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Come sit awhile! Welcoming front yard key to maximum home value

Carson Arthur

Carson Arthur

All of the studies on housing have shown that creating a front yard that is inviting and welcoming is key in achieving the maximum value for your home. Companies like Century 21 and stating that curb appeal and first impression can swing a home’s value from between 8 per cent to 15 per cent.

This is why I try and get homeowners to focus on creating a beautiful front yard early so that the trees, shrubs and plants have time to grow, increasing their return-on-investment. If you can’t wait for the green, try adding a bench. Seating in the front yard has always been described as ‘welcoming’ or ‘friendly’. Even if no one ever sits in it, a bench at the front door implies that the homeowners of this house care for their guests by providing them a spot to rest.


Here are my tricks to creating the perfect vignette.

1. Choose the right bench for your home. The style of your home really dictates the style of your front yard seating. Remember, this bench is more about aesthetic than function. Feel free to put any style of furniture in the backyard, but try to stay in character of the home for the front. A linear bench for a modern home always works while a nice teak or rod iron bench is a classic touch for a more traditional space.

2. Accessorize you seating. Add pillows or blankets to the bench. They enhance the visual and increase the idea that this bench is a perfect spot to sit. Also consider adding flowerpots, lanterns, and even old watering cans around the legs or beside. Small accent pieces make front yard seating look more inclusive in a space.

3. Add colour. Whether you add painted furniture or brightly coloured pillows, a pop of colour draws the eye. All of your guests will take notice of the space. Do use some restraint though as too much colour can be too much of a statement for most homes. As a general rule, I add more colour in shaded spaces, and less in full sun.

4. Placement doesn’t always have to be on a patio or deck. I am a huge fan of putting benches into gardens. I love placing them into the beds, still accessible from the path but totally surrounded by the plants. Putting a bench under a large tree is also fantastic for a couple of reasons; sitting in the shade in the heat of summer and filling a space around the roots where nothing will ever grow.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have something special in your front yard. Just make sure that you find a way to really secure it. I used a solid post hammered into the ground with a lock and a chain (nice items in the front sometimes have a habit of disappearing).


-Landscape designer Carson Arthur is host of HGTV’s new Home to Win show. He is also the outdoor expert with City TV’s Cityline and wrote the sell-out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living in 2015. More at
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