Indoor courtyards have been a feature in ancient homes across the globe for centuries now. From Spain to Persia to India, indoor courtyards have traditionally been incorporated in house designs as an additional space that is in touch with the outdoors yet covered within the house premise. In modern design, however, this is a feature that lost momentum.
As we shift towards an era of biophilic and nature centric designs, indoor courtyards seem to be making a comeback and for all the right reasons. When the pandemic set in, people found themselves looking for escapes from the walls of their homes or offices to be in touch with the great outdoors. This led to a spike in the demand for secluded outdoor spaces that one could enjoy without fearing the virus which is exactly what an indoor courtyard offers.
Moreso, indoor courtyards can act as a multifunctional asset to a house, being a space that is not just connected to the outdoors but practical enough to be used on a daily basis to relax or even work in.
Setting up an indoor courtyard could prove to be a great decision if done the right way. Here’s all you need to know about setting up you own indoor courtyard for a charming escape:
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
PICK THE RIGHT LOCATION:
The first and the most important factor in setting up an indoor courtyard is picking out the right location. Traditionally, an indoor courtyard sits in the middle of the house with the rest of the structure wrapped around its periphery.
In modern design, however, people have been leaning towards the back portions of their house of living rooms to be transformed to an indoor courtyard so the rest of the structure can remain as is.
Depending on what works best for you, you can pick between the two locations for your setup. At this step, keep in mind what place has better ventilation and outdoor access to ensure the right choice.
SET UP A BUDGET:
The next thing to do is to plan how much you are willing to spend on an indoor courtyard. Even in the most modest of budgets, setting up an indoor courtyard is easy. Planning your budget will help determine the furnishings and finishings of the space as per your aesthetic pick making the process a lot easier.
DECIDE BETWEEN OPEN/CLOSED:
The layout of your indoor courtyard can vary depending on what suits your home and envisioned use. The basic choice to make is between an open or a closed format. Having an open format would mean not building a roof over the courtyard area so as to keep it open and arid.
On the other hand, for a closed format there’s a lot of different options and materials that could help protect the space with a roof yet keep it in touch with the outdoors such as glass, plexiglass etc.
NAIL DOWN A THEME:
Last but not the least is the step to choose a theme or aesthetic. You would have to consider whether you wish to keep the courtyard bound into the house or have it be its own thing which could help you differentiate whether you need to continue the home’s aesthetic in this space as well.
Although you can experiment with different aesthetics, try to stick to themes that relate to your home on some level so as to make the space look like it’s a part of the house and not a separate unit.
Take a look at these Indoor courtyards for inspiration and cues:
A MIDEASTERN PARADISE
First up is the very serene mideastern themed indoor courtyard. Mideastern cultures too, have had indoor courtyards as a part of their homes in the older times. For someone looking for a subtle and earthy look, the mideastern aesthetic serves just right.
The courtyard is one of a closed roof with metallic pendant lights suspended from it. The interior ranges in neutral tones with focus on hues of brown to maintain the rustic and earthy charm. The overall surrounding and walls are rather simple with a neutral brown hue. Definition has been brought in instead through texture and focal lights running around the walls.
The furniture too is rather simplistic and has the classic charm as the focus has been on wooden products. The overall design is rather simple to recreate to give your home the subtle little paradise it needs.
THE GLASSHOUSE YARD
A perfect fit for the modern home is this gorgeous glasshouse indoor courtyard. The courtyard has been set up in such a way that it is its own unit, overlooking the gardens and outdoors through its all around glass facade.
The courtyard has been kept covered with another garden sitting atop it, connecting to the outdoors through the transparent exterior. No matter the amount of space you have, creating a glass cabin is a feasible pick. Such a courtyard give you the opportunity to relax and even use the space for work without having to worry about distractions and weather changes.
For an even better outlook, you could choose to swap the roof for a glass one as well, or opt for a tech controlled openable skylight to give you the option to cover/open as you wish.
GO THE MOROCCAN WAY
Moroccan indoor courtyards are a true trailblazer in the category. At a glance, they look nothing short of a scenic painting. The Moroccan indoor courtyards have one thing in common which is the addition of a water element. Depending on the amount of space you have to spare, water elements could
range from a simple garden fountain to an elaborate pond or even an indoor pool. The courtyard is supposed to wrap around the water feature. The flooring is kept simple with stone being the prime material used. Another key aspect to note is the presence of colorful tiles and patterns.
Colors, especially hues of blue and green inspired by nature are hueg for the Moroccan theme. Create a beautiful mosaic or simply added printed tiles in the floor or on the walls to give the space an extra pop. The seating is rather simple, and mostly closer to ground level to radiate the feeling of being closer to the earth.
If you’re looking to create something peppy yet simple, this design is just right.
Nothing speaks luxe and relaxation like the presence of a seren indoor pool. Water elements themselves have a serene effect on one’s mind. Throw in the advantage of being able to swim and relax in water, and you have a resort right in your home.
This indoor courtyard approaches the indoor pool in a modern way. The pool forms the focal point of the courtyard. The overall look leans toward a biophilic theme with focus on greenery and plants to make the place pop. To further amplify the presence of nature, the roof has been left open to allow maximum ventilation and flow of air.
While the pool is an extravagant feature, the furniture is relatively simple with focus on pieces that prioritize comfort. You can go for a similar design, ro experiment with the surroundings as you like to form the retreat you would love to spend time in.
BREAKFAST IN PARADISE
One of the simplest and most functional of the indoor courtyards is one housing a breakfast retreat. Whether you wish to start your day right by spending time outdoors, or simply want to give your day a peaceful and cool ending by enjoying the views of nature, setting up dining in the indoor courtyard can prove to be extremely helpful.
All you need to do is pick the flooring you find most comfortable and apri it with a gorgeous dinette set.You cna go for a vintage wrought iron as shown, or go green with a wicker/rattan set to grace your courtyard. For such a setup, having some sort of roof coverage is better considering the contact to food.
In such a case you could go for rolled roofing or a skylight that you can easily open or close as per your requirement. Step up the charm with an outdoor cooking unit and simple string lights to light up the space as the sun goes down.
Summing up, an indoor courtyard is just the charming addition your home needs to make it truly complete. Having this feature gives you the opportunity to feel like you are enjoying the great outdoors even when you can't step out making it a must have. Take cues from the above designs or create your own to add a peaceful retreat right in your home!