Wednesday March 5 2014

HOUSE PLANNING: Your courtyard can be more than an open space

Above, an illustration showing a house with a courtyard setting

An illustration showing a house with a courtyard setting . ILLUSTRATION BY JULIUS ERYENYU JOJO 

By Julius Eryenyu Jojo

Let the courtyard be an extension of your indoors. A courtyard is the open area around a house enclosed by walls or buildings; it can also be referred to as a compound. Courtyards can be designed in different forms and shapes and you can have shrubs and flowers, fountains, sculptures and many more things that add beauty to a home in them.

Courtyards are at times associated with luxury but if well designed, they can be utilised as guest entertainment areas, for family barbeques, children play areas, sun-bathing, and gardening as discussed below.

Guest’s entertainment area
Courtyards may work as an extension of the living and dining room especially if the rooms have large windows or doors facing the courtyard. This creates the feeling of a larger space especially when you are holding small parties.

Courtyards give nice views to the rooms surrounding it, especially if you have flowers, sculptures, or water features like fountains; they are all good to look at.

Children play areas
In urban areas where space is limited, a courtyard in your residence can serve as the children’s play area. They can play in this open space where fresh air is in plenty and can be easily monitored for their safety. If you have the courtyard as a play area for children, it can help keep indoor areas clean and tidy.

For those of you that love gardening, courtyards provide that opportunity of continuous planting of flowers, fresh vegetables, and watering of plants.

Family barbeques
You can have a family barbeque in the courtyard. The open space allows the smoke from the barbeque to spread. It also gives the people around a chance to interact freely since being outdoors enables people to be themselves.
However, it’s important to note that, courtyards carry disadvantages, therefore making a clear study of the pros and cons will help you determine whether you need it or not.