I like plants, lots of them, and gardening is a high-priority hobby in my life. I went nursery hopping in North Carolina for my honeymoon! I would hate to lose valuable gardening real estate to a nonfunctional lawn especially when that lawn is on the southern side of the house in a region plagued by heat and drought. Who wants to be watering and mowing in summers typified by 100F, humid weather? That sounds like a little slice of hell to me.
So the lawn got the boot in the front yard and will be relocated to the back where it's cooler and will serve a more functional purpose. This Instructable details planning considerations for someone wanting to tackle a project like this and how my SO and I went about doing it. You will notice that more than half of the steps are dedicated to planning because the devil is in the details. Our aesthetic might not be yours, and our plant selection might be completely inappropriate for your area. However, this was a project we completed largely on our own without any considerable skills and within a somewhat modest budget. You will have to make changes in your design according to your needs, taste, terrain, and climate, and chances are that you will be changing the design forever.
Gardens aren't static. Plants die. Trends change. You change. Your landscape will change. Have fun and enjoy!
Also, this wasn't a weekend project. My SO and I have been building up to this point over the past 5 years, and it took us a couple months to complete. It has yet to grow in just yet.