Your front yard is the prelude to your home, giving guests a peek into the aesthetic and style that pervades the rest of your home and landscape. A contemporary home and hardscape therefore requires a front yard incorporating the latest trends. Minimalism still has a strong influence on modern landscape design and few homeowners still have a flowering garden and cobblestone pathway leading to their front door. Here are a few features that will ensure your Walpole, MA, front yard stays one step ahead of the others on your street.
A sleek patio
A patio is by no means restricted to your backyard. Creating a small patio at the front of your home can serve to welcome guests as they arrive. It can also be the perfect place from which to watch your kids play on the lawn or enjoy a cup of coffee. Make relaxation possible by adorning the patio with a small bistro table or an assortment of comfortable chairs.
Although textured wood can give a structure a time-worn look, it also provides textural interest to an otherwise sleek patio. Incorporating plenty of geometry into the patio will further the modern aesthetic of your patio. Steps leading up to your patio can add vertical interest to your front yard, making it more visual interest than a simple two-dimensional layout.
Understated plant beds
Desert-themed, or ‘dry’ gardens are a relatively recent trend that embraces the minimalism of modern landscape design. Instead of soil, these beds feature gravel and small stones. While plants are rooted in fertile soil, these dry materials are scattered on the surface to give the base of the plant bed a textured look. These look especially stunning when paired with minimalist homes that boast the cool, neutral shades found in stone and rock. Dry gardens tend to bear only a few statement plants, sparsely surrounded by smaller shrubs and groundcover.
When incorporating all these minimalist design techniques, one risks allowing your hardscape to appear boring or empty. Fortunately, strategic landscape lighting can make the most understated hardscape designs look interesting. There are various techniques, involving the placement of light fixtures at different heights and angles, that achieve various visual effects. Some lighting techniques, like highlighting, draw attention to a feature within the landscape, such as a sculpture or interesting plant. Other techniques, like silhouetting, are more subtle but equally captivating. Landscape lighting will also ensure that your front yard can be navigated safely after sunset, and can even improve your security by making any would-be intruders easy to spot.
Incorporating Asian influences
Asian-inspired hardscapes are part of a surging trend. While sticking to minimalism, this trend incorporates more textured materials like wood and water. Outdoor designs incorporating these materials also tend to have a wonderfully tranquil appearance. Geometric planters filled with fine stones or sand can mimic small zen gardens and can be filled with a few small plants planted in a linear fashion. Smooth, refined wood is a dominant feature within modern asian-inspired hardscape designs and can be used to create a relaxing deck that leads to the front door. Consider creating a cool geometric pond just in front of your front entrance, with a wooden deck or concrete slab leading to the door. This can add a captivating element to your home and can serve to make it truly unique.
Image courtesy of Unilock.