When even a backyard is too social for you, there is no outdoor option more introverted than the courtyard. The privacy and the security of this residential breathing-space can provide just the oasis you need in a densely populated urban area. Even for the socialites however, the advantages of additional air and light provided by a courtyard can help to create a healthy living environment and significantly affect temperature control in warm weather.
Apparently, courtyard houses are all the rage in contemporary residential trends. What baffles us more, however, is how they ever lost traction in the first place—first cropping up in Iran and China. Even the Romans were big fans, designing their whole house around a central "atrium" with water. Although we may not necessarily be burning fires or keeping animals in these spaces anymore, courtyards still serve a variety of functions ... and, let's be honest, they can be gorgeous.
Brace yourself for some breathtaking (or breath-giving?) examples from our database.
SEE MORE EXAMPLES OF BREEZY COURTYARDS IN THIS COLLECTION!