Courtyard homes are proving hugely popular among self-builders, as the following 10 examples highlight. Architects and designers are eschewing the developer tactic of squeezing as much internal area onto a plot as possible in favour of the creation of these hidden, private outside spaces that not only create a secret escape in the heart of the house, but can also provide much-needed air and light to the home.

That’s not even mentioning the wellbeing benefits that can be attributed to the connection between living spaces and the outdoors that a courtyard design can bestow upon a new home.

If you’re looking for design inspiration, we’ve picked out 10 of the best courtyard homes — from major barn conversions to the smart layout of a £60k log cabin.

1. An Accessible Home

The courtyard of the Lessmann's new home is an integral part of the accessible design

Lara and Dieter Lessmann built an accessible home at the bottom of their garden which featured a level threshold out from the lounge onto a courtyard.

2. A £60k Log Cabin

black stained log cabin onto courtyard dining area

Jude Hesselgrave and Roger Page have built a log cabin home in an L-shaped design that encloses a beautiful outside space, accessed via a set of bifold doors.

3. Courtyard Home Arranged Around Tranquil Pool

orange metal pavilions arranged around water feature courtyard

Tin House features a series of linked pavilions arranged around an internal courtyard that has a tranquil pool at its heart. The pool is integral to the house design, with water has a passive cooling effect on the fresh air as it enters the home via open rooflights.

4. Barn Conversion with Private Courtyard

Contemporary barn remodel with feature glazing

Every room in this fabulous barn remodel (it had previously been converted in the 1980s) looks out onto the central courtyard, with lollipop-style trees providing privacy and strips of Nero Assoluto granite mimicking narrow water features.

5. Sunken Courtyard in Contemporary Self Build

suntrap courtyard in contemporary self build

This contemporary award-winning home from Halliday Clark was designed around its south-facing outdoor space. It’s shielded from the adjacent road by a garage (not pictured).

6. Mirrored House on a Sloping Site

mirrored house with multi-level decked courtyard

A difficult sloping site proved no problem for the Wadhams and their architect son, who came up with the design for this mirrored home, featuring a practical, multi-level decked courtyard around the L-shaped home.

7. Grade II-Listed Barn Conversion

brick barn conversion with central courtyard

This sympathetic stone barn conversion has managed to retain much of the original building’s original charm and is organised around a central courtyard, which many of the living spaces can access.

8. Contemporary London Self Build with Internal Courtyard


This project, which was crowned the overall winner of the Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards, had to preserve the 100-year-old pear tree on site, which meant the home was designed around it. Thus, the creation of an internal courtyard, which provides the house with both privacy and light.

9. A Cotswolds Barn Conversion

cotswold stone barnes with sliding glazing

A zen-like garden is the centre-point of this expansive Cotswold conversion project, which has created a family home from derelict barns, stables and other outbuildings.

10. Twin Courtyards on a Tiny Plot

wood clad home opening onto internal courtyard with decking

This single-storey self build is set on a tight urban plot — created by combining a garden with three LA garages. With a footprint of just 17.1 x 11m, architect and homeowner Stephen Blowers has come up with a design built around two outdoor spaces to maximise light into the property, while also create a sense of seclusion on this infill plot.

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