1. Replace the letterbox
Never underestimate the impact a small change, like replacing a rusty old letterbox, can have on the look and feel of your front garden. These days there are affordable mailboxes, designer letterboxes, custom-made letter boxes and everything in-between - the choice is yours.
2. Create a garden bed
One way to soften the edges of a modern, or even an ageing home, is to create garden beds around the exterior walls. In a recent budget front garden makeover, for example, Charlie Albone dug up part of the lawn to create an undulating garden bed filled with low and medium evergreen shrubs. The after shot speaks for itself.
3. Scrub the driveway
Nothing brings the look of a front garden down more than a dirty driveway. Luckily, it’s a quick and cheap problem to fix. Simply grab an outdoor cleaner like Berger’s Jet Dry Active Clean, a stiff outdoor broom and scrub the entire length of the driveway.
Then, rinse the dirt and gunk away with a pressure hose and say hello to a driveway that looks as good as new.
Watch: Charlie gives a driveway a quick makeover
4. Install a pathway
Nothing adds direction and definition to a front garden quite like a brand new pathway. A straight and direct pathway can look great leading up to a contemporary house, while a meandering pathway made from crazy pavers can add a touch of magic to a classic cottage garden.
There are endless materials to choose from too, with pavers, natural stone, bricks and concrete being among the most popular. If you do choose to go with pavers, be sure to select a style with a low-slip rating for safety.
5. Update the front fence
For example, this 1950s home was brimming with character, but, when Charlie first landed on the scene, the unimaginative garden was definitely letting the whole look down.
Charlie worked with the existing rendered front fence - painting it a deep charcoal colour before adding modern pickets in a contrasting shade - to create a bolder, more contemporary look that still feels in keeping with the style of the home.
6. Go vertical
To add more greenery to a smaller garden, go vertical. Hanging plants, green walls, climbing vines and wall-hung planters are all good ways to make the most of every inch. In a clever DIY, Adam Dovile created this modern, timber wall planter that also doubles as a decorative way to display house numbers.
7. Make a mark with a manicured lawn
If you only have the time and energy to focus on one aspect of your front garden, make it the health of your lawn. Things like tidying the edges, watering thoroughly once a week, tidying up the edges and removing weeds can work wonders on a tired, discoloured lawn.
Tidying up the front lawn was a central part of Cherie Barber’s makeover of this compact front garden. The entire front garden makeover added $10,000 to the home’s overall property value.
8. Take advantage of the verge
If you’ve done all you can in your own front garden, consider taking advantage of the verge. The nature strip doesn’t have to be a boring patch of grass, a point Charlie demonstrated by creating a spectacular native verge garden. Charlie specifically chose plants indigenous to the area to provide nectar, food and habitat for native birds.
This project isn’t Charlie’s first foray into verge gardening. He’s also created an urban edible garden featuring a mix of salad greens and perennial flowering plants.
Watch: Charlie creates a verge vegetable garden
9. Create definition with a front porch
Does your front door lack a sense of arrival? Creating a porch, or updating an existing one, is a simple way to increase your home’s kerb appeal.
In this DIY front porch update, a set of crumbling, tiled steps was turned into a sleek, modern deck with bench seating and hidden storage. It also forms a seamless link between the front door and the spacious outdoor entertaining zone.