Embrace Overlooked Living Space - Front Courtyards

When most people think of courtyards they are probably thinking of spaces at the side or at the back of a home. In actuality courtyards are most often created in the area between the front entry to your home and your driveway. What better way to create additional living space and curb appeal to your home than by creating a beautiful front courtyard. My wife and I love to sit outside in the front of our home in the evenings just to say hello and meet up with neighbors that we have not seen in a while. We also like to sit in our courtyard early on Sunday mornings, as we enjoy our coffee and the morning sun that we do not get in the backyard.

I believe the style of your front courtyard should be an extension of your design taste and your home. The design can be as simple as a small area off to one side of your walkway leading to your front door. Or, your front courtyard can be a whole outdoor living area with gardens and water features.

When designing your courtyard area, take tips from the existing architecture of your home. I always wonder what leads people to choose one paver color or texture over another. I often look at roof lines, colors and textures as a first step when considering paver options, but that’s me. What architectural element would you emphasize if you were designing a front courtyard for your home? Would it be the shape or color of the front door, the color of the window trim or the stone/brick on the house?

Do not be afraid to let your creativity show. You can easily mix textures and colors to mirror arched windows and roof lines. You may also want to add seat walls and pillars to define the space (seat walls always give me a sense of privacy). By adding paver accents to these areas, walls and pillars, you can tie all the elements of the design together harmoniously. Some people even design extraordinary themes and designs into their courtyard making it a personal design statement. By combining colors, textures and some creative design, you can create the gate to your castle, no matter how big or small your castle may be!

Outdoor living space is not just for the backyard. Use this courtyard area at the front of your home to display your talents as a gardener by creating planting beds and areas to display unique pots. You have a large investment in your home so make sure you are utilizing all the living space it has to offer. Front courtyards may not be the usual route when looking to add outdoor living space, but when was the last time you were impressed by the usual?