We've taken a few easy steps to reduce our grass foot print in our front yard: pushing out the flower bed and extending it down the front of the house and putting a ring of rocks around the tree in the middle of out yard.
Before small flower bed:
Before grass up to the edge of tree:
Now were thinking that we want to do a more intensive remodel to our front yard --- with the intent to reducing the grass amount even more. We found a photo of an awesome house in Austin TX that has the look of the front yard we'd love to have.
We like it's modern look without being midcentury modern. Perhaps we can implement some changes in pieces over time.