Courtyards give homeowners their very own outdoor oasis, while intentionally filling space in a yard. Because they’re framed by walls — either partially or fully enclosed — but have no roof, courtyards often feel like an outdoor room and offer a comfortable place to gather. Courtyards are highly versatile too. You can decorate them simply with a few chairs or incorporate fun features like a fire pit.
Read on for examples of some of our favorite houses with courtyards.
Whether you’re considering adding a courtyard (or making one over) or looking to enhance a different aspect of your outdoor space, our skilled designers are here to assist you. We leave no detail untouched as we work with you to achieve your design goals. Learn more about what we do.
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#1 // Gated oasis
The Spanish vibe of this red brick ranch is enhanced by the gated courtyard. Our designers created privacy with a stucco wall and brought charm to it with some greenery and a wooden gate flanked by red brick columns with mounted lanterns. The charm continues beyond the gate and into the courtyard, where we added a firepit, fountain, planters, and pavers leading to the front door.
#2 // Add a fire feature
This home’s courtyard is simple — a concrete slab with stone walls to define the space. But the fire pit makes it a focal point of the yard and a great place to gather. Cozy chairs and plenty of planters add softness to the space.
#3 // Comfort in the courtyard
When it comes to houses with courtyards, our designers know how to bring comfort to the outdoor spaces. For this contemporary design, we made the entryway more inviting by adding a quaint courtyard — complete with outdoor seating — to the right of the front door. The courtyard walls are rendered in the same stone seen around the entrance and on the left side of the home, creating a cohesive look.
#4 // Combine materials & textures
For a more dynamic appearance, one of our designers’ go-to approaches for houses with courtyards is using a mix of materials. Here, we enhanced the modern ranch with a wood pergola-topped courtyard surrounded by cable railing, rocks, shrubs, and a concrete retaining wall. Consistent contrast throughout cultivates abundant visual interest, simultaneously boosting curb appeal.
#5 // Privacy, please
Some houses with courtyards display their outdoor spaces in plain sight while others opt for discretion. This client wanted a serene courtyard space with a sheltered view of and from the road. We used a concrete privacy fence to blend with the rest of the design’s contemporary features.
#6 // Focus on the entrance
This modern design is full of interesting and intentional accents. Our designers rooted the busyness of the design and nestled a courtyard in the center of the H-shaped layout. The fountain in the courtyard is centered with the front door, drawing the eye to the entrance. Additionally, the landscape-lined walkway that cuts through the courtyard leads you from the driveway to the front door.
#7 // Build out the entryway
If you want a little bit of a lead-in to your front door, a courtyard is an excellent way to expand upon your entryway. In this design, we filled the space between the front gate and front door with a courtyard, amplifying the home’s Spanish architecture.
#8 // Courtyard connector
This multi-family property features several different buildings. We filled the space between two of them with an intentionally designed courtyard. The seamless layout’s walkway spills into one zone of the courtyard to the next, connecting the fire pit to the dining area to the lounge space.
#9 // Implement archways
There is plenty of room for creative interpretation when it comes to designing a courtyard. While most of this design features straight lines and sharp peaks, we brought arches to the courtyard. The archways make the space stand out while also bringing in some charm. Plants in front of two of the openings provide a touch of privacy.
#10 // Deepen the entrance
Courtyards fit beautifully into H-shaped layouts, filling the center space. In this design, the positioning of the courtyard gives the entrance depth and offers the perfect area for some outdoor seating and attractive accents. With two seating areas, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a glass front door, this courtyard feels like an extension of the home’s interior.
Want to see how this homeowner implemented our design? See the transformation from start to finish here.
Ready to conjure your own courtyard?
Feeling inspired to add a courtyard to your exterior design? Perhaps you have an existing courtyard you’re itching to overhaul. Whether you’re looking for a private sanctuary or a curb appeal enhancer, we’ve got you covered.
With the right materials, layout, and design elements, you can create a courtyard you’ll want to spend all your spare time in. We hope this roundup has provided you with plenty of ideas and inspiration!
Eager to embark on an exterior transformation? Collaborate with us, and we’ll meticulously address every detail, ensuring your vision for the perfect exterior becomes a reality. Start your project today!
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