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Thursday, 13 November 2008

Designing a Family Courtyard

I've given a few options to a friend/client of mine who is looking for ideas in the renovation of this beautiful old house. Aside from the obvious need to revitalize the house, the family that stay in the house need an area where they can entertain and spend time with friends and family.
The existing layout of the courtyard is messy, and has several levels, all of which make it less used than it could be.

The first step is to raise the courtyard level, to bring it level with the house. This along with enlarging the doorways, will make the transition between the inside and outside easier.
The area was also quite exposed to the neighbouring property, and the road, and therefore creating privacy was essential.

In the first option, the water feature was a little too large, so it was scaled down, and a built in seat was added instead. A gas braai/bbq was added to the North wall. The necessary privacy would be created from strategic planting in the garden.

The urn water feature, creates a perfect focal point from the path, and from inside the house and is a simple, elegant, but cost effective way of creating the soothing sound of water. It can be easily made child-safe, by filling the reservoir with pebbles or covering with a grid.

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