If your client’s York, PA, home features a courtyard, you may be looking for ways to make that prime feature more functional, aesthetically pleasing, and private. Here are landscape design ideas for transforming a courtyard into a beautiful outdoor living space that will be used often.
Set the Stage
A great outdoor living space has many of the same features as an indoor room. The space should be comfortable, have good flow, and complement the style of your client’s home. And just like inside, the type of flooring that’s selected can help set the tone for the whole room.
Natural stone, for example, is durable and weather-resistant and can add a feeling of luxury to a courtyard or patio. The textured finish and warm, earthy tones found in sandstone can help make an enclosed space feel more natural. Alternatively, the crisp lines and cool gray tones of granite or limestone will suit a modern outdoor space.
Create Flow Between Spaces
Even if space is limited, you can still create separate zones for outdoor living. Talk to your clients about how they plan to use their outdoor space, and plan distinct areas for each activity. Don’t forget to include enough room for the homeowner and visitors to easily move between zones. Outdoor living spaces are more enjoyable when foot traffic flow is easy and comfortable.
Create walkways that establish traffic patterns with a shift between soft groundcover and hardscaping. Low masonry walls can help define outdoor rooms while also providing convenient seating. To soften a courtyard with a lot of masonry, plants and shrubs can create borders and help signify boundaries.
When an outdoor living area is surrounded by tall buildings or very close neighbors, it can feel a little like sitting in a fishbowl. If your client’s courtyard lacks privacy, there are a number of ways to help create a more secluded space.
A strategically placed tree can help screen a seating area. A pergola is a popular choice for creating privacy in a courtyard because it won’t entirely close off the space. Climbing vines can add color and increase privacy by creating additional screening on a pergola or trellis.
Bring in the Elements
Well-designed rooms usually have an attractive focal point. Introduce ambiance and create a focal point in an outdoor room with the addition of a fire feature or fountain. Fire and water can help transform a courtyard by adding movement, sound, and interest.
A fire feature will make a courtyard cozy and extend the amount of time your clients can enjoy their outdoor living space. As for a water feature, the soothing sounds of flowing water could be an excellent way to help mask out neighborhood noises.
Plants Bring a Courtyard to Life
While courtyards can be charming, they sometimes lack greenery. Incorporating plant life will help ensure your client’s outdoor living spaces don’t feel stark or lifeless. Planting in layers creates the illusion of a larger space and disguises walls, making a courtyard feel less enclosed.
Raised planters can serve many purposes in a small space. They provide optimal growing conditions for healthy plants and can help define outdoor rooms. For smaller spaces, living walls incorporate an abundance of texture and greenery but have a small footprint.