Ruhl Walker Architects, original photo on Houzz

The entry garden sets the stage for your modern home. In traditional home designs, a relatively solid exterior wall defined the house’s edge. The modern approach was to make the home’s exterior walls largely of glass and create a garden wall that defined the “edge” of the house, making the garden as much a part of the home as any other room.

Why not take the entry garden further by creating an enclosed outdoor space that ties itself spatially to the interior? To achieve a comprehensive modern vibe, take the same care in the selection of garden walls, fencing, plants and pathways as with your interior finishes and furniture. Here’s how to design a high-impact visual front garden.

Tocha Project, original photo on Houzz

1. Create harmony through materials. Coordinate the strong geometric design of the home with the entry garden through materials. Many of us delight in a rambling and verdant garden, but to achieve a modern success, borrow from the more geometric lines of your home.

One of the best ways to achieve this connection is to carry the floor materials from your indoor space to the outside. Material choices for this can range from classic bluestone to the harder granites and concrete. These materials are low maintenance and create a seamless continuity indoors to outdoors.

Related: 5 Easy Plants for a Romantic Entry Garden


Art in Green, original photo on Houzz

2. Embrace the entry garden as an outdoor room. To take your entry to a higher level, go beyond creating a space you pass through. Think about how you might like to use the space, perhaps as an intimate seating area, like this garden designed by Art in Green. If space allows, consider a larger seating area or perhaps a fire pit for evening marshmallows.

An outdoor room needs definition to make it comfortable. A screen offers privacy but still lets in some light and allows breezes to flow through.

Anders Lasater Architects, original photo on Houzz

3. Add a gate. A gate for your entry garden helps create a sense of privacy, separating it from the public realm. The gate can also be a way to mirror the finishes and materials used in your home’s interior. A gate that incorporates stainless steel or other metals, like the one pictured in this project by Anders Lasater Architects, speaks to the fascia trim on the home.


Ruhl Walker Architects, original photo on Houzz

4. Include water. A water feature with a soothing splashing sound is the secret to a walled entry garden. The white noise transports us from the busy outdoor world into the home’s realm. This design by Ruhl Walker Architects gets it right, by having the waterfall emerge from the garden wall that separates the entry from the busy city street.

Related: Add a Water Feature

Huettl Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz

5. Keep it simple. Understand and be realistic about your interest and time availability for maintaining the garden. When it comes to planting, less is often more. In this landscape design by Huettl Landscape Architecture, dark river rock contrasts with geometric concrete pavers. Ornamental grasses are kept to a minimum, reducing maintenance and watering that might come with a lawn or flower bed.

Related: Connect With a Pro Who Can Execute Your Garden Plans

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