Although any style of home can have a courtyard, those homes that reflect a Spanish or Mediterranean influence are best suited for this feature. Courtyards were originally a form of defense, and came after the age of large castles and fortresses, as there was still the idea that your home must be protected within four walls. Today, house plans with courtyard (or courtyard house plans) are also great choices for lots in urban areas, where space and privacy may be in short supply. A courtyard also can buffer the main home from a detached guest suite or in-law suite to give privacy to an older child, relative, or guest, making homes with courtyards great for multi-generational living. The primary function of modern courtyards is to provide a lovely space for outdoor living. Typically rooms are placed off of the courtyard so each area of the house can easily access outdoor living. House plans with courtyards often feature patios, porches, lanais, verandas, and other outdoor living areas. Mediterranean, Italianate, Mission, Spanish, and Adobe homes are most likely feature a courtyard, as this enhances their outdoor living appeal in a warm climate such as Texas or Southern California. The area closest to the kitchen could feature a fireplace for cool nights and a grill or even an outdoor kitchen with protection from the sun. Related collections: Adobe / Southwestern House Plans, Luxury House Plans, House Plans with Porch, and House Plans with Patio.