The Rebirth of Courtyard Homes Offer Many Sustainable Options

After years of huge yards with rectangular shaped homes, homeowners are starting to return to the courtyard home. Courtyard architecture is one of the oldest home styles in the world.   Over 5,000 years ago, courtyards were first built in the Middle East and China as a protective means from harsh weather and unfavorable neighbors. The design was replicated in Spain and the Mediterranean before spreading west to Mexico and California.

People are drawn to the design because they want a place where they can be outside and connect with nature, yet have privacy and feel safe. Courtyards allow natural light to flood into a home, which helps save energy during daylight hours.

The rising popularity of courtyards is drawn from the growing desire for transitional spaces that bridge together indoor and outdoor living. Courtyard homes are becoming a trend particularly in dense populated areas where tight property lines do not allow much of a yard, but can still fill the desire for outdoor spaces.

Automobile and entry courtyards have also become popular because they serve as transitional spaces to set a peaceful, off-street atmosphere, and welcome people into the house.

Today’s vast choices of new building technology, such as windows, doors and lighting allows creating whatever style courtyard one desires without too many design limitations.  Window and door manufactures currently make 8-foot wide panels that can be combined to create a 32-foot long expanse.  LED lighting can transform a courtyard into a purposeful room at night, so it does not become a useless space. With the use of mood lighting, you can create a romantic dining and/or a private hot tub area. Custom wood and gas combination fire pits or fireplaces can provide warmth and a whole other level of enjoyment to the courtyard home.

We are here to help you live sustainably. Let our expert eyes guide you through your project process and keep the big picture in focus while your home is being designed for beauty, comfort and long-term health.  We offer a comprehensive range of Green and Sustainable Interior Design, Universal Design and Consulting Services per project or on a consulting basis in Connecticut, New York and areas beyond.  Contact us at 203-984-4695 or

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Lynn Hoffman

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