Here at Neighborly Town, we advocate creating a front yard living space at your home. It can be as easy as buying a new or second-hand outdoor bench and placing it on your front porch. Alternatively, you could do the same with a small cafe table with chairs.
This doesn’t need to break the bank. We’ve seen these items regularly priced at under $300 at a variety of retailers including nurseries and hardware stores. We’ve also seen inexpensive fire pits that can add another attractive amenity to your front yard space.
Another option is to carve out a place for a modest-sized pad, finish it in concrete or with base rock topped with patio stone or brick, add a table and chairs or a bench and maybe a fire pit, and you’ve created a front yard living space over the weekend. In the accompanying sun-dappled image, this concept is illustrated in a front yard that is one of our favorite depictions of a very modest home converted into a neighborly oasis.
A pricier option is to add a front porch to your home. Not all architectural styles lend themselves to this approach, but many do. However, this can get expensive and challenging for the DIY type. Moreover, you need to be sure to follow all applicable zoning and HOA requirements.
The lack of shade tree didn’t stop the homeowner in the accompanying image. Note that they placed a patio table with chairs on the concrete pad in the front of their home which is situated on a corner lot. The umbrella provides shade during the summer months. This creates a very attractive front yard living space even without the help of a shade tree.
Still, if you do have a nice shade tree in your front yard but only a tiny front porch, no worries! The accompanying picture shows how you can easily and inexpensively convert the space around the tree into a front yard living space with room for the kids too.
If you don’t have a shade tree but have a nice spot for one then consider planting one. Many species grow to 10 to 20′ high over the course of 10 years or so. If your budget can support it, consider planting a more mature tree. They come in various sizes such as 24 inch to 36 inch boxes and larger. Commercial nurseries make them available to professionals. For this and other reasons, consider having a professional landscape contractor plant it. However, if you want to help pick it out then ask your contractor if you can go along.
Lastly, one of our recent reports covered the Turquoise Table movement. The founder ingeniously created a front yard living space using a picnic table that she painted turquoise. She enjoys the company of neighbors at her table and encourages others to do likewise with their front yard.
We encourage you to consider adding a front yard living space if you have not done so already. Have fun designing and creating it. Be sure to send us a picture and you may see featured in an upcoming post!