Front garden ideas — enhance the exterior of your home with planting and materials

These smart front garden ideas will help you create a stylish welcome with a front garden that’s both beautiful and practical

An example of front garden ideas showing a country house with a gravel drive, a stone wall and a traditional front garden
(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

These practical front garden ideas will offer advice and inspiration to help you create a beautiful entrance to your home. 

Your front garden can give visitors to your home a first impression about you. If it’s well maintained, it’s a lovely reflection of how much you care about your home and neighborhood. It should also give you a warm welcome at the end of the day.   

Ideally, opt for low-maintenance garden ideas for the front of your home and the layout should be simple and smart, too. However, it’s always good to add a bit of instant wow factor.

Our solutions for planning a picture-perfect front garden will give your home immediate curb appeal.

Front garden ideas

1. Add a pair of containers to your front garden

A traditional, light green front door with windows on either side with striped blue blinds

(Image credit: Future / Dan Duchars)

A quick way of switching things up is by introducing some planters in the latest looks. 

Choose pots that work with your overall color scheme in terms of complementing the materials used in the hard landscaping and exterior paintwork. Group them together for maximum impact. 

In the front porch idea shown above, a pair of bay trees in matching pots flanking the entrance look smart. 

2. Choose a statement path

An example of front garden ideas showing a gray tiled path leading up to a pink front door

Valeria Grigio Arco Slab tiles, Walls and Floors

(Image credit: Walls and Floors)

The path sets the tone for the front garden and is key to the overall look, as it’s such a dominant feature. 

It needs to be practical and hard-wearing, too. Classic retro-style tiles in a geometric pattern, as shown in the front walkway idea above, are a good choice, even in a classic setting. 

‘Creating a striking pattern with tiles and playing with symmetry to enhance the effect makes the most of a geometric design,’ says Abby Reilly of Walls and Floors (opens in new tab)

3. Refresh the front door

A traditional stone house with a dark gray front door and a green front garden

(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

One of the most simple ways to smarten the look of your front garden is by making over the door with a lick of paint. 

Trends come and go but gray or black are great choices for urban homes, especially when off-set by crisp white paintwork and flanked by structural green planting. 

‘We have seen a move towards darker colors used on front doors,’ says Helen Shaw of color trends specialists Benjamin Moore. ‘Deep grays and off-blacks have become very popular for exterior woodwork. They make the property stand out in a subtle and stylish way.’ 

Other popular color choices include heritage greens and soft blues. 

4. Plant according to your surroundings

A stylish front porch area with a smooth path leading up to a green door on a modern home

(Image credit: David Papazian)

Situated in Rancho Mirage, California, this front garden is a thing of architectural beauty. Designed to blend in with its surroundings, this carefully-curated courtyard garden is a lesson in how to adapt to your surroundings. 

The designers and architects at Stuart Silk Architects (opens in new tab) have ensured that the plants can not only survive but thrive next to the rugged, inhospitable Santa Rosa Mountains. 

'The concept was to contrast the rocky terrain by keeping the materials bright and crisp while also complimenting the desert palette by maintaining warmth and human scale,' notes architect David Marchetti.

5. Learn how to incorporate planting in a front garden

An example of front garden ideas showing a large country home with a neat lawn, low level hedging and ivy on the house

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Go for a neat and formal look with several clearly defined flower beds of varying sizes rather than one long or square one. 

It’s easy to blend planting in with the hard landscaping by leaving pockets of soil that you can fill in. Plant right up around the house to make use of every inch of available soil. 

Think about how your house can be framed with planting and what can be quickly installed to soften or enhance the facade. 

Climbers can be trained to grow up walls and fences with trellis or tensioned wires. Choose something with fragrant flower, such as star jasmine, to help perfume the approach to the entrance. 

This smart front yard landscaping idea features a freshly manicured lawn and climbers that lead the eye up towards the house. 

6. Keep it neat with a simple footpath

An example of front garden ideas showing a country home with neat, miniature lawns surrounded by gravel paths

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

A garden path, which can be attractive in its own right as a feature, will prevent worn patches from floor traffic in any grassed area. 

7. Lay gravel along a walkway to prevent burglars

A period home with a wooden front door with two bushes on either side and a gravel path

(Image credit: Future / Polly Eltes)

A garden path isn't just for aesthetics, or for getting you from A to B. Gravel is not only low-maintenance, the crunching noise it makes underfoot can be a good burglar deterrent. 

8. Opt for a modernist approach

An example of front garden ideas showing a modern home with steps leading up to the front door

(Image credit: John Granen)

Unsurprisingly, outdoor spaces are increasingly becoming extensions of our indoor spaces. So if your home is a modernist new-build, then you may want to incorporate this look into your front garden as well. 

Use flooring and materials to create a seamless transition from your home to your patio, terrace or garden. For extra style points, layer a garden over different heights and levels to create interest and intrigue.

9. Lay down hard landscaping

A modern, white home with sleek steps leading to an open, black front door

(Image credit: Future / Noah Webb)

Opt for a relatively low-maintenance garden by laying down a selection of hard materials, from concrete to stone. 

The modernist-inspired stone steps in this urban, small front garden create a bold, streamlined statement. Intersperse this scheme with a selection of seemingly random plants, chosen to add a touch of color. 

10. Use symmetry to define your front garden

A large gravel driveway leading up to a wood-clad country home

(Image credit: Future / Brent Darby)

Symmetry and structure are key when it comes to designing a smart front garden. Get the structure right and the rest is easy. Well-defined flower beds, solid planting and straight lines are a good starting point. 

Plant a structure of evergreens as the backbone and use low box hedging as the signature look. Break up the planting with sections of gravel to create variety rather than a repetitive stretch of hard landscaping. 

11. Use lighting for security

An example of front garden ideas showing a period home lit up at night with two false LED trees

(Image credit: Future / Alun Callender)

Smart front porch lighting ideas can be used to illuminate steps and paths, as well as areas around the house to welcome guests and deter intruders. 

Consider fitting LEDs on step risers, and light paths with small spots. Garden security lighting in entrances can be spotlights or lamps with a motion-sensor that turns on as people approach. Floodlights are really only suitable for large properties or long drives. 

How can I make my front garden look nice?

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your home is to smarten up the front garden. It will create a welcoming entrance as well as adding to the value of your property, acting as a taste of your interior look. Choose a low-maintenance option that looks both modern and stylish. 

How do you build a low maintenance front garden?

When it comes to front garden design, many of us are switching to a more integrated look. 

High-maintenance flower beds bordering a square of grass are out, as are dull driveways. There is still a great demand for off-street parking in busy residential areas, but now the look is more integrated with softer landscaping and planting. 

The latest trends see a combination of different types or material used together, such as brick work, pavers, chipping and gravel, interspersed with neat pockets of planting to add interest, color and texture. 

What are the best plants for front of house? 

Low-maintenance planting is a good choice as your front garden is on display all the time and needs to look neat. 

Evergreen shrubs – such as skimmia, viburnum and camellia – will add year-round structure. If you like a more clipped look, try box, hebe or yew. 

Clever small garden ideas, such as planting a small ornamental tree, like a flowering cherry or acer, will add a structural design element to your front garden without swamping the space. 

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.