Most of us only take our front yard landscaping to the curb appeal zone. We make sure that it is eye-catching and well-maintained. There is nothing wrong with that. However, there is an opportunity to take that landscaping to another level by creating a social front yard. A social front yard becomes a functional space to gather with friends, family, and neighbors. Social spaces are trending as not only an added place to gather outdoors, but also as a way to elevate the value of your home.
If you are considering what Food52.com calls The Front Yard Design Trend That Puts Friendliness First so that your front yard becomes a spot for happy hours, neighborly chats, dinner parties and family fire pits, here are the hottest trends and fresh ideas for your social front yard.
Plant with a Purpose
One of the most important thing to consider is ensuring your home does not feel closed-off or imposing, so planting should allow views from the street to create an inviting feel. If you have a smaller yard, avoid large shrubs. Instead, plant near the edges of your yard to create the illusion of a larger yard.
Create semi-private zones with tall grasses. Because of their height and airy texture, they are excellent for partially obscuring views to create semi-private zones that still feel welcoming to passers-by. Small canopy trees or tall ornamental shrubs like redbuds, dogwoods, or desert willow can define the edges of social spaces without a closed-off feeling. Yardzen.com has 9 Landscaping Ideas Designers Use to Create Privacy for more ideas.
Consider edible gardens to take advantage of little nooks that get enough sunlight but are not great candidates for more primary landscaping that is contributing to the design functions. Edible gardens are great for built-in family outdoor activity. They provide colorful focal points that serve a practical purpose and add a welcoming feeling to the space.
Cozy up to the Fire
Fire pits are in major demand. They are a natural social hub and allow for style flexibility. They look equally at home in a modern or rustic setting. Hgtv.com has 55 Gorgeous Fire Pit Ideas and DIYs that demonstrate this design flexibility.
Placement, size, and fuel are key when considering a front yard fire pit. Front yards are generally smaller than back yards and offer much more limited storage. If you are considering a built-in front yard fire pit, gas may be the way to go. It is controlled and eliminates the issue of smoke and the need to find a place to store wood to burn.
Create an Outdoor Room
Design of a social front yard starts with the key functions that will be happening. Consider whether you will be planning on doing more than hanging out for a chat. If you need to, carve out space for dining, entertaining, or family activities from the beginning of the design process. The strongest designs make social or functional spaces feel like integral parts of the design instead of disconnected fragments within the front yard.
Create a sense of oneness with cohesive planting and by sticking to material palettes, as well as keeping edges open with limited obstacles that would impede sightlines and circulation. Create outdoor “rooms” by clustering potted plants and larger planters to frame out separate seating areas, so the implication of a room is there, but the yard still feels very much connected. Lastly, prefab seating instead of built-in custom seating is a great option for front yards, as they can easily be moved around for multiple functions.
The design experts at Patera Landscaping know how to make your front yard the new social spot in the neighborhood! Contact us today!