Laura’s Outdoor Space (Before + After!)

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)       We are pretty big on the outdoors at our house. Oh, I don't necessarily mean sleeping-on-nothing-but-a-yoga-mat-in-the-middle-of-a-national-park outdoorsy; more like playing-yard-games-with-cocktails-and-a-cheese-board-nearby outdoorsy. While my husband Todd and I do really enjoy going for walks, bike rides, and all that jazz in the great outdoors, we mostly love just hanging out at home in our backyard watching our cats roam the yard like their personal jungle. In fact, the backyard was Todd's biggest item on his wishlist when we were house shopping almost two years ago. Thankfully we did eventually find a place that met my indoor qualifications and his outdoor demands—phew! 

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (before & afterWhen we first moved to this house it was pretty apparent that we were going to have to do a lot to get the backyard sitting area to feel grown in and cozy. There were no plants at all in the space (except for one really sad little bush) and hardly any flowerbeds to plant in. Thankfully my Mom helped me dig flowerbeds and choose a ton of perennials last year (thanks Mom!), so this year we just had to add a few seasonal plants and we were in pretty good shape. 


Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)




Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)            Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)        These pink outdoor chairs are simply to die for, and I'm obsessed with the bright and fun vibe they add to the space (similar style here). The great thing about the Turkish-inspired rug beneath the chairs is that it's made from recycled plastic, so you can simply hose it off whenever it's dirty. Yes! I thrifted that metal patio table, and I give it a refresher coat of white paint every year. Not bad for $15!

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)  Last year was my first try at growing some simple herbs near the porch, and I liked it so much that I added a few tomato plants to the container garden this summer. I'm certainly not the best at growing things, but we have definitely had more than a few homegrown tomatoes make it onto our salads (and pizzas!) this year.

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)         Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)   Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)              Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)      It's been really fun to watch my plant chandelier grow longer and longer over the summer. I suppose I'll have to start trimming it soon or it will block our view from the couch!

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)             Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)           I'm so glad that we decided to bring a bit of a cabana feel to our pergola with this outdoor curtain project. They have held up really well over the last few months, and I feel pretty confident we can get another summer out of them next year. They add such an intimate feel to the lower patio and give it a much cozier vibe. Another trick to a welcoming outdoor space is lots of pillows! You can buy outdoor pillows already made (like these drool-worthy yellow pillows), or you can make your own to match whatever colors you need!

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)               Of course, what would a bright outdoor space be without a colorful rug to go along with it? Believe it or not, I actually painted this outdoor rug myself, and I'll show you how to make your own in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics) I love the Sweet August Clematis that is slowly growing up the pergola, and I can't wait until it covers the whole thing! Sometimes I whisper words of encouragement to it as I water it. Go, plant, go!

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)I really love the Palm Springs type of landscaping, so I added a few extra southwestern/desert plants to the space this year (like several kinds of cacti and agave plants). I'll have to bring them inside this winter if I want them to last until next year, but I'm sure we can find a spot for a few extra prickly roommates.

Bright + fun outdoor summer space (click through for before and after pics)                 Thanks for stopping by our outdoor space! We hope you enjoyed hanging out here for a bit as much as we do! xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella and Cleo from the A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • This is perfect! Maybe you can grow wisteria or climbing roses on the pergola next year to provide some more color and shade 🙂

    Yuliya xx

  • I really love this space – so bright and cheerful but also cozy and intimate. Great space and what an incredible backyard!

  • I loooove what you did with it, so creative! xx. gigi.

  • Oh man, there’s too many to mention! I made a chart last year of most of them:

    The azaleas didn’t do well here in MO so I put hydrangeas there this year and added lots of succulents and agave and cacti as well. You mostly have to go with what works best in your climate and what’s available in your area so check around see what your local places have!

    Laura 😉

  • I got it from Target online about two years ago 🙂


  • Hi Dalia!
    Thanks! I’m not totally sure which flowers you mean, but I have bombshell hydrangeas, pink vinca cora, and pink petunias to the right of the concrete deck. Hope you make a space you love!

    Laura 🙂

  • What a great space you have created! I can’t stop thinking about your pink chairs…I’m in desperate need of a new table and chairs. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • A simply gorgeous space! I love all the plants on the pergola. We have similar plans for our backyard!

  • Aw man this is gorgeous. I love pergolas and clematis! Your pictures make me wish I didn’t live in Idaho. There are only (at max) 4 months out of the year that we could have a set up like this. Every other month is too cold, windy, rainy or snowy to have beautiful curtains and furniture!

  • love those greenery “chandeliers” hung overhead…so fun and unique!

  • Can you share all the different types of plants that you have in your deck? I love the whole look and would love to recreate it but I know nothing about plants so I can’t tell which type of flowers/plants you are using.

  • Love it all. We are finishing up our patio now and I am shopping for furniture. By chance do you remember where you got your set from? It’s exactly what we are looking for.

  • I love this outdoor space! Simply gorgeous. I do want to ask what are the flowers planted in the flower beds and around the deck. I love the colors and textures surrounding the area. I’m trying to create a space similar to this. Thank you so much in advance:-)

  • Whoa. This space looks so warm and inviting! The fun colors go along well with the flowers you planted. I also like the curtains – Christmas lights strung around the deck would also give it a nice final touch!

  • It looks so nice. I love the chairs and the fact that you can hose down the rug. Literally adore everything about your garden, it’s so beautiful! So much inspiration xxx

    Alana Says…// and lifestyle blog

  • gorgeous space!! those pink chairs are amazing!!


  • I only put the cushions inside if we are having people over that night or the next day and it might rain before then. Otherwise it all stays outside and the curtains were sprayed with a weatherproofing spray

    Laura 🙂

  • Nope! I sprayed them with a waterproofing spray and they are holding up outside really well so far

    Laura 🙂

  • They are Steve Madden, I got them from LuLu’

    Laura 🙂

  • yowza!! I need that rug!! So looking forward to that tutorial!! I was so keen and ready to make my own pillow covers with your featured technique but the fabric was sold out and never made it to my door step 🙁
    Out of curiosity…how much of the patio furniture and decorations is put away at night incase of a rain storm (rug, curtains, etc…)?

  • Such a fun transformation! I love the rug pattern!

  • This is beautiful! I don’t even know what part is my favorite; that chandelier, those curtains or that awesome rug. Love it all!
    xo Caity
    must be magic

  • I’s so fresh and coloured… You can only be happy in this place!!! Pure vitamine, thanks!!!!

  • GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS!!!! This is the cutest, happiest and most colorful outdoor decoration i’ve ever seen and i’m in love with it!! My dreams to finally have a house and a garden is so itching when i see these photos!! Torturing even…you have an amazing taste Laura, congratulations it’s so beautiful!!

  • I love all the outdoors posts you’ve been featuring! We recently bought a house that we’ll be moving into during December (our summertime in NZ) so I’m on the hunt for backyard inspiration!

    Hannah | A Lovely Look

  • The addition of fabric is great. And the pink chairs? Fantastic!

    Emily ||

  • Wow, I am in love! What a great space, would love to entertain there!

  • This is so stunning! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • That outside rug and those bright pink chairs are so amazing! My husband and I were in need of some inspiration for our new homes backyard and this was perfect. Thanks!

  • So inspiring! This is the first year I’ve really used my apt patio for container gardening so if my little plant friends make it til next year (in the spare room they should be great!) I’ll be able to dig into a DIY rug like yours! and perhaps bring my cost efficient chairs up to style and add some breezy curtanas well! maybe its possible to paint those $15 walmart chairs!

  • Oh my gosh! I’ve had so much trouble finding a rug for my new apartment and decided just 2 days ago to paint one myself! I haven’t painted it yet and can not wait for the tutorial!! Your space looks AH-MAY-ZING!!!

  • I just love this!!!! Love the double feature of the deck and the space below

  • Feeling obsessed with your outdoor space! Seems like I could spend my days reading bunch favorite books ((:
    Awesome, Laura!

  • Your outdoor space is so dreamy. I like the contrast of bright and neutral colors.

  • love love love the back patio! You have an amazing backyard. Do you take down the curtains daily??


  • i absolutely LOVE everything about this post!! Great work, I want that carpet!!!!

  • Your outdoor space is gorgeous! Super inviting and fun looking. Can’t wait for the painted rug DIY, that rug is awesome!

  • Wow! I would love to do something like in my back yard. Beautiful!

  • Your backyard space is to die for, but so are you shoes! Where are they from?

  • Wow! You’ve done an awesome job, looks so great and the colours are nice and summery but actually aren’t too overpowering. Pretty! X

  • Laurs you are amazing – what a design superstar. This area looks so so beautiful I am day dreaming that I am there with some cheese, wine and tunes. x Bec

  • What the what?!! This is amazing! What a beautiful backyard! I’d have such a hard time eating indoors! Gorgeous!

  • Hiya! Loved how you pulled all the ideas together! Really nice! I also love the black sandals with studs! Any chance you could share where they are from, pls? 😉 x

  • We definitely have hot days where it’s not as enjoyable to be outside, but we still get some mid 80s days and those are great at night 🙂


  • HA! I totally don’t know what you’re talking about Kar-RAH…


  • A painted rug?! What a great idea! Can’t wait to see how you made it.

    -Claire from FOXTAIL + MOSS

  • Hi Laura!
    I look in to it but I’m not sure that the e-course is going to help me or not in that matter, because in the details they never talk about, that is my blogs platform. :/ Beyond that I’m not really familiar with Photoshop. 🙁 (shame on me! )
    Thanks so much for everything!

  • This is incredible! Laura is so talented. That DIY rug? To die for!!

  • I’ve always wanted such a beautiful outdoor space. What’s the weather like in summer for you guys? Here it’s so hot that even with something as nice as that it’s too much to be outside.

    Still, stunning!

  • You’re in luck! I did one at the beginning of the summer!

    Laura 🙂

  • The pink chairs are PERFECT!
    Love this space!

  • Hi Sophia!
    Thanks so much! I’m not sure how to help with your wordpress issue, but we do have a course on blog designs that might help:

    Check it out!
    Laura 🙂

  • Absolutely in LOVE with this space! Love the pink chairs, both the RUGS, that pergola, plant chandelier is growing gorgeously. Great space, can’t wait for the details about the rugs.


  • “sleeping-on-nothing-but-a-yoga-mat-in-the-middle-of-a-national-park outdoorsy”…that sounds familiar. 🙂

    Your backyard looks amazing as always!

  • You just gave me some great ideas for our pergola!! and I love those pink chairs!!!
    Jamie @ SnapGinger Blog

  • This is such a beautiful and relaxed outdoor space! Beautiful choices in colors and styles. Thanks for sharing!


  • Oh my goodness! The colors. Those beautiful colors! The rug is to die for!


    Laurali Star

  • What a gorgeous post! Loved reading this and seeing all your ideas for your outside space. I’ve just bought an outdoor rug I found on sale as I’ve been so inspired. Hoping the sun shines a little more here in London so that we can get full use out of it!

  • We only bring them in if we are having company over that night or the next day. Otherwise we just let them dry out 🙂


  • I wish I could remember! I buy so many succulent type plants that I don’t usually keep the tags anymore..

    Laura 🙂

  • That rug is simply amazing! I cannot wait for the DIY post! I’m moving soon and am in need of a large (and colorful) rug! So excited to see the DIY rug post so that I can try it out for myself!

    – Lindzi

  • That looks so cool! I can’t wait to hear how you painted the rug!

  • Love the plant chandelier. Fantastic. We definitely need a tutorial on how to make one and what types of plants suit it!

  • Awesome transformation, like straight out of a magazine. Love it!

  • This space looks fantastic! You two did such a wonderful job on it!


  • Wow! It looks simply beautiful!!! I love decorating with plants but I’m always afraid of bright colours. Your outdoor space is a lesson on both!

  • Absolutely gorgeous. Would you mind swinging by and waving your magic DIY wand over my nightmare of a front yard?

  • OMG! When I have my own house, probably will look like this! It’s so adorable!

  • What I love the most about re-decorating this outdoor space is the fact that it looks both neat and spontaneous! People usually fail in combining these two characteristics, but here it’s perfectly done!

    However, since my hubby would definitely be against those pink chairs, I think I’d go for mint or turquoise.

  • Wow, this looks so cozy and manicured in comparison to the wild jungle that is my backyard! I especially love the little tomato plants and gorgeous plant chandelier.


  • I love your out door curtains and pink chairs! You’ve done such a wonderful job 🙂

  • I think the curtains look so dreamy, and the cushions and pillows so comfy… Do you bring them in at night, or when it looks like rain? Is it worth the hassle?

    Thank you for your insight!

  • That looks really, really great and I like it. xa

  • You are so clever at pulling things together…I want to sit in your back garden now.. (obv in a non creepy way!)

  • I love that plant chandelier and I can’t believe how it’s thriving – bravo! My hanging plants never look quite like that. What kind of plants are they?

  • can’t wait to find out more about that hand painted rug. beautiful space!

  • It’s so dreamy with the curtains and the clematis climbing up the pergola. I would love to add a pergola to our backyard.

  • Obsessed with the outdoor curtains and plant chandelier! So pretty!

  • I love your garden.
    It is so beautiful and cosy!

    Greetings & Love

  • I can’t wait for the tutorial on the painted rug! Totally thought it was a genuine rug, love it!

    x Eveline from

  • Amazing talent! So much originality and thoughtfulness in putting everything together! The painted rug is a perfect match and accent. Even love the use of the clematis – one of my favorites!

  • OMG how [bleeping] adorable is this?! And by “adorable” I clearly mean awesome and perfect and colorful and fun!

    Love the balance of bold colors and patterns with the white space, and I’m especially digging the different textures and depths.

    Everything about this is just YES. #SWOON

  • Love your outdoor space Laura! It’s fun, colorful, cozy and so inviting. You’ve done an awesome job. I’m not normally a pink person but I’m diggin those chairs. And what’s better than yard games, cocktails and a cheese board?!

  • Hi!!!
    I love your outdoor! So colorful! It is amazing! I’m waiting for the rug DIY, oh yes!
    I know that this is not the post for that but I know that you gays are amazing in everything (i really love your work, i’m a silent reader of yours 🙂 )I really need some help. For the first time I create a wordpress blog and i have a responsive theme, I’m almost going crazy with simple things I could do at blogger and this time can not do. I I’m trying for many many times for days now and I can’t put the image look the same size of the text. I don’t now how! I really need help! Can you gays help me?
    Thank you very much!

  • I LOVE all of the color you incorporated into the design! I can’t wait to learn more about that rug. I’m also lusting after that plant chandelier.

    xo Anita

  • Wow! It is seriously so beautiful and colorful! And such a great yard space! Perfect for Summer BBQ’s and parties!

  • That looks amazing! And there are pink chairs, aren’t those the best?! I love it!

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