Are you working with a small backyard? Unsure how to properly landscape it? In this article, we will introduce you to 10 backyard courtyard ideas that will allow you to get the most out of your small backyard. Courtyards may be small, but they can, if done right, be beautiful spaces in which you can relax and unwind with your loved ones. Sit back and let us inspire you with these 10 backyard courtyard ideas for your exterior space!
1. Add lighting
Our first courtyard idea is to add lighting! When designing your backyard courtyard, it is important to think of different ways to make this space as warm and inviting as possible. The key to designing the ultimate courtyard garden is to bring the indoors out. Create a space that is as comfortable as the interior of your house, while also benefitting from the natural elements of the outdoors. Therefore, adding warm lighting to your courtyard garden design is a must. You can either add string lights in the surrounding trees and foliage or add lanterns to create a magical glow at night. Lighting is an easy and cost-effective way to create a warm nook in your backyard that you won’t ever want to leave.
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2. Frame your courtyard
Our second courtyard garden idea is to frame your space! When one thinks of backyard courtyards, one pictures an abundance of greenery. If you aren’t sure about where to place your surrounding plants and flowers, think of growing them around your courtyard garden to frame it. Small backyard courtyards become larger than life when adding elements that make you feel surrounded by nature. To achieve that, we recommend you frame your courtyard with dense borders of greenery, creating the illusion that you are in the great outdoors! It also creates structure in your courtyard and properly defines the space.
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3. Water features
Looking to enhance your simple courtyard idea? Consider incorporating a water feature. Courtyard gardens are havens of relaxation, connecting you with nature. What better way to achieve tranquility than with a soothing water fountain? Block out the noises of the neighborhood and create a zen atmosphere in your backyard courtyard. Customize a trickling water fountain that flows into a small pond or opt for a pre-assembled one, surrounded by lush flowers and plants. This captivating centerpiece can also become the focal point of your landscape design, drawing the eye from inside your home. Sit back, unwind, and immerse yourself in the peaceful melody of trickling water. Pure bliss awaits you.
4. Built-in benches
Searching for courtyard paving ideas? Consider incorporating built-in benches into your backyard courtyard design. Especially useful for smaller spaces, these benches provide ample seating without occupying valuable room. Whether accommodating a gathering or simply enjoying a quiet moment, these space-saving additions offer both functionality and style. To create a cozy dining area, add a table, or elevate the ambiance with a small fire pit, evoking the allure of an Arizona retreat. Complete the scene by adorning the benches with plush cushions and a blanket, transforming your courtyard into a blissful oasis.
5. Keep it simple
When it comes to backyard courtyard ideas, simplicity is key. For small courtyards, stick to a single material for the flooring to create a cohesive look. The goal of a courtyard garden is to provide a peaceful and relaxing space in your backyard. Avoid overwhelming the area with an assortment of colors, patterns, and materials. Instead, opt for a minimalist design with a single patio slab and a limited selection of materials and plants. By maintaining a unified palette, you'll achieve a harmonious oasis in your courtyard. Enhance the ambiance with a few comfortable lounging chairs, and savor the tranquility of your backyard retreat.
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6. Add some colorful accents
When it comes to courtyard design ideas for your backyard, don't underestimate the power of colorful foliage. If you've opted for a neutral-toned patio slab or paver for the courtyard floor, adding vibrant flowers and plants can bring life and visual interest to the space. Get creative with your selection, incorporating colorful plants, striking boxwoods, and lively potted flowers to create focal points throughout the courtyard. Remember to strike a balance and avoid overcrowding. Select a few strategic spots to showcase these pops of color, allowing your creativity to shine while maintaining an overall harmonious design. Let your backyard courtyard become a captivating oasis that delights the senses.
7. Sunken Terrace
Create dimension in your backyard courtyard with this enclosed courtyard idea! Stepping down into a terrace that sits lower than the surrounding terrain creates the illusion that you’re entering a room. It adds a feeling of intimacy without having to add high walls. A low stone wall allows you to create built-in seating. Accommodate more people while taking up less space. Add in a fire pit or a low coffee table and you’ve got yourself the perfect entertaining spot in your backyard!
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8. Create some shade
Another great courtyard idea is to add some much needed shade! For most small courtyards, overhead protection from the sun is key, as most enclosed spaces heat up very quickly. Overhead structures also protect you from rain, allowing you to enjoy your backyard courtyard no matter the weather. There are many overhead options on the market for you to choose from. From automatic louvre roofs and retractable awnings, to more affordable shade sails and UV-resistant polycarbonate sheeting, there are no shortage of options. If you want to create some shade the natural way, why not plant a tree in your courtyard garden? Not only can it serve as buffer between you and the sun, but it can also become a centerpiece in your yard. Dress it up with some string lights for an enchanted garden feel.
9. Extend the indoors
The most sought-after backyard courtyard ideas are the ones that are an extension of the indoors. Courtyard gardens are meant to feel like you’re still indoors but with surrounding outdoor elements. First of all, there should be an easy and clear path between the two, emphasizing the connection. Next, you should incorporate similar materials between the two, so as to create a natural flow from one end to the other. Our Borealis patio slab, for example, can be used to recreate the hardwood flooring you have inside. Working with large tiles indoors? Try out our large Blu Grande patio slab in a smooth texture.
10. Go vertical
Our final backyard courtyard idea is to go vertical in your outdoor space! If you have high surrounding walls, climbers allow you to warm up the space and make it more visually appealing. They also play on the enchanted garden look. Add climbers such as star jasmine, native clematis or bougainvillea to add texture to your space. Add some string lights or some hanging lanterns and you’ve got yourself the coziest backyard courtyard in the neighborhood. Not only do these climbers add aesthetic to the space, they also add scent, which only amplifies the outdoor experience.
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Looking for more backyard courtyard ideas? Check out our Landscape Catalog to find the products that will help bring your dream courtyard to life!