Ideas To Improve Your Small Front Yard

There are many ways to improve your small front yard without uprooting your driveway or dialing back your front porch. In fact, with the right touches, small front yards can be just as appealing as large ones. Here are some ideas to make your small yard appealing year round:

#1 Take a symmetrical approach.

One way to make your small front yard more appealing is to use symmetry. Balancing the elements of your yard on either side of your sidewalk — grass, fencing, flowers, shrubs — will make it look grand and inviting; it will also cost less than it would in a larger yard, because you have less acreage to cover. You can also find a local landscaperto map out and implement a symmetrical yard plan for you.

#2 Make a seamless transition from yard to house.

Use materials like box planters, stone steps or retaining walls to blend your home and yard together. Potted plants on your front porch or patio will also extend the yard without cluttering it. Make sure you choose plants that complement one another, so you don’t have a lot of overgrowth.

#3 Use a hint of color.

If you want to wow people in your small front yard, pick a brightly colored flower, shrub or tree that stands out either on the porch or in the yard itself. Then use neutral colors around to make it stand out. This will be the eye-catching piece in your small yard that people will never miss.

#4 Hang basket flowers.

Hang flower baskets around your front porch or patio. They add fresh color and a natural element to your home without cluttering the porch area itself. You can change them every season or every year, depending on the flowers or shrubs you choose.

#5 Light it up.

Your front yard might be less appealing if people see it at night. That’s why you should add plenty of lighting. One option is to install standing, solar-powered lamps along the walkway; another is to hang lamps on your front porch to illuminate the plants there. It just depends on how much moneyand time you want to invest.

#6 Refresh your front door.

While not a traditional part of the “yard”, your front porch is still important to the beauty of the area as a whole. This means your front door needs to be appealing as well. Fix any cracks, scratches or other damage to the door. Also, think about revitalizing it with a new coat of paint. Choose a color that complements the exterior landscape.

Conclusion

These are only a few tips to help you improve your small front yard. You want to make it seem bigger, if not at least more comfortable. Adding a fence might be another option to consider, though you’ll want to lean towards an open design pattern like picket or chain link. Just keep your budget in mind and try not to clutter your yard while trying to redesign it. For more tips on making the most of a patio in a small yard, check out this post from HuffPost Homes.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA DAVIS

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers in 2017

New Year’s resolution: Buy a home.

You’ve heard that plenty from your contacts. So, now how do they get there with their savings?

There are plenty of preparations would-be home buyers can make to put homeownership more within their reach in 2017. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to adopt to get on the path:

I will automate my down payment savings.

Buyers who are trying to save up the often-recommended 20 percent down payment will need to get savvy at saving, stat. First off, you often don’t really need 20 percent down (read: 3% Loans a Game Changer?), but you do need to save. Here’s a way to commit: Automate your bank accounts so that you regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dedicated as your “house fund.” “Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic savings can make it easier,” says Marcia Goodman, a real estate pro with RE/MAX Gateway in Gainesville, Va. “If you never see the cash, you won’t spend it.”

I will clean up my credit.

Pay your bills on time. Keep up on credit card, car, and college loans. Mortgage lenders want to see that you aren’t sloppy with credit. You don’t need to avoid credit altogether, however. “I had a client who made $250,000 a year and was denied a mortgage because his credit card payments were always late,” says Alexandra Axsen, a managing broker with Lake Okanagan Realty Ltd. In Kelowna, B.C. It’s also important to establish a credit history. Dean Sioukas, founder of Magilla Loans in Sacramento, Calif., told realtor.com® that he suggests not using more than 30 percent of your available credit.

I will budget wisely.

Downsize your budget now so you’ll be able to save more for your down payment and pay down any debts. Also, factor in added expenses that come with buying a new home, like furniture and accessories. If you know that a mortgage is going to take a bigger amount of your paycheck, create a budget that factors that in so you can get used to living on less disposable income, says Kevin Lawton of Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Yardville, N.J.

Read more tips at realtor.com®.

Source: “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy in 2017,” realtor.com® (Dec. 29, 2016)

10 Home Decor Trends You Must Know for 2017

As seasons change, so do home decor trends, and the 2017 trend forecast will give you a whole lot to look forward to. Utility meets sustainability as more and more rooms integrate elements from the outdoors with a practical purpose. Think cork walls, plenty of plant life and organic materials in jewel-toned color palettes to make your style sensibilities sing. If your abode could use a little decor pick-me-up, this just might be the inspiration you’ve been looking for.

 

1. Bohemian Bedroom: Lucky for us, boho-chic bedrooms are going to be big in 2017, bringing all sorts of good vibes into the new year. All it takes is a few plants and colorful textiles to make the look your own. (via Style Me Pretty)

2. Cork Walls: Sustainability and practicality are popping up in home decor all over the place. Cork walls are not only a visually compelling choice, but they’re awesome when it comes to blocking out sound and posting to-dos on the go. (via Real Cork Floors on Flickr)

3. Furry Furniture: Maybe it’s the ultra-soft and cozy factor, or maybe it’s the pop of aesthetic interest. Either way, faux-fur furniture is making a comeback, and we should all celebrate its fuzzy return. (via Homedit)

4. So. Much. Green: From the runway to design studios, green, in all its glory, is making itself known. And with so many shades, tones and styles to choose from, it’s super easy to incorporate, no matter your style preferences. (via Glitter Guide)

5. Jewel Tones: With green hues and environmental sustainability making their way into decor trends, it only makes sense to add jewel tones to the inspired-by-nature theme. Think emerald greens, sapphire blues and amethyst purples tied together to delight all of your earthly senses. (via Dalliance Design)

6. Marble Tables: Equal parts luxe and glam, marble tables are here to stay. Invest in a large statement piece, or layer and nest like these beautiful coffee tables. (via Alexa Dagmar)

7. Organic Materials: The outdoors is making its way in, and the organic materials trend is no exception. Wood and stone can be beautifully integrated into a variety of aesthetics while contributing a soothing natural vibe. (via A Beautiful Mess)

8. Retro Lighting: A mixture of old and new never fails to give depth to a design. Retro lighting is perfect for adding a bit more character without going over the top. (via Planete Deco)

9. Terracotta Tile: Classic and warm, terracotta tile is making a huge splash in the decor world. It’s a perfect way to make an ordinary space Mediterranean-chic. (via El Mueble)

10. Terrariums: Terrariums big and small are taking center stage, and thank goodness for that. With so many styles and variations to choose from, you can hang ’em, place ’em, paint ’em and fill ’em with anything your heart desires. (via From Ezter With Love)