Laura’s Backyard Tour (Before + After!)

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)If you are anything like me, you are all about the backyard living. Weekend hangs in lawn chairs with magazines or cocktails on the porch on a summer night are what summers are made of around here. Unfortunately, when we moved in last summer, the back porch was, well, not quite a cozy spot. It felt bare and sterile and really needed some thoughtful touches to make it feel homey and cared for. One year (and a few DIY projects later), and we finally have a back porch that we are happy to hang out on, and I wanted to share it with you today!

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) As you can see in the before photo, we also had the house painted in the last year, which made a huge difference in the overall vibe of the house. The backyard just didn’t have any personality before, although it did have a Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe type lamp at the corner of the cement deck. Since I wasn’t planning on meeting Mr. Tumnus there anytime soon, I was pretty happy to have that finally removed! Instead I created some outdoor patio lighting that runs off a movable pole to create more of a party feel at night.

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) I love these vintage wire recliners that add to the mid-century feel. It can be hard sometimes to find outdoor vintage items in good shape, so I was happy to steal these from a friend who couldn’t use them anymore (pillows are from Target).

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) I wanted to create a bit of separation between the carport and the deck, so I built this trellis from a design I saw in a 60s magazine ad to keep the spaces separate while not blocking out the view of the woods. Check out the DIY post to see how much that cactus in the middle has grown just this summer—it’s crazy!

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)I love having these mid-century inspired outdoor planters to flank the sides of the back door steps. Those monstera plants inside are probably my favorite kind of greenery at the moment.

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) I try to do a lot of cactus and succulents outside because they always seem to thrive in the sunlight whereas their indoor counterparts usually don’t last as long. Sometimes I put certain ones outside each summer just to get that growth spurt before bringing them back in each winter.

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)While the fan palms planted in the rock planter should be able to last the winter outside, all the other plants will have to come in until springtime. So the house is extra full of plants in the colder months (which is fine by me as it makes the indoors feel more tropical).

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)I’ve had that simple round patio table around for a few years (just a thrifting find), and while it’s nothing special, I think it works well with the white metal dining chairs and pretty patio umbrella.

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)To create a more custom space, I painted this black and white tile pattern on the floor, and it really gives the space a pop of pattern and personality. For someone who also changes their mind a lot, a painted deck means I can repaint a new pattern whenever I get tired of the old one!

Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more) Laura's backyard tour! Before + After (click through for more)Thanks for joining us to view a bit of our backyard setup! Lately the cooler fall nights have been perfect for stargazing and cuddling up with a drink of some sort. Hopefully we’ll have a few more months of outdoor living before the Nashville winter hits! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Hi! Was your patio cement before your painted it? Mine is cement- just wondering if I could do the same thing?

  • Wow, loved the color scheme. I have one question though can you place a trampoline on concrete? Is it safe? I know it’s not totally related but I have a small backyard and a large trampoline.

  • Love this! I’m wondering how the white painted steps and other areas that see a lot of traffic have held up. I’m thinking of doing something similar with our patio and am hesitant to paint our steps and border. Any advice is appreciated!

  • TOTAL BACKYARD ENVY! It’s just perfect! I loved it.
    I wish I had space to do this, or even just a balcony :p

  • I like what you did on separating the carport from the deck. Nice mini garden you’ve got there. Thank you for sharing this nice makeover. It will be an inspiration to others.

  • OMG Laura those chairs look awesome! I wish I had a backyard huge enough to do something like this.

  • Absolutely stunning! I love this backyard mayyyybe even more than the inside- which I LOVE!

    xo, Heather

  • I did have a painter do the job, but they seemed to think that the paint I chose would last upwards of 15 years or so. Our brick does have “weep holes” from when it was first build to let moisture out and I think that helps, but I’ve mostly heard that you want to make sure your gutters are clear so that water doesn’t run down the side of the house when it rains and that’s the best way to keep it looking good longer 🙂


  • It’s actually held up pretty perfectly! We just replaced it when we did a kitchen remodel last month but it was for a different tile that went with the kitchen better and not because it was in bad shape. I would totally do it again as a cheap tile fix!

    Laura 🙂

  • What a great outdoor space!! Our garden isn’t that big (many aren’t here in the UK), but I can definitely take lots of inspiration from this and maybe just scale things down! Those tiles, for one thing, are fabulous!! 🙂


  • Did you have the bricks outside on your home professionally painted and save yourself the headache? Or did you save a few bucks and do it yourself? Also, did they give suggestions on up-keep of the white paint, like every 5 – 10 years? Thanks! It looks amazing!

  • Laura! Your projects are always my favorites! Your backyard look incredible-I can’t believe the transformation. I’ve also been wanting to ask you about your kitchen backsplash… how has it held up over time? Thanks for all the inspiration!!!

  • It looks so inviting now! The trellis and the black and white floor are amazing touches! Love it!


  • It looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the monochrome palette with all the green from the plants, looks like such a retro feeling place to chill!

  • It looks so cool, great work you’ve done there! Love the tile pattern!

  • All of this is so picturesque! Absolutely stunning, and I love the choices in furniture. The tiles make the area look super classy. Love it!

  • So upset that you painted over the long format bricks. Now there is no contrast with the joinery and house and you have disguised the mid century format bricks by completely white washing the building. Also painting bricks seals them and bricks by the nature of their materiality need to be porous to aid in the natural evaporation of moisture. Trapped moisture can lead to decay and fretting of brickwork.

  • I love the geometric patterns you added to the garage cover, really makes it feel like a more complete space =o)

  • Such a dream!! Perfect combo of minimalism and the 70s…love it!

  • I absolutely love the tile!!! It is amazing!

  • This way is muuuuuch better! I love the white panel between the garage and the terrace.

    Discover my last shooting, where I show the camera I use to take pictures. Check out the full look on the link!

    Thanks!! MG

  • It is SO gorgeous!! I love everything about it. The transformation is so impressive.

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