The majority of homeowners buy a house for the purpose of having their own space, including a private backyard. Designing a courtyard doesn’t have to be complicated. It does, however, need to be carefully planned before starting any of the makeover work.
A backyard can be whatever you want to make of it. I believe that creating a relaxing space to enjoy nature, BBQ with the family or read a good book, is well worth the time, energy and money it takes to design a lovely courtyard. See six ideas for creating an inviting courtyard and turn your patio into the secret garden you’ve always dreamed of.
1. The Right Location
Location is everything when you’re building the perfect backyard. Where the sun hits, the direction the wind blows and the view are all aspects to highly consider when planning out your courtyard. Depending on the size of your backyard, there may be several different spots where your courtyard could go. For example, next to the house versus the rear part of your yard.
Existing landscape should also be evaluated, including if there’s any sloping, and the soil should be properly analyzed. Sun, wind and rain are all weather conditions out of your control, but what is in your control is picking the best spot possible for your patio.
2. Furniture that’s Comfortable & Fashionable
One big decorating mistake many homeowners make inside their home is picking out furniture that looks amazing, but is hard to sit on. Whatever you do, don’t make this mistake in your courtyard, a place you’ll be spending lots of time sitting.
Even if you’re tight on budget, it doesn’t mean you have to give in to purchasing furniture that’s uncomfortable and painful to sit on. Even if you do like the iron wrought look, at least get some soft cushions to place on top of the hard bars. Cushions and pillows are also a way to add a pop of color and style to your patio. If you’re someone who likes to put their feet up, this piece too can be comfortable for under your feet.
3. Fancy Floors
Courtyards are known for their beauty and elegance. Installing fancy floors is necessary in any courtyard. They’re the first thing you see and touch when entering the area. Material, pattern and color should all be thought through carefully. It’s especially important to consider the climate you live in and how this may affect the wear and tear of your floors.
Brick pavers, cement, slates, bluestone and natural stone are all possible options. Before choosing your floors, account for the size and shape of your courtyard, to gauge how much it’s going to cost you. Don’t be afraid to add pebbles, grass dividers and play around with different shapes.
4. Eye-Catching Décor & Vegetation
The more flowers and plants you have in the surrounding area, the better. Greenery has a way of creating a calm and relaxing environment with little effort. Potted plants, unique trees and pops of color are just a few examples of how to execute this idea. Adding beautiful clay artwork, bright pillows, a vine wall, a swing or a pond will do the trick.
If you don’t have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscape designer to guide you and a beautiful landscape for you. Landscaping isn’t just for the front yard anymore. Stone pathways are a great way to lead you and your guests to your courtyard. When spread throughout the yard, they help create sections for the vegetables, flowers, fountains, sheds or bushes.
5. Luxurious Lighting
Creating an inviting courtyard means you’re going to need special lighting that brings it to life at night. The best part of a courtyard is being able to set the mood and enjoy it on a warm summer night relaxing in your own backyard.
String lights, or lanterns, are always an excellent choice for extra lighting. You don’t need to get carried away with it, you just need something that’s easy on the eyes and allows you to move around in the dark. Spotlighting and small lights along the walkway or patio will work too. If you’re someone who likes to sit around a warm fire with friends and family, then make this part of your lighting schema. Lighting is key to making the space warm and welcoming.
6. Design with Purpose
Designing a courtyard without a plan is a big mistake. Do your homework and set a budget and a timeline before you start laying any brick or planting any flowers. Being mindful to create focal points, symmetry and clean lines will help you accomplish this task. A statue or water fountain are popular structures that some homeowners are adding to their gardens and patios.
I’ve selected designing with a purpose as one of my six tips because isn’t that what a backyard is all about? When will you use it, how often will you use it, what effort will it take to take care of it, is it a place for friends to hangout or to have some family fun? These are all questions you need to ask yourself as you plan an inviting and chic courtyard.
Building the courtyard of your dreams is a fun project! You get to use your creativity to personalize the space and bring new energy to your backyard. Follow these six tips to help guide you along the way to building the courtyard of your dreams.
Landscaping is a big undertaking and that’s why there are pros who specialize in this type of work. Select a landscaping project and we’ll send you up to four free estimates from contractors in your zip code.