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The Backyard Is The New Front Yard

Your neighborhood's next hot spot could be your own front yard. Think Spring and give it some inviting charm.

Our backyards, patios, and gardens have dutifully served greater purposes than ever before as office spaces, happy hour haunts, gyms, and coffee shops to enjoy (and be inspired by) the beauty of nature.

The popularity of outdoor living spaces will continue to grow in 2021, not only in light of COVID-19, but also as many of us pursue more sustainable lifestyles and seek to achieve greater health, both mentally and physically, from home. Plus, our outdoor spaces are sure to remain hot spots for our social gatherings for quite some time—even during the winter.

While the backyard has been a fabulous place to find peace of mind, discover a new hobby, or change up your Zoom background this year, we're looking to our front yards to be a warm and inviting space to casually entertain in the sunshine.

toand the front yard is a beautiful place to set a long table, socially distance, and converse with nearby neighbors.

There's still a long road ahead before we can welcome all our loved ones inside for dinner parties and happy hours, and the front yard is a beautiful place to set a long table, socially distance, and converse with nearby neighbors.

Reimagine Walkways

Too often, walkways are just strips of stone that make a beeline for the front door. While you do want to create a path to welcome visitors and lead you home, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it with an eye for living, not just walking.

Here’s an obvious modification that can make a walkway more than just strictly functional: make it wider. Chances are, you’re used to walking single file down a path, but there’s no rule that says it has to be that way.

Widen your walkway so that two people can walk side-by-side, and now you’ve got a place for strolling and enjoying the scenery! Instead of a straight-line path to the front door, let the walkway meander a bit. Plant beautiful flowers along the way, add charming décor, place planters, include fragrance and turn your walkway into a place where you can make your way through a space that feels more like a garden than an express trip inside.

Take A Seat

Get some new, comfortable porch furniture or carve out a space in an existing planting bed for a seating nook. Consider using a natural material for a base, like gravel, and add enough chairs to invite neighbors to sit and visit.

Include Water

Whether you want to go big with a luxurious landscape design or keep it simple with a DIY project, adding a water feature like a pond, a fountain, or a waterfall is a great way to upgrade your yard. For more ambiance, add underwater, accent or spot lighting. Perhaps a few lanterns will make your feature shine!

Light It Up

Lighting plays an especially important role in the front of the house, which is the entrance to your home and should welcome you and your guests. Place lighting along pathways and steps for safety and beauty. Use lighting to highlight special elements like your front door, favorite décor or the unique shape of a tree or planting. Add underwater lighting to your pond or within a fountain or water feature. Include lighting on the porch or wherever you’ve created a seating area to make it the perfect place for a late night rendezvous.

Avoid boring lighting schemes, like those that result in rows of “good little soldiers” – you know what we’re talking about, those perfectly spaced, perfectly even, perfectly dull spotlights that turn front pathways into mini runways.

Think natural, instead. That means an asymmetrical layout, fixtures placed at variable heights, even different fixtures altogether from one location to the next. There are plenty of varieties to choose – spotlights, sconces, lanterns, string lights, in-ground lighting, post lights, and hanging lamps to name a few. Whether they’re embedded into paving stones or placed high up in trees, lighting adds to the value of your home and is a favorite among homeowners for good reason.

Keep Some Privacy

If you don't want to be on display 24/7, consider a trellis with climbing vines and flowers, large pots with arbor vitae, tall grasses, or flowering plants. Perhaps installing a roman shade on the side of your porch that could be lifted and lowered as desired.

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