ISSUE 4  |  Garden Envy

The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Homes with Amazing Interior Light

January 29, 2015 11:00 AM

BY Meredith Swinehart

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Courtyard gardens, surrounded on all four sides by walls, are lifesavers for cramped spaces. They preserve privacy while welcoming in sunlight. They make even the smallest indoor room feel larger. We’ve collected 10 of our favorites:

Above: In a densely populated neighborhood of modest homes and businesses, this Austin, TX home by Alterstudio Architecture has an internal courtyard for privacy and to create communal outdoor space. All the adjacent rooms have natural ventilation and light.

Above: Like a gallery space, plantings encircle the Green Edge House in Japan. For more, see Architect Visit: A Hidden Japanese Garden.

Above: A courtyard garden in Antwerp, with rain forest plants including tree ferns and Kangaroo paws. Photograph via Bart & Pieter.

Above: A shady inner courtyard at Hotel Nord-Pinus. For more, see Rock the Casbah: A Courtyard Hotel in Tanger.

Above: London architects Stiff + Trevillion turned a Victorian vicarage into a single-family home. The resulting part-Gothic, part-modern home features a skylit courtyard to ease the transition from the interior portion of the home to the exterior. See more of the firm’s new/old aesthetic in A Victorian Remodel with an Industrial Edge.

Above: A courtyard garden in Belgium by Archi-Verde. For more, see Steal This Look: The Spirit of Provence in a Walled Belgian Garden.

Above: Landscape architect Susan Wisniewski’s courtyard garden for a Manhattan townhouse has layers of texture–stone, wood, and greenery–to create an illusion of greater space. For more of her work, see Landscape Architect Visit: A Hudson Valley Farm, Pond Included.

Above: In Brooklyn Heights, landscape architect Robin Key used salvaged bluestone in a client’s courtyard garden. For more, see Robin Key Landscape Architecture.

Above: Robin Key Landscape Architecture created a modern outdoor room for a young family in downtown Manhattan. For more, see Lush Life: A Townhouse Garden in Manhattan.

Above: San Francisco-based Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture created a multi-level courtyard garden to extend a family’s living space. For more see A Jewel Box Townhouse Garden in SF

For more of our favorite courtyard gardens, see: