The courtyard house: top 5 decor inspirations

The classic charm and elegance of courtyard houses is something that never fails to enamor me.  The history and origin of these houses in India date all the way back to the Indus Valley civilization and are found in multiple forms in various parts of India.

Whether it is the Nalukettu houses of Kerala, Havelis of Rajasthan, Wada houses of Gujarat or the traditional houses of Goa, all of them reflect a way of life rather than just an architectural style. Deeply associated with the joint family system and impeccably planned to work for all climates, these houses are representative of the culture and social life of the yesteryear’s.


With terracotta tiles, red oxide flooring, stone walls and graceful pillars the courtyard houses found in South India is my all time favorites.


With oodles of old world charm, I have always fancied living in such a house and doing up the space my way.


Here are some of my favorite decor inspirations that blend beautifully with the courtyard style:


Having a swing in the house has always been my childhood dream.  With a broad solid wood plank that is a great seating option, a swing can only compliment the beauty of a courtyard house living space and add to its rustic appeal.



Traditional lamps whether hung or placed on the ground is sure to add the authentic touch to the courtyard home.




A flower rangoli or conventional kolam (essentially drawings on the floor associated with religious and cultural beliefs)  beneath the lamp could accentuate the setting.  You can even have an antique lamp in the center of your outdoor space amidst greens and pots.



The ideal way to enhance and highlight the aesthetics of a courtyard house is by the use of antiques.  Nothing can match the allure of an antique phone, typewriter or an ancient clock.  Ancestral furniture, old trunks and storage boxes thrown in is sure to give your space the vintage look.






Brass embellishments, door knobs, handles and even latches of various kinds can lend the doors and walls a traditional yet regal appearance.





I am a big fan of pots and pans of the days of the yore.  Apart from their functional value using them as artifacts is something I particularly love.  Their effect in creating a space that is classy yet unconventional is magical.



Make use of all the kitchenware your mom and grandmom stashed away in the attic; you are sure to discover a treasure!




33 thoughts on “The courtyard house: top 5 decor inspirations

  1. Very interesting post Rashmi….typical to Indian homes, you so rightly said that each house reflects a way of life through its decor…lovely pictures indeed.

  2. Hi Rashmi. I love courtyard houses too.. One of my childhood dreams has been to play in the pouring rain in the courtyard of an ancient home. Looks like some of the pics above are taken at the Malgudi Vattika in Bangalore. I recently visited it and fell in love with the interiors there.

  3. Looking at your wonderful post from such geographical and cultural distance I am amazed at the glorious diversity our world has to offer. Thank you for your informative post and photos!

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