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9 Landscaping Ideas That Elevate the Appearance of Your Home

Boost curb appeal—and perhaps even your home’s value—with these ideas.

Like a well-designed interior space, a garden that’s carefully planned is an appealing place to relax and unwind. But what makes a landscape feel expensive, luxurious and welcoming may surprise you. It’s not just about filling your garden with fragrant flowers, long-lasting perennials, and pretty annuals; it’s the little touches that may not be evident at first glance but that form a cohesive aesthetic when paired together.

To ensure your landscape shines, it’s helpful to examine it with a critical eye. “This is especially important if it’s a home you’ve been in for a while or if you have mature trees and shrubs,” says landscape designer Kristian Thiem, owner of Tidal Creek Designs in Charleston. “Some plants live forever, while others have a lifespan. It’s not about ripping everything out, but rather seeing what can be updated for a fresh look.”

The plant palette you choose—with the help of a landscape designer if you don’t feel confident on your own—is also essential to good design. “Well-chosen and well-curated plants always make a space look pristine,” says Jodie Cook, ASLA, owner of Jodie Cook Landscape Design in Orange County, California. “Choosing the right plant for your space and allowing it to grow into its natural form looks better and is more sustainable than hacking it into an unnatural shape.”

A restrained hand also makes any landscape feature—from plants to structures—look more expensive. “Thoughtful design isn’t just about filling the space, but about creating a ‘wow’ factor,” says landscape designer Kat Aul Cervoni, founder of Staghorn NYC and The Cultivation by Kat in New York and Connecticut. “Sometimes less is more.”

From color palettes to maintenance consideration, here’s what else landscape designers say make your landscape look look it’s best.

Discreet Color Palette

This is especially appropriate in the front yard, which is the first thing visitors see when they pull up to your house. “For example, all green and white with some purple accents is fine, but avoid adding in a third or fourth hue to the design, such as a ‘hot’ color like red or orange,” says Cervoni. “A restrained color scheme looks more high-end than an eclectic look.”

Large-Scale Pavers and Stonework

Large pavers and stonework look more dramatic and create a statement, rather than the smaller-scale pavers that you can buy anywhere, says Thiem. The bigger scale feels more grand and less cookie-cutter.

Neatly Edged Landscaping Beds

“One of the simplest things that has a huge impact in a landscape is neat edging around beds,” says Cervoni. “Metal looks the cleanest and is easiest to maintain, but angled spade edges are crisp and neat and simple to expand as the landscape matures and the size of the beds change.”

Year-Round Color with Evergreens

A garden looks more lush and appealing with the addition of year-round color, says Thiem. Evergreens add texture, too. Beyond the classic boxwood, there are many other options for shrubs with flowers or handsome foliage colors.

Natural Materials for Outdoor Furnishings

When it comes to outdoor furniture, many designers are moving away from concrete and steel toward more natural materials, such as wood, rattan and woven fabrics in earthy colors. “This more naturalistic palette of materials has a rich, soothing feel,” says Cook.

Greg Pease//Getty Images

Attention to Detail

Details make all the difference. Keep walkways and paths level, tidy and weed-free, and ensure the driveway is in good repair and edged so grass isn’t creeping over it, says Cervoni. Other little touches that make a landscape feel expensive: a handsome mailbox, pretty containers by the front door with seasonal plantings, landscape lighting with a spotlight on a tree or two, and neat shrubs, especially by the front door.

Repeating Elements to Create Unity

“A jumble of unrelated plants and garden elements doesn’t make sense,” says Cook. “Plant with an underlying matrix that repeats color and texture to create a unified space.” This creates a garden that feels restful, instead of chaotic.

Well-Tended Trees

Trees give a property depth and dimension and add an undefinable aesthetic allure, says Cervoni. After all, who doesn’t love the look of a big, shady tree on a hot summer day? In fact, a recent study showed that well-tended trees may impact the selling price of a home, as well as the number of days it spends on the market.

Proper Maintenance

Sometimes the things we see every day tend to disappear and we don’t notice them anymore. Stand back and look at your property and surrounding landscape. Does the house, patio or deck need power-washed? Could you use a fresh coat of paint on the trim? Do the shutters need replaced? All of these small elements add up to make your entire home and landscape look shabby or expensive, says Cervoni.

Veranda by Arricca Elin Sansone (April 2, 2024)

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