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

Issue 4 · Garden Envy · January 29, 2015

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

Issue 4 · Garden Envy · January 29, 2015

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:

Alterstudio Architecture Modern Home with Glass Walled Interior Courtyard, Gardenista

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.

Japanese lace leaf maples interior courtyard ; GArdenista

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

An Antwerp courtyard garden with rain forest plants ; Gardenista

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

Hotel Nord Pinus courtyard ; Gardenista

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

Modern House in Converted Vicarage with Transition Courtyard, Gardenista

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.

Walled courtyard garden in Belgium ; Gardenista

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

Susan Wisniewski courtyard view ; Gardenista  

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.

A Brooklyn Heights townhouse courtyard garden by Robin Key ; Gardenista

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

Courtyard garden NYC townhouse Robin Key ; Gardenista

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.

Courtyard garden San Francisco Scott Lewis ; Gardenista

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:

Sign up for Gardenista Daily newsletter

Have an opinion? Care to comment? We'd love to hear what you have to say.