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 friends
  • 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 inviting.
  • 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.

Balconies should be in the East or North part of the house: They should not be to the South or the West sides of the main building. The Scientific Reason – A Balcony is a good place to sit out and sun-bathe. So the ideal position for this will be in the North, where there is constant sunlight and the East where there is morning Sunlight.The West and South sides are too hot to sit and hence should be avoided.
Heavy furniture and seating should be placed only in the South-West part of the Balcony: The Scientific Reason – The North and East parts of the Balcony should not be obstructed by heavy furniture, so that the sunlight can stream in and light up the whole place.
A swing should be placed in the East-West axis: The Scientific Reason – This way, the person sitting on the swing, faces either North or South and thus the sun will not hit him in the face directly.
Small plants can be placed in the North-East of the Balcony: The Scientific Reason – Plants need sunlight to thrive and so should be placed in the North-East, where there is constant, morning sunlight. However if they grow too tall or grow up a pillar, they will obstruct the light into the Balcony and so should be kept short.
Keep only small flower pots in the Balcony: Flower pots with Creepers should not be kept in the Balcony. The Logic – Big flower pots and pots with owerflowing creepers tend to obstruct light into the Balcony.
Height of the Balcony roof should be less than the roof of the main bilding: The Logic – A Balcony is a small space and will look proportional only if the roof is a bit lower than the rest of the building.
Avoid using asbestos or tin roof for a Balcony: The Logic – A tin or asbestos roof absorbs and traps heat within a space, making it uncomfortably hot for the users


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