Friday, 24 May 2013


Many of the modern homes now don't have courtyards, many have patios. These 2 spaces are however very similar can can be decorated as same. I have loved courtyards since the first time I saw one stylishly designed in one of the primary schools I attended (Igbinedion Education Centre). Believe me, prior to seeing that one, I didn't know anything of any courtyard, I just thought of it as a space in the middle of a building and I didn't understand why anyone would want to put a big old space in the middle of the house. For goodness sake where will the rain water go (childhood thoughts), funny now as I look back. I took one look at that school's courtyard and I fell in love with it. It was built in a circular pattern surrounded by three 2 storey buildings all connected by wide verandas and the courtyard was lined with beautiful flowers at the edge. The courtyard itself was a lawn. It was simple but elegant.

A courtyard is an enclosed area, often a private space surrounded by buildings or walls that open to the sky. A patio however, is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is typically paved, usually also roofless and not necessarily surrounded by buildings.

Mt Primary School Courtyard

When designing your courtyard or patio, there are a few tricks to have up your sleeves like having an ace in a card game.

  1. Entrance: Personally, I love arched entry ways. They just give you that old victorian feeling like you live in a castle or something. If you don't like arched entry way, do something to your liking but make it grand.
  2. Seating: You can decide to either go with the stone pavement type or regular wooden or sofa furnishing.
  3. Flowers: Remember that romantic getaway we got going with the garden, well you can do the same here. Flowers have lovely fragrances. Don't over do it though, it's not a garden. A few potted plants will do.
  4. Lightings: Need I say much? Be it natural, electrical, candle light, you need lighting.
  5. A Decorative statement piece: you can either with a water fountain or a fire place well. I prefer the fireplace because it has lots of advantages;
    • You can have the family gather round the fire and tell old tales and roast stuff (marshmallows and/or meat) and a camping trip
    • My infamous romantic spot ( am I a hopeless romantic?)
      • The disadvantage to this is any careless move can lead to a fire outbreak
  6. Artwork: You may add a statue if you wish.
With these few pointers, I have you'd have a blast designing your courtyard or patio. Have fun.

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