from Architectural Digest

When it comes to the front yard, a manicured lawn isn’t the only way to go. In fact, grass may be your least interesting option, says renowned Los Angeles landscape designer Scott Shrader. “It’s been out of fashion for 25 years, in my opinion,” he says. “The fertilizer, the water, the mowing—all that energy goes into a green patch that isn’t really doing much aesthetically.”Instead, Shrader sees front yard landscaping as a chance to set a distinct tone for your property: “Your house doesn’t start at the front door—it starts at the street.” To up your home’s curb appeal, we’ve greenlighted the best front yard landscaping ideas—plus answers to commonly asked questions.

How can I make my front yard beautiful?

When planning your front yard design, making the space beautiful is naturally going to be top of mind. “Having an appropriate response to architecture is paramount to the success of any front yard,” says Geoff Valentino, Chicago studio director of Hollander Design, an architectural landscaping firm. The scale, form, and materiality of your home’s architecture should all be carried into the landscape design, so it’s always a good first step to learn as much as you can about the style and design of the home itself before embarking on the landscaping.

How do I make my front yard landscape?

Once you understand the design of your home and (hopefully) the style of landscaping that will suit it well, plan your specific project. “Start by developing circulation patterns for vehicles, parking areas, and pedestrian walkways in and around the architecture,” Valentino says. “Then you can begin to layer in site features and planting that relate to the home and become an extension of it.”

How can I make my front yard look more expensive?

No matter how much or little money you put into your front yard, dying plants, patchy grass, and general disorganization will make the space look cheap. “Every yard has microclimates—sun exposure, wind, climate, soil, drainage patterns, existing plants, and habitats—that influence where plants will thrive and where you’ll be comfortable spending time,” Valentino explains. He notes that using these elements to guide design decisions will give you the best luck in creating a sustainable and long-lasting front yard.Take the time to study plants in your neighborhood to see what’s thriving and what’s not, and pay special attention to healthy plants already growing in your yard, he suggests. Understanding the natural environment of your site will go a long way in making your yard look higher end. Here we compile front yard designs to gather ideas and inspiration.

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