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16 Minimal Courtyards with Just a Hint of Nature

A courtyard always serves as an impressive way of dividing up the rooms of a house or separating one building from another. The architecture is perfect for bringing a little piece of the outdoors inside. While it’s easy to assume you’d need a lot of greenery in a courtyard to make it really feel like a natural setting, you might be surprised to see how achievable it is with even the most modern and minimal designs. Here are a few beautiful examples.

Living Space Escapes

With a view like the one in this living room along with its modern Asian sliding doors, you’d never need a television! Even in an urban area, this courtyard still offers a little piece of the natural environment to look out on. [Photo from Ontrus]

Living room that looks out into bright courtyard
Living room that looks out into bright courtyard

An interesting courtyard design example featured on ArchDaily stretches one out along the wall of a living space, using bamboo that reaches up past the ceiling.

Long and linear courtyard with bamboo
Long and linear courtyard with bamboo

Courtyards can be tiny and still make a big impact. Here’s a courtyard at the center of a living room that’s bright and serves as a gorgeous focal point. [Photo from Visi.co.za]

Living room that looks in on a gorgeous green courtyard
Living room that looks in on a gorgeous green courtyard

There’s nothing like a very minimal, zen garden-like courtyard to help anyone feel more calm and at peace. This example from Interiores Minimalistas shows one with sliding doors and a very minimal look that extends indoors as well.

Beautiful courtyard with pebbles for a natural flooring look
Beautiful courtyard with pebbles for a natural flooring look

Another very zen-inspired courtyard from Home Adore creates a calm, clean, and natural courtyard space beside one of the main rooms of the home.

Small and serene courtyard with a touch of greenery
Small and serene courtyard with a touch of greenery

A larger courtyard shown here from Home Designing features a substantial tree that’s two stories tall, which can be conveniently seen by all the rooms surrounding it.

Seating areas in a building separated by a small courtyard
Seating areas in a building separated by a small courtyard

Kitchen & Bathroom Tranquility

You definitely don’t see a kitchen or a bathroom every day that walks out into a courtyard. Have a look at this miniature zen-inspired design featured on ArchDaily that’s barely big enough to be considered a real courtyard, and built beside the kitchen of a home designed in Indonesia.

Tiny courtyard beside a kitchen in an Indonesian home
Tiny courtyard beside a kitchen in an Indonesian home

A slightly larger courtyard design featured on Home DSGN separates a kitchen from another room.

Small courtyard dividing a kitchen from other rooms
Small courtyard dividing a kitchen from other rooms

And wouldn’t you say that this is the tiniest courtyard you’ve ever seen?! No glass windows or doors necessary for this one featured on DigsDigs.

Small natural area for a tree inside a home
Small natural area for a tree inside a home

Another unique courtyard from Home DSGN actually connects to a bathroom, and luckily maintains privacy on all the other adjoining walls!

Bathroom with walkout to a bright courtyard
Bathroom with walkout to a bright courtyard

Decks for Divided Serenity

Some courtyards feature gorgeous decks and patios that make room for just enough plant life too. Here’s one from Architizer that serves as a stunning divider between a dark building and another with glass windows.

Narrow courtyard with a single tall tree
Narrow courtyard with a single tall tree

This beautiful courtyard from World Architects still keeps it minimal, even with the added mossy rock garden beneath the tree in the center of the deck.

Courtyard with rock garden and surrounding deck
Courtyard with rock garden and surrounding deck

A courtyard from Kurosaki Satoshi pairs a sunken garden with a surrounding deck, which could even double as a bench area.

Bright Japanese courtyard with a small tropical tree
Bright Japanese courtyard with a small tropical tree

This spacious courtyard featured on Plataforma Arquitectura creates a common entryway for a building based in Portugal.

Square courtyard with a tree in a Portuguese building
Square courtyard with a tree in a Portuguese building

Naturally Snug

It’s true that courtyards come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and even the smallest can still be home to some pretty large and tall plant life. It may look cramped, but this space still fits a sizeable tree! [Photo from Home Garden]

Small courtyard with just enough room for a tree
Small courtyard with just enough room for a tree

Of course, not all trees have to be lush and full. A narrower and more sparse tree grows up through a deck in this smaller courtyard, featured on I Like Architecture.

Courtyard with tall walls and a tree growing through the deck
Courtyard with tall walls and a tree growing through the deck

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