Nanawall, Belvedere kitchen
Saxon Holt Nanawall, Belvedere kitchen

Homeowners love interior spaces that seamlessly transition into the outdoors, one of the hottest design trends that's changing home design says ProSales contributing writer Charles Wardell. In particular, the kinds of lifestyles that homeowners desire is driving the demand for large sliders, large-span patio door systems and bi-folds that connect indoor and outdoor spaces and merge the space between.

A new trend may be emerging that can also be answered by these popular door products. Wardell writes:

The most recent twist is that these products are helping fuel a surge of buyers who want exterior courtyards enclosed on all four sides, faced by walls of glass. Courtyard designs are well-suited to multi-generational homes that include older people who have moved back in with their children and grandchildren. Each member of the family likely will be happier if his or her space is private. "A courtyard can help separate the guest suite [where the grandparents live] from the house, so everyone gets privacy but is still accessible," says Nick Lehnert of KTGY Group. When they want togetherness, members of each generation can open up their wing of the home to the central family space.

These courtyards offer security and performance benefits, eliminating the need for curtains that hide valuables and protecting the windows from wind-driven rain.

Not surprisingly, courtyard designs with moveable glass walls are most common in the upscale home market. Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers, for instance, is positioning them as a way to create a quiet outdoor oasis even in a home on a busy street. While the courtyard home will likely remain a high-end phenomenon, those moveable glass walls are catching on with owners of less expensive properties.

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