Ten houses centered around bright inner courtyards

Interior courtyards filled with interior trees and greenery create a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. For our latest lookbook, we’ve rounded up ten homes from the Dezeen archives with beautiful courtyards at the heart of the 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 yards creates decorative spaces that also function as sheltered miniature gardens.

The homes in this lookbook are spread across the globe, from Israel to Japan and Mexico, but all feature calming courtyard rooms filled with plants.

This is the latest roundup in our Dezeen Lookbooks series offering visual inspiration for the home. Previous lookbooks feature modernist living rooms, quirky hotel bathrooms and spacious kitchen extensions.

Courtyard House, USA, by No Architecture

This home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country was designed around a glassed-in garden filled with native deciduous trees.

In addition to being decorative, the courtyard contributes to the heating and cooling of the house by increasing passive solar heating in winter and by stimulating passive cooling and natural ventilation in summer.

Learn more about Courtyard House ›

Courtyard with a tree
Photography by Dane Alonso and Mariano Renteria Garnica

Casa UC, Mexico, by Daniela Bucio Sistos

Mexican architect Daniela Bucio Sistos’ design for Casa UC in Morelia features pigmented concrete and brick, and a central interior courtyard with its own disc-shaped canopy.

A Momoqui tree (Caesalpinia pluviosa) that sits in the center of the yard, surrounded by plants, gives the modernist home a more organic feel.

Learn more about Casa UC ›

Yard with tree at home in Salt Lake City
Photography is by Lara Swimmer

Host House, USA, by Kipp Edick and Joe Sadoski

The wooden guest house in Utah is covered with cedar planks and surrounded by trees. This emphasis on nature continues inside, where an interior courtyard houses a small tree.

Surrounded by bay windows, the central opening helps to illuminate the interior.

“The client was a very private individual who supported a design approach that placed glazing in specific areas of the house to provide sufficient daylight and privacy,” the architects said.

Find out more about the Guest House ›

Carlton House by Reddaway Architects in Melbourne, Australia
The photograph is by Peter Bennetts

Carlton House, Australia, by Reddaway Architects

A small inner courtyard houses an Acer, or Japanese maple, planted amid ground-covering greenery and convenient steps that allow owners to walk through different parts of Carlton House in Melbourne.

The courtyard is part of a wooden extension that Reddaway Architects added to an Edwardian brick building. Along with the courtyard, added skylights help give the new space a light-filled feel.

Learn more about the Carlton House ›

Courtyard of Neve Tzedek Patio House by Meirav Galan
The photograph is by Gidon Levin

Townhouse in Neve Tzedek, Israel, by Meirav Galan

This townhouse in Tel Aviv’s oldest neighborhood (image above and top) has been given a refresh by architect Meirav Galan, who added a secret glass-covered courtyard.

The triple-height courtyard rises through the building and contains Mediterranean plants that help create a tranquil central space. A small seating area adds to the relaxed ambience and allows owners to make more use of the interior garden.

Learn more about Neve Tzedek ›

Residence F by GOSIZE
Photography is by Akiyoshi Fukuzawa

Residence F, Japan, by Gosize

Design by Gosize for F Residence at Hyogo, Japan, features large openings centered around a courtyard with a minimalist basin and rough stone that extends into the living space.

The house, which exudes a spartan and peaceful atmosphere, was designed with a high concrete wall next to the double-height courtyard to create more privacy.

The combination of the home’s sense of calm and privacy helped influence the design of the house in the BBC drama The Girl Before, which was inspired by the design of F Residence.

Find out more about Residence F ›

Wall House in Vietnam designed by CTA |  Creative architects
Photography is by Hiroyuki Oki

Wall House, Vietnam, by CTA

Designs that seamlessly blend indoors and outdoors are present in many Vietnamese homes, and Wall House in Bien Hoa is a particularly striking example.

The multi-generational family home has perforated brickwork that lets in sunlight and air, and an expansive living space that gives the impression of an interior courtyard. This features an array of greenery and trees that have been planted around the periphery of the room.

Learn more about Wall House ›

Courtyard House in Clinton Hill with indoor tree
The photograph is by Michel Arnaud

Clinton Hill Courtyard House, USA, 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 overhaul.

The workshop has created a “garden of light” in the center of the family home. Sliding glass walls with mahogany frames surround the 18-square-meter garden, which is landscaped with black river rocks, dogwood, and climbing vines.

Learn more about Clinton Hill Courtyard House ›

Courtyard with olive trees in the Australian house
Photography is by Shannon McGrath

Ruxton Rise Residence, Australia, by Studio Four

Studio Four created Ruxton Rise Residence for its own co-director, Sarah Henry, designing a gray brick home centered around a courtyard planted with olive trees.

The open-air courtyard was created to serve as an extra room in the house, where its inhabitants can enjoy Melbourne’s mild climate. All the common areas of the house face the courtyard, which connects the living areas and provides a “soothing effect”.

Read more about Ruxton Rise Residence ›

Casa Once by Espacio 18 Arquitectura and Cueto
The photography is by Lorena Darquea

Casa Once, Mexico, by Espacio 18 and Cueto

Mexican architectural firms Espacio 18 and Cueto added an interior courtyard and rooftop patio to this Mexican townhouse to make the most of a small site.

As the house takes up the entire buildable area, the interior courtyard was added to give the owners some outdoor space. Double-height glazed walls surround the ornate patio, which has an acacia tree in the middle that blooms with bright purple flowers in the spring.

Learn 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, check out previous lookbooks featuring modernist living rooms, quirky hotel bathrooms and spacious kitchen extensions.

Betty K. Park