All gardens, large and small, need structure and certain areas need some formality, particularly the entrance to a house. However small or large, the concept of 'doorstep' plants I think is so undervalued. A neat, clean (clipped) approach brings up the whole appearance of a house.
Many times as I am crawling through traffic along subarban streets it occurs to me that for a investment of around £100 or maybe less, so much could be added by the inclusion of 2 plants one either side of the front door. It could be 1/2 std, could be spirals, could be cones. Of course, consideration has to be given to other elements, but it's a great start and they have effect 12 months of the year!
Topiary in general garden use has been used for centuries and adds shape, design, heritage and focus to our gardens. Each garden should have at least one focal topiary piece and they are also great fun to look after.