March 13, 2019 8 min read

The urban fabric of our neighborhoods has become very cluttered – so much so that it can be hard to find any closeness to nature even in suburbs. In such cases, having an interior courtyard can be a much more feasible choice for modern homes. So, here are 30 modern house ideas for interior courtyards and gardens that you can take inspiration from:


1. A 4D skylight


A 4D skylight

Not all indoor courtyard designs have to be typical – especially when you’re working with a sleek modern house. Just take a look at this image for some great inspiration. The interior courtyard is small, surrounded by glass, and located at the edge of the main exterior, but its translucent design gives it a totally 4D effect that manages to cleverly bring the essence of outdoors within the interior design.


2. On the edge


On the edge

Not all modern courtyards are located in central positions within the layout – some are designed at the edges of the home. If you can’t figure out a cool way to landscape such an interior courtyard, this image shows a gorgeous example. He pergolas on the ceiling create a nice shelter while the classic hardscaping creates a fine barrier between the actual interior of the home. Lastly, the tropical-style plant selection makes it feel like the home actually lies on a resort island!


3. A quant look


A quant look

If you like quaint locations a la the magical streets of Spain, the enchantment of Venice, and the natural intrigue of Italy, then this interior courtyard would be the perfect inspiration for you. With its intriguing floor patterns, the use of quaint outdoor furniture, stylish terra cotta planters, and a very unique noveau aesthetic, you’ll definitely feel like you’re vacationing at a boutique hotel.


4. Going pragmatic


Going pragmatic

There are certain modern indoor courtyards that are more like a small patio. You can treat them like functional spaces, and make them a qualitative part of the layout. For example, the opening at the top of this bathroom vanity has been expertly turned into a forest style backdrop that provides a great view of the outdoors while maintaining the pragmatic aspects of the bathroom interior as a whole.


5. For the simpletons at heart


For simpletons

For all those who love the simple aesthetic, take a look at this gorgeous modern courtyard. The part that is exposed to the sky might be small, but the careful and strategic combination of hard and soft-scaping beautifully complements the scale of the space. The tall central planter looks very wholesome while the shallow water body at the bottom provides a nice contrast against the concrete-based surroundings.


7. Framing the Tree


Framing the tree

Atriums are usually designed to emulate some breathing room into compact houses. If your home has one, then you can transform it into a beautiful interior courtyard. Use the ground floor cavity to set the tone with a large waterbody and hardscape. The upper cavities can be used for bringing in the greenery. This way, your entire courtyard will feel like a luxury hotel.


8. Functional courtyard


Functional Courtyard

There are modern courtyards that defy the typical layout and are actually introduced in the functional spaces of a home. If you look at this image, you’ll se how this luxury bathroom has emphasized its spa-like quality by using the courtyard limit to its advantage. The setting of the bathtub surrounded by a lush plant and rockery makes it feel like you’ll be entering a whole new world.


9. Corridor courtyards


Corridor courtyards

If you’re looking for an interior courtyard inspiration that has been designed like a walkway of sorts, then here’s an excellent one. By bordering the sides with modern pergolas, you can retain the sleek vibe of your contemporary interiors. The floating walkway hardscaping delivers a magical aura that is complemented by the gorgeous planters. The hanging vines and creepers peeking through the sides and top of the pergolas enhance the mood even more.


10. Cozily inviting


Cozily inviting

This homely interior courtyard inspiration sets the mood with its trendy statement floors. While the walls and furniture are lightly colored and have a plush appeal, the floor pattern features a stylistic contemporary vibe that makes an instant statement. Since there is very little room for large planter formations, vines and small planters have been strategically placed around the space to introduce a lush effect.


11. Authentic Zen garden appeal


Authentic Zen garden

Zen gardens use beautiful natural materials, statues of buddha, and tinkling waterbodies to create a relaxing ambiance. You can make your modern courtyard a total Zen-style retreat by designing it that way. This image shows a great execution of this concept, where the buddha statue is a welcoming centerpiece while natural materials like gravel, cobblestones, and wood have been used all around to create a better atmosphere.


12. Mixing modern textures


Mixing modern textures

There are a lot of modern textures like concrete and metal that can be used to offset the mood of your typical interior courtyard. The drab and dreary shades of their finishes can be used as a great foreground for the lush planters and green accoutrements that comprise the rest of your courtyard. You can use tile, paint and stucco finish to create an authentic concrete-like texture.


13. Eccentric minimalism



For every minimalist who wants their modern courtyard to reflect the purist form of their home, this image would provide the perfect inspiration! The lack of any embellished details is quite soothing. The wooden louvers create a nice contrast that complements the grass softscape. This kind of an interior courtyard would be perfect for setting a single chair while enjoying a book and savoring the sunshine.


14. The rustic module


Rustic module

The rustic look is definitely synonymous with coziness, and if that’s the kind of aesthetic you want in your modern courtyard, then take a look at this idea! The extensive woodworks include the pergolas and the backdrop-hang with the feature-length planters. This combo offsets interestingly against the simple but inviting furniture that constitutes the rest of the home.


15. The sunroom effect


The sunroom effect

Who says that your interior courtyards cannot be totally covered – they can certainly be as long as the roof comprises of transparent materials like tempered glass. If you opt for this idea, you can experiment a lot with the furniture and the rest of the detailing. This image shows an excellent example of such a setting, where the wicker furniture, area rugs, and the exposed brick wall with artwork provide a great set-up for the sunbeam filtering through the pergola-glass roof of the courtyard!


16. Going organic


Going organic

If your modern house needs some natural touches, then the interior courtyard would be the perfect way to emulate them. Look at this image for inspiration – the use of sleek curves in the fireplace and furniture pair nicely with the free-flowing tree branches. Such an organic set-up would totally be a breath of fresh air in a sleek, modern home.


17. For the artiste in you


For the artiste

If you’ve got a green thumb then the interior courtyard of your modern home could be the perfect place to express it. This image features an artistic cluster of plants that have been beautifully arranged around a plush furniture setting. The classical accessorizing and natural material finishes will provide a neat contrast against all the sleekness that constitutes the rest of your home.


18. Zen with shouji doors


Zen with shouji doors

If you want the interior courtyard of your home to be a surprise design element then how bout enclosing it with Japanese ‘shouji’ doors while designing it in the Zen style. So, whenever you feel like you need an escape, you can simply slide these doors open and find yourself in the middle of your very own natural retreat!


19. Emulating tallness


Emulating tallness

If your modern courtyard is relatively small in size as compared to the rest of your home, you can evoke a sense of tallness in it to make it seem holistic. This image features a stunning example. Bamboo trees and hardscaping have been used to counterbalance each other while the glossy tiles in the periphery create a nice setting.


20. Glass walls and koi Ponds


Glass with koi ponds

Glass is a really popular material for modern houses, so this interior courtyard design is extra relevant to the genre. The use of glass walls with plain posts creates a sleek atmosphere that is complemented beautifully by the pond that takes up the entire courtyard. The thin stems placed in the middle create a great foreground for the lush garden backdrop!


21. Going cylindrical


Going cylindrical

Small, cylindrical courtyards are a popular design choice in modern homes. So, if you’ve got one in your own home then take a look at this image for inspiration. A few lush green planters with a centerpiece of a tall tree and a sea of gravel surroundings are enough to create an interesting set-up.


22. Staircase features


Staircase features

If you want to make the staircase as the focal point of your modern home, then you can convert its bottom half into a classic Zen garden. This idea is definitely going to give your indoor courtyard a gallery like feel where everyone can some and admire the sculptural build of the staircase. You can even get artsy with a body of water and the lighting!


23. Natural hardscaping


Natural hardscapes

Modern homes can sometimes feel very lifeless. However, an indoor courtyard that features the best of natural landscape can tone away all the coldness. This image shows a great hardscape that can even be sustained without much maintenance. With some great lighting and contouring, your home may even feel like a resort by emulating this aesthetic.


24. Big ideas for a small space


Big ideas for a small space

So, if you have an indoor courtyard that is small in size, you can definitely design it with a big personality with this idea. The stunning combination of hardscaping and planters done in rising tiers creates a great atmosphere. The natural textures and materials also enhance the quality of the space. Using this idea in your modern homes is definitely going to add an organic quality to the ambiance.


25. Fully furnished


Fully furnished

If you’re searching for an idea that features a lot of house plants with a courtyard at the center, then take a look at this. The use of hardscaping is quite ingenious, and the outdoor furniture really lends the whole ambiance a rustic look that is complemented gorgeously by the moderate use of plants. Rain or shine, this idea is definitely going to work!


26. Gravel and perennials


Gravel and Perennials

The central courtyard in this image is a great option for those who want something that requires minimal care and constant bloom. The ornamental grasses can last all year round, and the gravel seldom needs any maintenance. Coupled with the retro chains on each corner, this is one interior landscape that might inspire you.


27. With manmade interventions


With Manmade interventions

Your courtyard home doesn’t have to be conventional at all. In fact, you can dress it in the most unconventional finishes. Just take a look at this image for inspiration – the feature wall made of reflective glass and wood finishes makes a totally glamorous backdrop for the Zen garden elements that take up the foreground. This only proves that even with landscaping small spaces, the sky is your limit!


28. Mansion courtyards


Mansion courtyards

Mansion courtyards are very few and far between as such spaces tend to be used for more dramatic purposes. But if your home is big enough, you can design a gorgeous stream in your interior courtyard. Bordered with winding greener and decorative stones, this space could become your very own solitary getaway!


29. courtyard dipping pools


Courtyard dipping pools

Any house with a central courtyard would look gorgeous when paired with the gravel-water aesthetic featured in this image. Fountains may be so last decade, but shallow dipping pools with cobblestones are still all the rage. You can emulate this trendy look in your modern home for a better interior viewing experience!


30. Bridges and waterbodies


Bridges and waterbodies

If you’ve got a courtyard home with an asymmetrical layout, then you’ll definitely appreciate this particular design. The combination of Zen garden elements with modern shapes brings out a truly graceful effect. The generous use of water and greenery with wood have been artfully arranged so that even though the space is asymmetrical, the layout seems wholesome and attractive.