42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (2024)

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Kristin Hohenadel

42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (1)

Kristin Hohenadel

Kristin Hohenadel has written on design for publications including the New York Times, Interior Design, Slate, Fast Company, and the international editions of Elle Decor.

Learn more about The Spruce'sEditorial Process

Published on 05/10/23

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42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (2)

A well landscaped front yard is key to making a great first impression, and the smaller your yard, the more important it is that you pay attention to every detail. Whether your small yard is located in front of a cottage set back from the street on a small lot or a sliver of yard in front of a large home that is built close to the sidewalk, your front yard landscaping should complement the architecture of your home and be adapted to your local surroundings and climate.

These small front yard landscaping ideas in a range of styles, settings, and locations will show you how to enhance your home's curb appeal.

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    Accent With Grass

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (3)

    Brophy Interiors added cement pavers surrounded with thick grass borders that add the illusion of a front yard in this modern Southern California home that is close to the street and located behind a high wall.

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    Preserve Midcentury Style

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (4)

    Midcentury modern landscaping complements the small front yard and open patio-style porch of this home from Mary Patton Design that makes it feel true to its period and style. Clean lines, mixed materials, and minimal plantings low to the ground keep the focus on the architecture.

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    Use What You Have

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (5)

    If your home is located on a lot with lots of mature trees and natural greenery, keep your front yard simple with small patches of lawn and complementary plantings in the front of the house that will make it feel a part of the natural landscape. This cottage-style Florida home from interior designer Maite Granda is framed by a white picket fence and a variety of mature trees, with two small patches of grass on either side of a wide driveway.

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    Round the Edges

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (6)

    This large home from Mary Patton Design is set on a lot with a big backyard and surrounded by mature trees. The small yard flanking the front entrance is sculpted with slightly curved edges that soften the transition between the driveway and the yard. And an ivy-covered portion of the facade uses vertical space to make up for the lack of greenery on the ground, helping the home blend into the landscape.

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    Try Cape Cod Style

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (7)

    Tyler Karu Design + Interiors landscaped the front of this historic Maine Cape Cod-style home with a small patch of grass, curved beds flanking the front door, and a pair of vintage containers on the steps. The front yard has a planted, flowering border of greenery that keeps it feeling private and complements the timeless feel of the home.

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    Rewild a City Lot

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (8)

    Seed Studio Landscape Design took a concrete front yard in the Mission District of San Francisco and rewilded it for clients who love city life but wanted to add a sense of nature that complemented the modern exterior. Two new trees enhance the small front yard while providing views of greenery from the inside. The entry was lined with modern pavers and planted with woodland species and meadow plantings, creating a modern oasis in the middle of the city that can be enjoyed by homeowners and passersby while creating a climate-friendly garden that is buzzing with birds, bees, and butterflies.

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  • 07 of 42

    Mix Grass + Gravel

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (9)

    This 1920s Spanish-style home in Long Beach, California from Blanco Bungalow has a small front yard that is contained by a stucco wall. The front yard is split between a curving cement paver walkway and pea gravel patio that matches the finishes of the adjacent driveway on the other side of the wall, and a small patch of grass that complements the Southern California plants and palm trees.

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    Flower the Walkway

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (10)

    This small front yard from Modern Glam is planted with a mixture of trees, shrubs, bushes, and container garden flowers in urns that gives the home a lush and welcoming feel.

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    Go European

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (11)

    Clients inspired by a European vacation asked Seed Studio Landscape Design to bring some old world style to this traditional California home. A rustic stone offset walkway and a tiered fountain is surrounded by a drought-tolerant meadow style front yard landscaped with traditional English and California native plants that is a haven from the busy street.

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    Mix High and Low

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (12)

    This Spanish-style Florida bungalow from Calimia Home is framed with palm trees and greenery, with a simple small patch of grass in the front yard that makes it feel integrated with the surroundings.

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    Go Native

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (13)

    The small front yard of this San Carlos, CA, home from Seed Studio Landscape Design is enclosed by a cedar fence that separates it from the street. The front yard is landscaped with native planting to attract hummingbirds, bees, and beneficial insects as well as citrus and a small vegetable garden.

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    Accent With Green

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (14)

    Pinnacle Landscape & Design landscaped the small front yard of this home with patches of grass on either side of the walkway and new plantings around the home that extend to the other side of the sidewalk and will fill out over time, complementing the greenery with a bright green door.

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    Landscape the Fountain

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (15)

    Emily Henderson Design encircled a traditional style front yard fountain with a ring of landscaping around the base that makes it feel like it's been there forever and adds charm to the storybook facade of the home.

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  • 14 of 42

    Follow the Slope

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (16)

    Attardo Architecture & Design added a sliver of vivid green grass that follows the sloping lot of this cedar shingled home, helping to create a transition between the street and the front yard that is surrounded by trees.

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  • 15 of 42

    Keep It Contemporary

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (17)

    White Sands landscaped the front of this contemporary Southern California home with a small rectangle of grass that adds color to the front entry paved with a cement driveway and patterned tile walkway and entry stairs.

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    Add Timeless Touches

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (18)

    Mary Patton Design created a timeless feel in this small front yard with bushes that aren't overly manicured, a small patch of lawn, and vintage accents like a pair of vintage finials flanking the front door.

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    Fence It In

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (19)

    The front yard of this Northern California home from Cathie Hong Interiors is fenced in, but the staggered paver front walkway is planted with grasses, flowers, and a small tree that subs in for a small front yard, adding sculptural landscaping that has an organic feel that works with the style of the home.

    Everything You Need to Know About Fence Installation

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    Make a Statement

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (20)

    A simple way to make a big impression in a small front yard is by planting an army of a single type of flower in a uniform color that adds contrast with your home's exterior. A ring of bright orange tulips encircles a mature tree on the small front lawn of this dark gray home from Finding Lovely.

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    Landscape the Sidewalk

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (21)

    White Sands compensated for the lack of a true front yard by surrounding a mature tree in front of this Southern California Spanish-style bungalow with low-maintenance succulents that add color and warmth that enhances its curb appeal. A tiered wall on either side of the front entry door is landscaped with grasses to complement the sidewalk landscaping and make the facade feel integrated into its surroundings.

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    Add Colorful Flowers

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (22)

    Lady Landscape planted a jumble of colorful flowering plants around a small tree in this generously landscaped front garden that gives off an effortless English country vibe.

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    Add a Picket Fence

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (23)

    Add charm to a small front yard with a classic white picket fence, like this Swedish country home from Fantastic Frank. Trees and plants partially obscure the facade and remain visible to passersby to give the space a semi-open feel.

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    Give It a Modern Manicure

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (24)

    Urbanology Designs complemented this small front yard with small patches of manicured grass and trimmed hedges that complement the contemporary style of the home and add structure to the landscaping.

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    Create a Seating Zone

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (25)

    This home from Emily Henderson Design doesn't have a front porch, but a bench seating area just to the side of the front entrance creates a place to relax and gaze out at the landscaped front yard, surrounded by planted and potted trees and flowers.

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    Complement With Earth Tones

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (26)

    This Northern California home from Seed Studio Landscape Design is planted with native species and a small vegetable garden and encircled by a cedar fence to shelter it from the street. The warm tones of the fence and cocoa brown paint color on the home's facade complement the greenery and give the home a calming, earthy feel.

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    Add a Retaining Wall

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (27)

    A bright white retaining wall contains a vivid patch of green lawn in this small Southern California front yard perched above the street that matches the modern style of this property from Home Consultant.

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    Add Contrast

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (28)

    This Spanish island new build from Fantastic Frank includes a small front yard that is planted with drought-tolerant grass, adding movement and a minimalist feel that contrasts with the vibrant terracotta-colored stucco facade and front patio flooring of the home.

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    Play With Height

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (29)

    A generous walkway flanked with sculpted hedges in a range of shapes and heights subs in for a front yard in this home from Mary Patton Design.

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    Use Odd Numbers

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (30)

    A trio of small trees adds balance to the left side of this small front yard from Forge & Bow Dwellings that helps to balance the curved brick front patio on the other side of the walkway.

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    Go Drought-Tolerant

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (31)

    This contemporary Denver, CO, home from Fantastic Frank has minimalist, eco-friendly landscaping to soften the facade, trading grass for ground cover of gravel and stones.

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    Try Variations of White

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (32)

    Kate Marker Interiors planted the small front yard on either side of a brick paver walkway with a garden of white flowers of various types and varying heights that add softness and curb appeal while complementing the neutral tones of the facade.

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    Add Stone Edging

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (33)

    A tall tree and planted beds with stone edging soften the small front yard of this home from Mary Patton Design.

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    Green the Sidewalk

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (34)

    This home from Martha O’Hara Interiors includes green grass on the front lawn as well as surrounding the large tree on the other side of the sidewalk that gently shades the outdoor space.

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    Keep It Low Key

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (35)

    Low-maintenance landscaping allows the intricate details of the facade of this Colorado home from Fantastic Frank to stand out while keeping watering to a minimum.

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    Soften the Edges

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (36)

    Brophy Interiors planted the exterior of this small walled-in front yard to give it a friendly feel and add greenery that complements the stone facade.

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    Go Maximalist

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (37)

    A large driveway and two-car garage takes up a lot of space in front of this storybook house from Emily Henderson Design, but the front yard is planted with a jumble of plants and the facade is covered with a lush carpet of green ivy that helps trick the eye into thinking that there's more green space than there is.

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    Light It Up

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (38)

    Pinnacle Landscape & Design added simple landscape lighting to this small front yard that makes it feel warm and welcoming once the sun goes down.

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    Blend It In

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (39)

    This A-frame cabin from AHG Interiors is set in a woodsy storybook setting in the Catskills of New York surrounded by lush green mountains and towering trees. A small front yard is landscaped to soften the facade and make it feel integrated with the natural surroundings.

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    Add Filler

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (40)

    If your front yard is an uneven patch of land that isn't conducive to grass, fill in the landscape with rocks, mulch, and minimal plantings that will help create a bridge between your home and the landscape, like this house from Phi Builders + Architects.

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    Change It Up

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (41)

    Sometimes the best way to enjoy a front yard is to put a fence around it and turn it into a private space, like this Los Angeles property from Home Consultant that trades green lawn for a gravel patch planted with an olive tree for an eco-friendly feel that requires minimal watering and adds a Mediterranean courtyard feel.

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    Break It Up

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (42)

    This Southern California home from Gaia Inspired has a gated front entry, but sculptural cacti, native grasses, rocks, and varying shades of green give the facade a deconstructed front yard feel that is warm, modern, and inviting.

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    Keep It Simple

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (43)

    This modern Colorado cottage from Fantastic Frank has a skinny walkway flanked by two patches of lawn that provide a place to throw a ball or let the dog run around.

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    Hug the Hillside

    42 Landscaping Ideas for Small Front Yards (44)

    Not every plot of land is conducive to a typical front yard, but you can make a feature of the space in front of your house with thoughtful landscaping. A series of minimally planted retaining walls that mimic the clean lines of this Austin, TX home from Martha O'Hara Interiors help to integrate it into the contours of the existing hilltop lot.

How do you landscape a small front yard?

Landscaping should complement the style and setting of your home, no matter what its size. A small front yard can be landscaped with simple grass, astroturf, gravel, or a rock garden. If your front yard includes a tree, consider landscaping around the base and letting the tree be the focus of the yard. Or consider planting a tree and filling in the rest of the yard with pea gravel.

How can I make my small yard look nice?

You can make your small front yard look nice by treating it with the same care that you would a larger space. Keep landscaping simple and easy to maintain. To complement your small front yard landscaping, pay attention to other details of your front lawn, from the front walkway to the front porch. Adding simple decor like an attractive outdoor sconce, mailbox, landscape lighting along the front walkway, or a front porch seating area will complement your yard and give your home’s curb appeal.

How can I make my front yard look expensive?

The best way to make your front yard look expensive is to keep it simple, elegant, and well maintained. Sculpted hedges, topiaries, and small patches of lawn will give it a classic look, and you can create a focal point with a central tiered fountain that will make it feel more high end. Or you take an opposite approach and incorporate stylized xeriscaping for a modern feel that incorporates drought-tolerant plants that are adapted to a changing climate.

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