Everyone’s Using Their Front Yard as a Bonus Backyard in 2024

Peep these six projects.
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Sometimes it’s what’s on the outside that counts. In “Front of House,” we dig into all the elements that give a home “stop the car!” kind of curb appeal, from main character mailboxes to muchwelcome yard transformations.

When a friend invites you over to have a glass of wine by their firepit this summer, don’t assume you’ll be in the backyard. The idea of designating the front yard as a second hangout space has been catching on since 2021. Back then, Yardzen, the landscaping design resource, dubbed the trend “social front yards,” encapsulating our desire to reconnect with our neighbors and community by meeting them where they’re at: the street. Since then, we’ve seen homeowners use their lawns way beyond mingling. Some have built edible gardens, others have sacrificed parts of their driveway for additional dining space. But the projects we continue to see most are all about lounging: straight-up slouching on a comfy sectional, taking five in an Adirondack chair, or just watching the world go by. Here are six front yard design ideas that’ll have you treating yours like a bonus backyard in no time.

Sprawl Out in Privacy 

lounge chairs in yard
Photography by Marie Buck

As landscape designer Molly Wood saw it, every square foot mattered in this small San Clemente, California, home—even the outdoor ones. Plus the front yard happens to face where the sun sets. Opting for a more private arrangement, she created a courtyardlike feel with a tall fence and a field-grown olive tree that provides extra shade to the two chaises facing the front door.  

Fire Away

firepit under umbrella
Photography by Marie Buck

To the side of the front door, Wood built a deck complete with a gas firepit made by a local concrete artisan and sold through Wood’s store. Its extra-wide edge allows you to kick your feet up as if it were an ottoman.

Prioritize Chilling Over Mowing

house with chunky grass
Photography by Fredrickson Landscape Inc.

Typically, the only time you see people in their front yard is when they’re soaked in sweat pushing a mower. To ensure you really enjoy your newfound space, embrace a mix of hardscaping (like affordable decomposed granite paired with a small wood deck) and low-maintenance greenery. The latter is especially fitting for anyone in a warmer climate, like Ben and Erin Fredrickson, who together run Fredrickson Landscape Inc. They installed a sun-loving grass called Zoysia Tenuifolia in their Oceanside, California, yard a year ago and have yet to mow it once. 

Consider Your View

white brick facade
Photography by Joel Klassen
wood slatted siding
Photography by Joel Klassen

Neighbors’ attention might now be drawn to your new curbside patio, but you still don’t want to ignore your facade’s sad vinyl or peeling paint. Take a page out of designer Alykhan Velji’s book and consider a combo of textures. He painted his existing red brick white, then covered other walls in walnut-hued slats by NewTech that look exactly like wood but are actually recycled plastic. 

Invest in a Low But Still Comfy Sofa 

kids playing cards
Photography by Elizabeth Messina

Even with no fencing or hedging, a low-slung sectional will make your front yard lounge area feel a little more tucked away from the public. The one in photographer Elizabeth Messina’s outdoor space is Article’s Lubek Beach Stand low-corner sectional and it happens to be $600 off right now. 

Create “Rooms” With Stucco Partitions

stucco wall
Courtesy of Yardzen

Homeowner Danielle’s Tempe, Arizona, front yard started as barren gravel sprinkled with a few lone plants. But after laying down brick pavers and smartly dividing the space with unobtrusive stucco walls, she gained a dining-slash-firepit area and a solo reading nook by the front door.

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Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.