Curb Appeal: Drought Tolerant Front Entrance

Although built in the 1950s, this ranch house in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has a cool and contemporary entrance. Two concrete walls define the front yard and offer a degree of privacy, while Palomino gravel helps showcase rows of succulents and other drought-resistant plants.

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Front Yard With Offset Walls

This front yard keeps things interesting with two offset board-form finish concrete walls. Visually, they're a harmonious extension of the Palomino gravel.

Front Yard With Two Concrete Walls

Low-voltage lighting illuminates this front yard's two offset concrete walls. Contemporary house numbers are an instant, fresh upgrade.

Front Porch With Wood Slats

Louvered ipe slats frame the sides of this re-imagined front porch. They're a visual tie-in with the yard's redwood fence and instantly add warmth.

Contemporary Home and Front Yard

No way does the front yard of this 1950s home feel outdated. Landscape designers gave it a simple, contemporary look with low-maintenance plants that thrive in the California climate, gravel and edgy touches like concrete walls and walkways.

Contemporary Front Porch and Gravel Yard

The landscaping needed to be drought tolerant, given this home's location in San Luis Obispo, California. So texture dominates the landscape design, a stylish blend of gravel, wood, concrete and succulents. Low-voltage lighting gives off an inviting glow.

Contemporary Front Porch With Black Chairs

This small front porch goes big on style with two leather chairs and a sculptural succulent. The louvered wood slats at both porch ends are a welcome note of warmth and texture.

Concrete Slab Walkway and Porch

The walkway up to the front porch is constructed of staggered concrete slabs with ground cover joints. Low-voltage lighting creates a welcoming ambiance.

Front Yard With Gravel

In this front yard, Palomino gravel surrounds low-maintenance plants that thrive in the Mediterranean-like climate of San Luis Obispo, California.

Contemporary Front Yard With Offset Walls

This beautiful front yard pairs edgy, urban elements like concrete walls and gravel with succulents and the silvery green of fruitless olive trees. Clean, contemporary house numbers are the perfect finishing touch.

Succulent Garden With Concrete Wall

For an orderly, meditative look, landscape designers selected a few varieties of drought-tolerant plants, then set them out in rows.

Succulents and Concrete Walls

Planting is sparse, but impactful in this California front yard. Landscape designers paid close attention to the shape and scale of plants and gave them a clean, neutral backdrop of gravel and concrete walls.

Contemporary Front Yard With Concrete Wall

This 1950s home in San Luis Obispo, California needed a full landscape renovation. Now, low-maintenance plants, gravel and unique touches like offset concrete walls make it feel fresh and thoroughly contemporary.

Plant and Concrete Wall

Palomino gravel and this yard's concrete wall provides a neutral backdrop for the Mediterranean plants.

Side Walkway and Green Plants

Small-scale foliage plants make a soft, pretty border for this side walkway.

Garden With Gravel

Gravel ground cover is a clean, crisp contrast to the Mediterranean-climate plants in this garden.

Green Plants in Gravel Garden Bed

Soft, feathery greenery gives a lush feel to the more minimal design of this garden.

Driveway and Redwood Fence

Low-scale ground cover plants soften the spare look of the yard and driveway's gravel. A 3-foot redwood fence is a handsome perimeter border.

Porch With Wood Slats

To help give the front yard a little privacy, designers planted two fruitless olive trees and added a wood slat frame to the porch.

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