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  • Writer's pictureZoe St Pierre

House Design Trends

The Courtyard

Should you be going down the self build route or tweaking a bungalow configuration, the courtyard is set to remain a popular design feature for 2019.

The benefits are many and a courtyard can provide ample scope to connect multiple rooms within a single storey home and avoids the need for deep floor plans which can suffer from a lack of natural light in the centre. They can also provide privacy from neighbours and full control over views from the rooms adjoining the courtyard.

Courtyards can also include natural cooling elements as a part of their design like a fountain, a basin, an artificial waterfall, thick external walls and double-glazed windows.

Interior courtyards are very much in vogue today for the above reasons. They provide an aesthetic means of spending time with nature in the midst of a busy schedule. And the best part is that courtyards work with any style of home – modern or traditional.

So from growing an indoor garden to creating a serene corner in a crash and burn busy lifestyle, interior courtyards can do so much to enrich your life. Here are some more advantages you can enjoy…


An interior courtyard centrally sits under the open sky, flooding the space around it with daylight. Every room that opens into the courtyard gets its dose of sunlight during the day, helping you with energy savings.

The benefits of being exposed to this optimum quantity of sunlight are well known, and even during a daily workday, you’ll benefit by simply having your morning tea in a natural refreshing environment. For courtyards that are located in the front or back of the house, the adjacent room can be the kitchen or living room, which is most often used during the day.

For centuries, interior courtyards have been created to aid the purpose of natural ventilation. Ventilation itself serves many purposes. It provides fresh air, improves oxygen supply and dilutes odours. When creating a courtyard, keep room for cross ventilation, which offers the maximum cooling effect. Courtyard ventilation also has passive cooling effects during the night, which brings the overall temperature of the place down. In addition to this, a courtyard filled with plants and a garden area helps keep the house cool.

A courtyard acts as a space separator within the home. A courtyard between the living room and bedrooms, can work to increase the privacy between these areas, not letting casual visitors walk in unwittingly. It provides a break in the décor too, with each section gaining a new personality that goes only with the central flow.

Connecting Spaces

A courtyard can also be a connector of spaces within the home, providing accessibility to different parts with ease. If you have a courtyard in the front or at the back of your house, it not only acts as an entrance or exit point, but can connect to more than one room depending on your courtyard architecture. A centrally located courtyard, on the other hand, can provide access to multiple rooms in the house, making movement easier.

Refreshing View of Nature

With a courtyard, you have the option to enjoy the refreshing joy of being amidst greenery without having to look for it in far flung jungle reserves and nature resorts. Simply head to your courtyard to rejuvenate your eyes with the sight of green—it's beneficial for health.

The great part of having a courtyard is that you can enjoy what different seasons bring in. From blossoming flowers under the summer sun to the hundred hues of green during the rains, to the select blossoms of winter, you can enjoy it all without stepping out from your home.

If you love and enjoy your connection with nature, you can take it a step further in your courtyard. You can not only plant decorative plants, but also use a small area for vegetable and herb farming. Your own little patch of organic farming can find a wonderful place in your courtyard where sunlight and cool breezes will keep it company.

When you start with courtyard planning for edibles, always go for ones with a quick turnaround time—between 60-90 days, like leafy greens—which can be harvested before the change of season. Also, choose to plant these in a pot than directly in the soil, so that you can move them around in case of an unexpected downpour.

There are different types of lawn grass that can be replicated in patches in your courtyard that can envelope your feet in morning dew. Choose the local soft variety that doesn’t attract insects, and is fairly resistant to climatic changes. Or if you don’t have the time to grow or maintain plants, then deck the place with pebbles, rocks, and pieces of wood for an organic feel.

Creating a Cosy Environment

A courtyard with beautiful and comfy seating area, flowing curtains, plush rugs and quirky coffee tables can be an ideal spot for quiet reflection, meditation, reading books, or enjoying a cosy chat. It can be a place to unwind, entertain, connect with nature and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. With some courtyard planning, you should be able to gift yourself a meaningful space!


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