Whatever you choose, please look at pics of mature individuals, unless the thought of constantly mangling shrubs to stay small sounds like the way you want to spend many of your future weekends. The area between the pavement & house looks small, I would go with mostly herbaceous perennials there, maybe a few pots, a shepherd hook. And totally agree that the space to the left in the pic would make a great garden! Surely closer to the curb, hence more appeal, and visible out of the window, hence looking-out-your-windows appeal. You'll never know if passers-by will like what you've done, but if you think, "wow that's pretty" every time you look out of a window, you'll be constantly happy you put a garden there, where you do not have to go outside to see the efforts of your labors.