Commentary by Randy Sorrell and Bill Bernard
For years, we have been blessed to help our homeowners create incredible outdoor living spaces. Most often when designing an outdoor living space our attention was focused on the backyard and developing a relaxing retreat from the busy world. Perhaps it’s a reaction to the current social restrictions, but lately we’ve noticed a shift toward attention focused on the front yard.
The idea of curb appeal has started to take on an expanded meaning. Until now, people would enhance their home’s curb appeal in an effort to make their home more enticing to potential buyers. Now, we’re designing front yard spaces and landscapes to be more inviting, so neighbors will stop by and spend a little time visiting.
I regularly see neighbors gathered in a front yard enjoying time with one another. Sometimes, these neighborly interactions are as simple as sitting on your front porch and chatting to the neighbors as they walk by. Other times, these impromptu gatherings are more involved. Chairs will be placed in the lawn or on the driveway. A cooler full of libations is often available. Occasionally, I’ll even see a portable fire feature.
Here are a few ideas for activating your front yard and encouraging interaction with your friends and neighbors.
- Wave to your neighbors and say hello.
- Create a walkway from the street or driveway that is visible and inviting.
- Expand the size of your front porch, or create a small courtyard big enough for a couple of chairs.
- Install a water feature that provides some gentle background sounds.
- Update your landscape lighting to allow conversations and gatherings to extend into the night.
Make your home so appealing your neighbors will want to stop and say hello.
Stay home, be moved.