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Study shows lively front yard decor brings residents together

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Lively front yards make for more connected residents

In the last few years, many news headlines have talked about a loneliness epidemic sweeping across the U.S. But is the solution right in front of us in our front yards?

A University at Buffalo study found that people with decorated, "lively" front yards tend to be happier and more connected to their neighbors. Even if they have a small space, those who use it to display their values and interests, from garden gnomes and Little Free Libraries to landscaping or political signs, tend to feel more attachment and belonging to their homes and communities.

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A bridge to your neighborhood

This makes sense — when you're hanging out in your yard to landscape or decorate it, you can chat with neighbors or passersby. One 1997 study found that more than 75% of new neighborhood contacts are made in the front yard.

The University at Buffalo study likened front yards to "bridges to the rest of the neighborhood," which could be used to block off a home with fences or hedges, or connect with decorations. The strongest result in the study was that yard décor that facilitates socializing — like chairs and benches — boosted connectedness even more than things like gnomes and lawn flamingos.

So maybe this is a sign that it's time to refresh your own yard.

Garden gnomes, benches, flamingoes and more to decorate your lawn

Design Toscano Sunflower Sammy Garden Gnome Birdfeeder Statue

Sunflower Sammy is more than just a decorative gnome. Fill his sunflower with birdseed to provide treats for birds, squirrels and other visitors to your yard.

BigMouth Inc Flamingo Gnome

This spin on a classic lawn flamingo includes tiny garden gnomes trying to hitch a ride.

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY Unfinished Kit with Official Charter Sign and World Map Access Included

Build and customize your own Little Free Library with this kit. It's unfinished so you can stain or paint it to look however you want.

Little Library Box Outdoor Little Library

This pre-built Little Free Library is ready to install and stock with books.

VINGLI Upgraded Patio Wooden Porch Swing for Courtyard & Garden

This comfortable, stylish porch swing provides an inviting place to sit down and get to know your neighbors.

Backyard Discovery Durable Cedar Farmhouse Outdoor Porch Swing with Chain

For a more rustic look, this porch swing has a farmhouse design.

JOYIN 10 Pack Small Yard Flamingos Ornament Stakes

These classic lawn flamingos are perfect fit if you want to decorate your yard with a look straight out of the 1970s.

Yaheetech Patio Garden Bench

Looking for a garden bench? This bronzed aluminum bench provides a place to sit and admire your flowers and yard, with pretty flower detailing.

Psilvam 2-Person Poly Lumber Patio Bench

This all-weather lumber bench will last for years, giving you a place to sit and invite neighbors and passersby to stop and chat.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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