When we first bought the house the front "lawn" was in reality a thistle field. The thistles were about 4 feet tall. We cut. We sprayed. We dug out plants. (We still fight the thistles... they aren't all gone!)
With a few patches of weeds and some tufts of grass here and there.
After about two years of spraying and digging out thistles, and other obnoxious weeds, I began to concentrate on making the area green. I decided to plant a dryland prairie mix of seeds, so it wouldn't need as much water once it was established. Each year I treated the little patch of lawn to soil conditioners, fertilizer, broadleaf weed preventative and lots of mowing. This year, although it is a lawn of "many colors" being comprised of a variety of native grasses, it is thick and lush and very green. It looks great!
Oh, and did I mention it grows incessantly and requires constant mowing? Perhaps I should have begun a new landscaping trend by leaving the front yard "in dirt"!