If the front of your house or building melds into the sidewalk without any sort of setback, what can you possibly do to green your place up?
Is it possible to include a tiny little garden?
If not, are there other ideas to warm up, spruce up the front of your house?
Yes, and especially if you have some front setback. Take a look at a few different situations to get your creative juices flowing.
Cities and Towns Always Have Some Streets Lined with Tightly Spaced Homes
In so many cities around the world (San Francisco included) you’ll find streets and neighborhoods where homes are packed so closely together, that they appear to be one against another.
For an extreme example of this, take a look at the photo below. This shot was taken in a neighborhood in Buenos Aires (Palermo). Can you see how the buildings (homes) are so close together?
Not only that, there’s little variance in this residential neighborhood. From a curb appeal standpoint, there’s not much going on. How would there be any opportunity for curb appeal when the buildings seem not to have any front setbacks? The buildings appear to be built right up to the property line.
Having a look at San Francisco’s zoning laws, a neighborhood like this one if it were in San Francisco, COULD HAVE BUILDINGS that are built right up to the front of their property lines so there would be no front setback. If this is your situation, I would say enjoy beautiful house plants 🙂
A Detailed and Artistic Succulent Planting Makes Small Seem Big!
Okay, so now let’s move on. Take a look (right below) at the lead photo, which I’ve blown up to give you a better visual.
You can see that there was an opportunity to use the surrounding space, which is part of the home’s property. Here you see a small succulent garden arrangement planted beautifully, with a lot of color and texture. The level of detail here is eye-catching and further enhances an already unique home.
Size wise the dimensions of this slim, angular ever-so-slightly raised bed of corten steel. But it packs a punch, don’t you think?
Compared to the first photo with ZERO SPACE for curb appeal, the extremely creative use of what little space was had is inspirational!
Here’s another photo below, of the same home. Now you’re looking a at the space that is articulated by the front steps (which are to the right) and the corner shape of the building.
In this Final Situation, Container Plantings are the Solution
When your budget is tight, and so is your front space, using pots and planters can be a great way to add dimension and get division from your neighbors.
Though not the ultimate in curb appeal here. There is some functionality going on that can be a good take away. Below you can see the concrete footings upon which black rectangular planter rests. This is an excellent solution for handling slope issues.
Since it seems as if the front setback is fine for all of these planters (or maybe no one cares) a nice option would be to instead, build several built-in planters.
Before you Get Designing…
Check With Your Local Zoning Codes To Identify Any Regulations
In the U.S. each city has unique regulations and codes. Before doing any work, definitely check your local zoning code… most cities post zoning information online so it’s easy.
If you’re interested, here is a zoning PDF on the Residential Design Guidelines for San Francisco I’ve been looking at.