Interior courtyards filled with indoor trees and greenery create a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere. For our latest lookbook, we’ve collected ten homes from the Dezeen archive with beautiful courtyards at the heart of the interior.
Interior courtyards are mostly found in homes in warmer climates, where they help create a connection to the outdoors while bringing more light and air inside.
Adding trees and green plants to the courtyards make for decorative spaces that also function as sheltered miniature gardens.
The homes in this lookbook are spread out across the globe, from Israel to Japan and Mexico, but all feature soothing courtyard rooms filled with plants.
This is the latest roundup in our Dezeen Lookbooks series providing visual inspiration for the home. Previous lookbooks feature modernist living rooms, original hotel bathrooms and spacious kitchen extensions.
Courtyard House, US, by No Architecture
This home in the Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon was designed around a glazed garden filled with native deciduous trees.
As well as being decorative, the courtyard helps with the heating and cooling of the house by increasing passive solar heating in the winter and stimulating passive cooling and natural ventilation in the summer.
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Casa UC, Mexico, by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Mexican architect Daniela Bucio Sistos’s design for Casa UC in Morelia features pigmented concrete and brick, as well as a central inner courtyard that has its own disc-shaped canopy.
A Momoqui tree (Caesalpinia pluviosa) that sits at the centre of the courtyard, surrounded by plants, lends the modernist house a more organic feel.
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Host House, US, by Kipp Edick and Joe Sadoski
The wooden Host House in Utah is clad in cedar planks and surrounded by trees. This focus on nature continues inside, where an inner courtyard holds a small tree.
Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the central opening helps to add light to the interior.
“The client was a very private individual who supported a design approach that located the glazing in specific zones of the house to provide ample daylight and privacy,” the architects said.
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Carlton House, Australia, by Reddaway Architects
A small internal courtyard holds an Acer, or Japanese maple tree, planted amongst ground-covering greenery and practical stepping stones that let the owners cut through to different parts of Carlton House in Melbourne.
The courtyard is part of a timber extension that Reddaway Architects added to an Edwardian-style brick building. As well as the courtyard, added skylights help give the new space a bright feel.
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Neve Tzedek townhouse, Israel, by Meirav Galan
This townhouse in Tel Aviv’s oldest neighbourhood (above and top image) was given a refresh by architect Meirav Galan, who added a glass-clad secret courtyard.
The triple-height courtyard rises through the building and holds Mediterranean plants that help create a tranquil centre space. A small seating area adds to the relaxed feel and lets the owners make more use of the indoor garden.
Find out more about Neve Tzedek ›
F Residence, Japan, by Gosize
Gosize’s design for F Residence in Hyōgo, Japan, features large openings centred around a courtyard with a minimalist pond and rough stone that extends into the living space.
The home, which has a spartan, peaceful feel, was designed with a high concrete wall next to the double-height courtyard to create more privacy.
The combination of the calm feel and the privacy of the home helped to influence the design of the house in BBC drama The Girl Before, which draws on F Residence’s design.
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Wall House, Vietnam, by CTA
Designs that perfectly blend the indoors and the outdoors are seen in many Vietnamese houses, and Wall House in Bien Hoa is an especially striking example.
The multi-generational family home has hole-punctured bricks that let sunlight and air in, and an expansive living area that has the feel of an indoor courtyard. This features an array of leafy greens and trees that have been planted around the periphery of the room.
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Clinton Hill Courtyard House, US, by O’Neill McVoy Architects
A 19th-century brick townhouse in Brooklyn was given skylights and a courtyard by O’Neill McVoy Architects as part of a complete redesign.
The studio created a “light garden” at the centre of the family home. Sliding glass walls with mahogany frames surround the 18-square-metre garden, which is landscaped with black river rocks, a dogwood tree and climbing vines.
Find out more about Clinton Hill Courtyard House ›
Ruxton Rise Residence, Australia, by Studio Four
Studio Four created Ruxton Rise Residence for its own co-director, Sarah Henry, designing a grey-brick home centred around a courtyard planted with olive trees.
The open-air courtyard was created to acts as an additional room in the house, where its inhabitants can take advantage of the mild Melbourne weather. All communal spaces in the house face the courtyard, which connects the living spaces and provides a “calming effect.”
Find out more about Ruxton Rise Residence ›
Casa Once, Mexico, by Espacio 18 and Cueto
Mexican architecture firms Espacio 18 and Cueto added an internal courtyard and a rooftop patio to this Mexican townhouse to make the most of a small site.
As the home takes up the entire buildable area, the interior courtyard was added to give the owners a bit of outdoor space. Double-height glazed walls surround the decked patio, which has an acacia tree in the middle that blooms with bright purple flowers in the springtime.
Find out more about Casa Once ›
This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing modernist living rooms, original hotel bathrooms and spacious kitchen extensions.