Courtyards are wonderful place to
create space for sitting and relaxation. It can be a
place where you can enjoy your evening after a tired
day with fragrance of blooming flowers, blowing wind,
plants etc. Depending on the size of courtyard you can
include seating area in the courtyard. The courtyard besides being a place that is usually
shaded also acts as a natural air-conditioner
especially in a hot and dry climate.
If we look at the courtyard houses of India,
they are indigenous and matched with the climatic requirements:
As per Vaastu Shastra, the central location
in a house is the best location for a courtyard. This central
area in a plot is referred to as Brahmasthana. Great care must
be taken of this central location in terms of its
beautification. By building a court yard around a central open
space, close relationships is ensured in the family.
The south and the west are the least pleasant
sides of the house and of the garden as well. That is why the
Vastu texts advise us to locate the house close to these
boundaries, leaving the more agreeable north and east sides
open for sitting out.
Courtyard can be in interior of house or in
exterior of house.
Plantation of trees can make a big difference
to your life. A barrier of shade-giving, evergreens in the
south and west, especially on a site having a bad slope, can
be extremely effective. On a small plot though, be careful not
to plant trees with strong spreading roots (like mango, peepal,
banyan or neem) too close to the house, as they could cause
some major damage to the foundations
Flowering trees are usually not recommended
by Vastu, because they shed their leaves in the summer months
- when you most need their shade! Besides, exotic trees like
the Gulmohur have a nasty habit of dropping their branches
right on your head at the slightest sign of a strong wind.
Every traditional house recommended the
planting of herbs and medicinal plants (trees) as also flowers
for ‘puja’. These plants with their healing power and
fragrance add positive energies to the environment. Tulsi (the
Indian Basil), the courtyard plant is often grown in the
courtyards of Hindu families and is well known and well used
as a medicinal herb for human ailments as an alternate therapy
in Ayurveda. Traditional Hindus worship this holy plant every
morning and evening as a diurnal ritual.
Before designing courtyard consider how the
courtyard is to be used. You may want to enjoy your meal in
courtyard with your friends. A courtyard can be a favourite
place for kids play area. Kids may enjoy indoor and outdoor
games here. They may enjoy a sunny day in winters with their
Select perfect lights for the courtyard with
border or hanging lights near the plants which may help you to
create an inviting atmosphere in your courtyard.
Wall art can also make your yard more
Some good elements to use for decoration are
small plants, plant containers, group of plant containers, big
plant containers or flower bed in large courtyard. Group of
plant of same kind with wall create a dramatic effect in
courtyard. Flowering vines on the wall in large courtyard give
it elegant look.
Courtyard floor can be made from concrete,
pebbles or stone. Concrete floor with big planter and stone
used for decoration in courtyard give it traditional look.
Wood furniture or cane furniture in a
traditional courtyard is a perfect choice.
If the plot is a small one (as they usually are
these days) and the open spaces are a bare minimum in any case,
then these factors don't come into play at all. Similarly, the
building maybe within city municipal limits and therefore governed
by a set of rules over which you have little or no control.
The increase in apartment buildings, security reasons and safety
from rain and dust, have deterred people from adopting courtyards
in their homes and so Balconies have taken the
place of Courtyards.