these words every time you have to make a decision.
“What kind of flowers do I pick?” Well, something that looks colorful, lively, friendly. Not something too big, or it won’t feel like an open space.
A great way to simplify all decisions!
Create your Layout
What the most prominent feature of your front yard?
That’s where people will be, mostly. (Unless your front yard is pretty big and you use it for hanging out, too.)
That’s way the walkway is the most important feature of your front yard design.
So plan it first!
If your first idea was a simple, straight walkway, good. If you thought of something more fancy with curves or stuff: People are lazy. We always want to go the direct, shortest path.
So make it easy!
Here’s some guidelines:
- Design your walkway in a straight line.
- If it’s steep, use stairs instead.
- Make it wide enough. (Better a bit too wide than a bit too narrow)
- Make it look interesting with patterened bricks.
After you have your walkway, fill the remaining front yard, starting with the biggest objects or features you want to have, and think about small flowers or pots last.
When planting flowers, it’s a great idea to plant in numbers though. A bed with 30 of the same flower looks usually better than just a few different sad little flowers.
General Front Yard Design Tips
1. Order or chaos?
If you want a front yard that looks neat and tidy, use lines. Imagine snapping all objects you place (including flower beds and stuff) on an imaginary grid. Align edges whenever possible.
On the other hand, if you specifically don’t align edges, you can create a more chaotic, natural look.
2. Go big
When unsure about the right size: make it bigger. You might feel constricted by something too small, but I’d rather be awed by something too big. There’s exceptions, though.
If it’s something where people will be (walkway, bench, deck,…), make it big.
Keep in mind to not oversize everything and make the whole yard look cramped. Leave free, open space!
Ever heard of the golden ratio? There’s a reason it’s called golden ratio: it’s everywere, and it’s good.
It’s about 1:1,6. Or, for example, 5:8. Just roughly. We’re not mathematicians, right?
So when designing something in rectangular shape, keep it roughly 5:8 in width:lenght and it will look good.
The golden ratio is simply pleasing to look at.