Large gravelled area to front of property. Needs something cool! Also have the issue of a grate opposite the door next to the pavement.
If it's south facing, I'd get a really large square container and fill it with sempervivums.
To keep the minimalist theme I would put a large stone garden pot in the middle - the largest you can afford - look at gardenornamentsdirect for ideas - fill it either with seasonal plants or some interesting perennials - and plant a small tree - something like an amelanchier which is not dense and will not block light into your front windows and you can keep it trimmed to about 8 ft - in the left hand corner next the pavement. Surround the tree with some large round cobbles from the garden centre. A few piles of cobbles elsewhere. A few pots at the door with seasonal plants and thats it.
I would lose the shingle and lift the paving slabs. Then get some red brick roll top edging to go along the row of conifers and red brick block paving rest to match the brick of the house. I would leave a largish area to form a flower bed in the middle and use a lighter colour brick to edge it to match the lower brick of the house. you don't say if it is in full sun or shady so the plant for the bed would depend on that And finish off with 2 nice pots either side of the door with standard roses.
As the space is small you could do it quite cheaply if you are fit enough to do the work yourself. look on eBay for or somewhere like clearancepaving for cheap paver but don't forget to get Permeable bricks so you don't need planning permission.
What's your own preference in terms of style, Richard? Floaty and frilly or more geometric and symmetrical.
If you're happy with the gravel , then keep that and work round it with the planting. If it's a shady spot, it's the best option anyway.
It also depends on the amount of time you have for, or want to spend on, maintenance. Some large containers with simple evergreens, or annuals and cottagey plants if you have a little more time, would be the easiest option - for your pocket as well as your time
It depends mostly on 3 things - which way does it face, how much time you have to spend on maintenance and how much budget you have. All 3 will dictate the kinds of plants you can grow and whether or not you invest in pots, paving, fencing or hedging. If you want to plant directly in teh ground you will also need to know what kind of soil you have - acid, neutral, alkaline, heavy clay, medium loam or light sand - as this also will dictate the kinds of plants that are suitable.
As it is a small area, it's best to keep it simple and probably also restrict the colour scheme to one or two colours or one colour with light and dark shades plus green. If you do go for pots, make sure they're the biggest and heaviest you can afford so they don't blow over or get lifted by sticky fingers. Theft is an issue in some areas.
This article may help you get ideas - https://www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/81503152?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u4911&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery1&newsletterId=4911