Ok, I'm back. First I have a question. You're talking about the front of your house, correct? So is there an entry to your house or a sidewalk or anything that divides the 2 areas? I like teacup's suggestion of making a path if that would work. And I agree that you might as well rip out what's not doing well.
On the shady side, I don't see any reason to have any grass. Plus it would be hard. But I'm very biased against lawns. So look at some ground covers, maybe even use a nice mulch (cedar or hardwood but not artificial) until you decide.
I have an Oakleaf Hydrangea that faces north and is under 2 large Red Oaks. Thus it gets a lot of shade. Except for right now. It's been budding out for the last week or two at a very rapid rate. That's good because the oaks are also starting to bud out. But once it starts to bloom, it will bloom all summer and into fall. By fall, however, the blooms will turn to a pale shade of brown. The leaves and branches also look great with a brown and red cast to them. I know I have pictures somewhere. Do consider this shrub but keep in mind that it is not the 'mop head' hydrangea. Check it out in our Plants Database. You'll see pictures of the blooms as well as the fall foliage.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Something I've been wanting to try is a Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). Or rather, a dwarf wax myrtle. It handles shade and the birds love it for the berries it produces.
Here's an idea that might work for both sun and shade. Take a look at Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii)
. The birds, especially hummingbirds, like it as do bees and butterflies. Although I've never tried, you can make a jam (or jelly? or something like that) from the fruit.
There are many more choices and I hope you'll get a lot of suggestions. Can you tells us a little more about your growing conditions? It would help if we knew your zone. For example, I'm in Zone 8a which covers parts of North Central Texas, especially the area around Dallas. Do you know what type of soil you have? 'They' say that our soil is blackland prairie but my 'they' haven't been in my yard. I am slowly trying to amend my soil but I won't get into that.
Back to ground covers, whatever you do, choose wisely. Some are extremely aggressive and will take over everything. If no one else has suggestions, I'll try to find some for you.