Courtyard Garden Ideas for Your Home: Creative Designs and Tips

Courtyard Garden Ideas for Your Home: Creative Designs and Tips

A courtyard garden provides the perfect canvas to let loose on designing a unique outdoor space for you and your family to enjoy. We only have to look to the beautiful courtyard gardens of Italy, France, and the Greek islands to get inspired and see the potential of these walled spaces. 

By incorporating UK-friendly designs, we can create entertaining spaces that allow us to stay outside all year round, sheltered from the heat in the summer and kept warm in the colder months. 

In this article, we’ll help you visualise your perfect courtyard, ensuring that you’ll use all available spaces that your home has to offer. So what are you waiting for? Below we explore Harbour Lifestyles' top courtyard garden ideas to help stoke your creativity.


1. Transform your Small Courtyard into a Tranquil Spot  

Newport 2 Seat Lounge Set With Cube Side Table in Charcoal - £799


Garden courtyards have the potential to become a personalised outdoor space for all-important self-care time. Even a few square feet of enclosed courtyard can spark ideas for a day bed, sun lounger, a hanging chair reading nook, or a romantic dining spot. Using space wisely with functional furniture and simple décor, a courtyard of any size can work to your advantage.


2. Add Colour and Texture with Plants and Flowers


Kalama 4 Seat Round Dining Set with Teak Table in Green - £1,199


Courtyards can feel lifeless for some traditional garden lovers, even with beautiful country brick or Mediterranean-style walls. Without a lawn or planting area, an outdoor space can lack the vibrancy we come to expect from a UK garden in the summer. 

You can add vivid colours and delicate flowers to your courtyard design by introducing flower planters, climbing plants, and exciting topiaries. Be flexible with vertical and pergola planting ideas, allowing you to introduce colour without losing patio space. Complement these courtyard planting ideas with authentic flame lanterns, coloured furniture pieces, and matching bright and eye-catching scatter cushions


3. Add Outdoor Living Space with a Pergola

PergoSTET 3m x 3m Steel Square Pergola in Grey - £1,399

Luna Deluxe Outdoor Fabric Square Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Oyster Grey - £4,299

A more expansive open space in your garden or a big courtyard can feel barren without some structure or thoughtful design. Nestled against the walls of a patio courtyard is the perfect spot to create more living space by installing a luxury pergola. Providing protection from the weather, while you can still enjoy the hypnotic sounds of rain on the roof, a pergola can extend your living area with extra room-like space. 

Perfect for entertaining, installing a bar, practising yoga, or working remotely outside under the shade, adding structures to your courtyard gives you the most valuable of things - options. Adding lights and pergola heaters to your new structure extends the hours you can spend outside, with built-in LED lights presenting an excellent talking point when entertaining. 


4. Create a Perfect Alfresco Dining Spot


Quay 8 Seat Rectangular Dining Set In Linen - £2,099


You don’t need a big courtyard to create a stunning and cosy dining area. Alfresco Dining is one of the true joys of an outdoor space and can give your garden some European flair this summer. Courtyards, with their sheltering walls and heat-trapping properties, are an ideal way to enjoy some quiet and private outdoor time. 

By adding a tabletop fire pit, ambient lanterns, or a modern, high-quality gas grill, you can enjoy joyful summer dinners that turn into long nights under the stars.


5. Add a Water Feature for a Relaxing Vibe

Ramblas 6 Seat Rectangular Dining Set with Teak Table in Taupe - £4,690.00


The sights and sounds of water calm our senses and boost our sense of well-being. In addition to the relaxing sounds of rain against a roof, the gentle trickle of water from a fountain, water feature, or swimming pool can fill your garden with a soundtrack of serenity around the clock. 

A water feature adds eye-catching detail for people who prefer courtyard garden ideas that require no planting or gardening. Adding water to your garden can also help to attract beautiful birds to your space and help out our pollinator friends.


6. Capture a Sunkissed Corner

Riviera Luxury Large Outdoor Corner Group Set in Latte - £2,599


Knowing your garden’s sun schedule allows for a courtyard design that makes the most of the warm and sunny weather. For some spaces, a bright, open sky floods the whole garden with sunny rays all day. For others, even a big courtyard can sometimes only catch the sun in a single corner. 

Using your garden’s natural positioning, finding a corner that acts as a sun trap is a perfect spot to set up a casual dining set, a comfy garden sofa, or daybed, even if it is not the closest corner to your house. Often protected from some winds, the aesthetic appeal provided by corner walls is an ideal backdrop for hanging mounted planters, displaying souvenirs from your travels, or mounting a heater for cooler evenings. 


7. Incorporate Greenery as Low Maintenance Features

Luna Outdoor Fabric Sun Lounger in Oyster Grey - £749

Luna Side Table - £179


Want to add some greenery to your courtyard design without becoming an overnight gardener? A well-placed, low maintenance or evergreen tree can bring nature to your courtyard space while providing shade without feeling overbearing or taking up too much precious ground space. To enhance these naturally shaded areas, stylish parasols can sit neatly underneath to provide fuller protection from rain and bright sun rays.

8. Delight Your Guests With an Outdoor Cooking Corner

Juno 12" Pizza Oven Bundle with Gas Burner - £249.00

Fill the air with delicious Italian scents and upgrade family nights by adding an outdoor pizza oven to your courtyard design. 

Much healthier than takeaway options, an outdoor kitchen can transform your courtyard into a hub for relaxing, entertaining, and honouring your culinary skills. Fun and practical features like this give guests a built-in theme and activity. Lighten your load as a host by making build-your-own pizza night your go-to for entertaining. 

It doesn’t just have to be pizza! Take a look at our article that covers outdoor kitchen ideas, which is sure to provide some inspiration for your next outdoor get-together. Did someone say BBQ?


9. Build Ambient Lighting into Your Courtyard Garden


Glow Challenger T2 3m Square Cantilever Parasol in Taupe - £714.99

With any interior or exterior home design, lighting is essential to creating the perfect mood. Whether big or small, your open courtyard can benefit from both cosy wall-mounted lights and more focused lighting built into furniture pieces like LED parasols.

As a convenient option for small courtyard spaces, built-in lighting can make a space appear larger while saving space and keeping a minimalist design. 


10. Add Decking to Create Levels

Höfats SPIN 120 Table-Top Fire in Gold - £198.99

Homeowners sometimes struggle with courtyard garden ideas, finding it hard to see past the flat, square box shape. You can introduce levels by adding classic wooden decking to a part of your courtyard. This depth creates more options for eye-catching design and means you can assign areas for dining, relaxing, and entertaining. 

Due to its versatile and weather-hardy properties, classic wooden decking can be made to fit in any space. It can provide a sturdy and attractive base for a modern pergola or other garden structures, helping you to enjoy your courtyard, whatever the weather. 


11. Use Stunning Rope Furniture for Minimalist Designs

Puccini 3 Seat Sofa Set in Latte - £4,219

Walled courtyard gardens lend themselves beautifully to sleek, minimalist design options. Often chosen by people who want a simple yet functional garden, a small courtyard can be transformed by adding elegant rope furniture, providing a focal point without introducing unnecessary decorations. The intricate design of a rope furniture set can shine by keeping your walls simple and clean.

Using beautiful yet high-quality and hardy garden furniture, your courtyard can transform to your inner sanctuary oasis.

For inspiration as to possible furniture ideas, take a look at our article on garden furniture ideas to find out more.


12. Set a Serene and Romantic Scene

Quay 4 Seat Rectangular Bar Set In Linen - £1,249

Lavenham Corner Sofa Set in Linen - £2,999


You don’t need a large space or to wait for a getaway weekend to enjoy al fresco date nights. With simple and stylish garden furniture, folksy decorative details, and elegant outdoor lighting options, you can turn your courtyard space into an intimate and effortless hideaway any night of the week. Take a look at our guide on outdoor lighting ideas for more inspiration. 


13.  Add a Mesmerizing Firepit Focal Point

Monterrey 8 Seat Rope Rectangular Teak Firepit Dining Set in Grey - £3,999


Transform your courtyard into your perfect outdoor spot by creating attractive and simple focal points in your design. Fire pits naturally encourage gathering, sharing, and storytelling, an essential fixture in our social lives.

For big courtyard designs, you can introduce fire elements into each distinct garden area with lanterns, additional firepit dining sets, and a wood-burning masonry grill, encouraging the use of your entire space all year round.


14. Use Different Colours to Make Courtyard Walls Pop

Pair of Monterrey Rope Sunloungers in Grey - £1,349

Adding vibrant colours to your walls allows you to decorate your courtyard garden with some classic Mediterranean-style flair. Creating a unique design  can keep your courtyard free from standing decorations and provide a matching palette for colourful flowers and outdoor scatter cushions


15. Go Big On Entertaining

Luna Outdoor Fabric Rectangular Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Oyster Grey (Left Hand) - £3,999


Focusing on the outdoor life that brings you joy is the key to designing an outdoor space where you will truly get the most joy. 

If your vision of the perfect summer is spending long, social nights hosting your friends and family, don’t be afraid to go big on the seating options for your courtyard garden. By adding large, casual dining sets with plenty of seating and cosy fire pit options, your outdoor space will be teeming with fun and activity in no time. 

When you assign most of your courtyard space for entertaining, standing outdoor patio heaters are an excellent option for keeping your guests warm without taking up much space.


Final Thoughts 

Courtyard gardens, either large or small, are the perfect blank canvas for creating a simple and stylish outdoor space that works for you and your lifestyle. By being open to options and working with existing walls, you can transform your space into a perfect oasis for you and your family. Whether entertaining brings you joy, or you prefer a private and peaceful oasis, you can bring out the best of your garden’s features. 

At Harbour Lifestyle, we can help you bring your courtyard garden to life with stunning furniture, sleek fire pits, and options for shade, heat, and perfect lighting. Take a look at our website to find out more.