Making a Grand Entrance
With Josh Yaqub
Everyone loves the feeling that being house-proud brings them. The boom in the renovation market proves what an important part this plays in people’s lives.
The front garden is one of the most critical and often underrated elements in feeling proud of your home. It’s the front garden that sets the tone of the house. It provides the interest from the street and is the first welcome to all who enter. All those who pass by your home are going to base their initial judgments on what they see in the front garden. It’s the front garden that is going to introduce your home to all guests who enter its doors. It provides their first experience of the house and gives them a feeling of who resides within. It’s also of the utmost importance to the people who live there. The feeling that residents get when they arrive home and enter their own sanctuary can be one of the most relieving, relaxing and de-stressing moments of the day.
That is why the thought that goes into the design of a front garden, even if it isn’t going to be the most used part of the garden, is extremely important. There are a couple of big-picture things to start with as you enter into the design.
Firstly, remain sympathetic to the architecture. The garden design should blend in with and support the house. Also, think about the tone you want to set. What is it that you want to say about your house? Do you want it to be grand, do you want it to be quietly confident and sophisticatedly subdued? Do you want people to be able to see the house, or do you seek a private sanctuary that makes people wonder what’s inside as they pass by? Once these things have been honed, the design will always be driven by these decisions.
Then, it’s time to think about the materials. It’s the collection of all of the materials and how they work together that is going to create the mood and tone that you want. Letter boxes, house numbers, light fixtures, colours, planting style, as well as the height, style and material of the fence. All of these things need to work together to support the overall feeling you’re trying to achieve. Do you want a clear and direct line of path to the house, or do you want to meander down stepping stones towards the house, slowing people as they walk in?
Layer the entry with pots. Select pots that are again sympathetic to the architecture. Select tall grand plants if you are trying to create drama and give scale to a tall house. Or use smaller, softer plantings if you’re simply looking to support the house and allow it to do the talking.
Lastly, for a clever design, try and create visual clues that are replicated throughout the rest of the house, either inside or in the rear or side gardens or balconies.