Front yard designs that hurt curb appeal

You might be thinking about all the projects you want to tackle outdoors thanks to the warmer weather. While you may have big plans to improve your curb appeal, it’s important to take the time and patience to land properly on a front yard design. If you want to make sure you stay on trend and don’t date your home, there are some common mistakes to avoid. These will help with the resale value of your home and leave you the envy of all your neighbors.

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Landscaping error

These are some common mistakes you want to avoid when thinking about landscaping your front yard.

Don’t have a game plan

One of the biggest mistakes is not having a plan when it comes to the design and layout of your landscaping. This can make your garden feel disjointed and your plants risk looking overgrown and out of place. Meet with a local gardening expert or map out your front yard, including where all the plants, trees, rocks, water features and flowers will live. This will help ensure things don’t look too busy or sparse and will make your garden feel well thought out.

Using the wrong plants

Understand which plants work for your particular garden. If they need full sun or partial shade, or require a lot of maintenance, it could be a disaster waiting to happen. Not only do you need to consider placement in terms of sunlight, but different flowers and plants have different watering schedules, so you want to know exactly what to expect before you plant them.

Too many decorations

Everyone loves a yard that changes with the seasons in terms of decor, but you can overdo it. You want to avoid landscaping that makes your front yard look tacky or cheap (we’re talking to you, plastic deer), so keep decorations to a minimum.

Color pitfalls

We love color, but you have to be careful how and where you use it.

Choosing all one color

We love a monochromatic look as much as the next person, but your home should be inviting and warm from the first glance. If you prefer to have your house in the same color as the outdoor furniture and plants/flowers, use it as a backdrop. Add one or two colors with chair cushions or your front door to breathe some life into your home.

Choosing too many colors

While it’s good to have a little variety, you don’t want to overwhelm the exterior of your home. Bright colors may work in some parts of the country, but go easy on the rest of your choices. Choosing a primary color and a contrasting color to complement it is the safest approach, especially if you plan to sell your home.

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Interior design does not

Some things are just common courtesy when it comes to the neighborhood.

Forget Christmas decorations

Everyone loves decorating for the holidays, but if your giant inflatable Christmas Santa is still blown up in your yard in the middle of January, that’s a problem. Take down all holiday decorations within a week of the day or you risk looking lazy (and bothering your neighbors).

Lawn furniture

If you have a paver patio in the front yard with outdoor furniture, make sure it’s nice to look at. Avoid plastic tables and chairs that can look cheap. If you don’t have a dedicated seating area, move all other furniture to the backyard where it’s less visible.

Play equipment

We also love to play with the children out front. On a nice spring day, when everyone wants fresh air, you can break out the children’s swimming pools, hoses and other toys. Just make sure they are put away in the garage or storage shed at the end of the day so your front yard stays nice and clean and doesn’t look like a forgotten amusement park.

General maintenance errors

Does not clean up after pets

If your dog only has the front yard to use as their personal bathroom, that’s no problem. Just make sure you clean up after them daily to avoid – um – build-ups.

Mow your lawn

No one likes to see an overgrown lawn. Sure, you can miss a Saturday if you’re out of town, but leaving it unattended for weeks on end isn’t cool.

None of these chores are super time-consuming, and keeping track of lawn care, keeping your landscaping clean and easy on the eyes, and choosing colors and decor that are classic and understated will go a long way toward keeping your curb appeal on its highlight (and your neighbors happy).

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