Many of us absolutely love old European styles. But there’s nothing quite like the charm, beauty, and sophistication of the French courtyard. This idyllic space is both uplifting and practical, giving you somewhere to entertain guests or enjoy being in the open air.
Creating a french courtyard, however, is often more complicated than many people imagine. You have a rough idea in your head for how it should look, but putting it into practice is a challenge.
The purpose of this post is to show you the simple way to create a dreamy French courtyard. Mostly, it is about creating visual cues that evoke the style. And for that reason, it is something that you can do quickly.
Install A Round Centerpiece
Whenever you walk into a French courtyard, it immediately presents you with a round centerpiece of one kind or another. The most generic is simply a circle of bricks acting as a kind of raised bed for various plants and planters inside. Another example is a round fountain on a pedestal that immediately adds a sense of classiness to the whole space.
If you want to create a French-style courtyard in your garden, you can also try things like round hedges and bushes in concentric rings. These tend to create a better sense of “flow” than square garden beds according to https://www.forbes.com/.
Add A Railing Gate
Traditional French courtyards are outdoor spaces with walls on at least three of the sides and a gate at one end.
Sometimes, though, you won’t have this natural set up in your home. Fortunately, that doesn’t actually matter a great deal. Visually, speaking, the walls themselves aren’t all that important (so long as you have at least one). The thing that tends to stick in people’s minds is the metal railing gates painted in black.
Adding one of these helps to elevate the mood of the space and makes you feel like you’re wandering into a radically new area – somewhere you can explore by yourself, off the beaten track.
Remember, the whole purpose of a French courtyard is to merge the outdoors with the indoors. Thus, the higher the gate, the more enclosed and private the space will feel. Don’t be afraid to go tall in your choices.
Add French Doors
Nothing complements a French courtyard better than bespoke French doors at the back of your property. You can see examples of what these look like on sites like https://philadelphiawindow.com/patio-doors/. The doors hark back to ancient French styles but also incorporate new technology that helps to keep moisture and allergens out of your home.
Randomize Your Planters And Statues
Walk into practically any French courtyard, and you’ll notice something: the planters and statues seem as though somebody placed them at random. Arrangements like this, however, aren’t by chance. In fact, it is fundamental to the style.
Random placement skips the conventional formula and adds an eccentric charm to the space. You feel as though you’ve stepped into a timeless room that just evolved naturally by itself, without any real human input. That’s not true, of course, but that doesn’t matter. It’s how it makes people feel that is important.
Allow Enough Space For Entertaining
French courtyards, though, are about much more than merely giving you a space to wander. They’re also at the center of family life, bringing people together outdoors for meals and conversation.
Thus, if you have space, find room for a table and chairs in your courtyard. Make it somewhere that you can enjoy some cheese, drink some wine, and get into a real French spirit. A French yard should be something that encourages a European pace of life.
Don’t put up with rickety seating. Choose modern furniture that evokes the traditional style. Look for something durable that can survive in all weathers.
Add Plenty Of Greenery
The French aren’t afraid of adding lots of greenery to their courtyards, so neither should you be. Try adding plants around the circumference of the area as well as the circular centerpiece. Make sure that you plant different species that naturally vary in height. Bear in mind what you hope the space to look like once it matures. Remember, some species will grow much larger than others.
In summary, a French courtyard should feel like a natural space, offering an organic and charming feel. It should feel more rustic than modern, and shabby instead of classical.
Remember, the French take a very laid back attitude to life, so your courtyard should reflect this. You want somewhere that is both rugged and artistic.