Outdoor Party Space (Before + After)

Outdoor Party Space (Before + After)Today we are so excited to share this little outdoor party space that we built from nothing. And by nothing, I very literally mean nothing. Just take a look at the before photo… 

BEFOREWe started out with this unused little nook beside our workshop. It wasn't being used for anything and didn't look to have too much potential, but as soon as we started brainstorming ideas for a little party space (you know, for grilling and Friday night cocktails), it started to come to life! 

In the coming week, Josh will be sharing his process for laying the stone tiles and installing the outdoor lights, and Laura has already shared her process for creating these pretty outdoor pillows. Start to finish, we spent about a month making over this little nook, and now it's as cute as can be. 

Here are some photos of our new party space! 

Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Outdoor Party Space (Before + After) Thanks so much for taking a look at our before + after project. Making something cool out of an unused space is something that makes me so inspired! Do you have unused spaces in your home or yard that could become something new? 

xo. Elsie 

Credits // Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Project: Josh Rhodes and Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

  • Can we also get ‘how to’ instructions for the built in bench please… looking to do exactly the same thing on our deck!!!
    Thanks so much!

  • Hi Charlotte! Stay tuned for a post about the benches. Thanks for reading the blog! 🙂 – Jacki

  • Hey ABM Team,

    Can you please give us some hints on how did you build the benches ???
    Want to do some in my new house 😉

    Thanks in advance for your tutorial or glimpse

  • What a great little space this has ended up! I love the colour and the plants on the wall 🙂

  • love love love. the rug……from walmart? online or from a store? any clues to help me find it? just perfect for my sunroom….i want it 🙂

  • fantastic what y’all created! go josh on the bench. muy bueno on the waterproof cushions idea. ours always get soaked by the rain. i want to know about emma’s yellow crochet lace top. where did she get it?

  • Such a cute idea! I wish I had more of an outdoor space. I use my balcony like a garden so it doesn’t have as much space. You used this area perfectly!

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • This is sooo cute and makes me wish I had a backyard — even a tiny one!!

  • Ah-mazing! Very inspiring and colorful! We are hoping to move in the next few months and my dream is to have a nice place to grill and have friends over. I’m transitioning from an introvert to an introvert who throws parties. hee hee! Great job again!

  • Ah! The polka dots on your fence are AMAZING! I love how much bigger this space looks in the after photos than it did in the before photo. What a wonderful, inspiring outdoor space!

  • Also loving the globe lights. Can you share a source and if you’ve had any issues with breakage? I haven’t found any that don’t have terrible reviews!

  • Gosh, I love how daring you are with bright color mixes. I wish I had that gift! Makes things look so happy.


  • Hi Julie! Josh built the bench. Stay tuned for blog post 🙂 – Jacki

  • I love this! My husband and I have been talking about doing this sort of thing to our back yard for a while now and this is just perfect. Did you build the bench yourselves?

  • Love this so much – I can’t wait to create a space like this when I finally have a back yard!

  • This is a real transformation! I love the string lights, I can imagine how beautiful it would be at night! Maybe with those diy flower-lights you guys made a while ago?



  • This post has inspired me to take a better look at the unused spaces around my place! It’s winter at the moment so I can start planning out how I’d like to use the space as the weather warms up. Such small changes but when put together it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I love love love your fence. polka dots are so fun!


  • This space is so inspiring, I can’t stop looking! I love seeing something completely transformed! Thanks for sharing!

  • Such a great and easy idea, that little space looks beautiful. Job well done!

  • What a super cute makeover! I’m feeling inspired to rethink a couple spaces in my own backyard that I had given up on. And let’s get real. That grill is everything!


  • Did you make the L-shaped bench or purchase it? Either way, it’s fabulous!!

  • Those stone tiles are so not level – it looks a bit of a trip hazard to me! And just to warn you, after a heavy rain shower or two you might find they subside even more. I’d suggest next time spend a bit longer on surface preparation for an even finish.

  • You never cease to amaze me! You weren’t kidding. It really was bare before. It turned out beautifully and I love that you went for bright colors because it makes the entire scene pop!


    Laurali Star


  • WOW what a transformation!!! I love it. Is the concrete planter DIY? I’ve seen small ones done here but not sure if I missed the big one?


  • love this! the lights are my favorite part!



  • When rain what you will do about the sofa? It’s all very much pretty!

  • Absolutely stunning space!!! I love that awesome grill as well! This before & after makes me so inspired and happy!!!


  • Love the transformation!! The pops of color really make a huge difference.

  • Would LOVE to have an outdoor space like this! Great job, ABM!


  • You two always do such a beautiful job of turning plain into amazing! Well done and, thanks for sharing always!

  • I love and need those wall planters! Where did you guys get those from? So cute!

  • This space is sweet, good use of an unused area. But that grill… Holy cow… beyond sick.

  • This is so creative! It looks lovely. I would have never thought that a space like you previously had could be transformed in such a way. Very inspiring!

  • its so cozy chic…is that a word? Well it is now 🙂 So looking forward to Josh’s tutorials for this space. love it!

  • Nicely done (I love the little grill). I have a second bedroom I’ve never actually used except for storage. I’ve been wanting to turn it into a library/office but I’m a champion procrastinator. I also have a small balcony that I virtually don’t use because it’s just a block of concrete (it get’s too hot to grow things). I was thinking of getting some wood pellets from Ikea and a small bistro set. I think the pellets would cool down the space enough for me to grow some vegetables and herbs. I have many ideas (a lot of which I find here) but again, queen of procrastinators here!

  • WOW girls that’s unbelievable!!! Really cute and then I saw the before picture. BLOW ME AWAY!! You did take nothing and made something adorable. Great share!

  • It’s beautiful, you guys. Please come and makeover our backyard in Sydney. 🙂
    Ronnie xo

  • Sooo nice!
    I love it.
    I had also an unused space in my backyard.
    And i also do there a little / big DIY:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3 is following.

    Greetings & Love

  • so cute! we have a random slab of concrete in the grass where our hot tub used to be, and something like this might be the answer!

  • Love the makeover! It would be awesome to see the way it liike in the night (;

  • You guys are the best!!! Can you come to my house and see what you can do? Pretty please? I live in germany, it would also be a nice trip… 😉

  • I need to do something like this to my patio! Also… Emma, I have that top! It looks good on youuuuu 😉


  • This is amazing! It’s cosy and colourful- it looks like a great place to hang out with friends in the summer. I especially love the lights, they always make a place look that much prettier. I have a space like that next to my house and you’ve now got my creative juices flowing to reinvent the space!

  • I love this, what a great idea!

    Pixelhazard | Bright Green Laces |

  • I am a sucker for bistro lighting!

    xo Jennifer


  • Wow, this is so cool! Great use of space — very resourceful.

    Will you be sharing your sources (and how-to-install) for the little hanging planters? Please do! They’re adorable!

  • This is a great idea! I love that yellow top!


    Sign up for special AHKA store priviledges

  • This is sucha great idea! Thank you for sharing!!!


  • This is incredible! Talk about really turning every corner of a space into some place magical – what an inspiration!


  • What a beautiful space you guys created. Love the lights and the colors you used.

  • Isn’t it amazing what you can do with the smallest space…using only some imagination and elbow grease?! I can totally visualize the whole ABM team hanging out for a birthday barbecue or celebratory drink!! P.S. That little red grill (is it charcoal-burning?) is so cute!!


  • I love how it turned out! Your sitting area and lighting have inspired me for my own, thank you.

  • I love the fact that it’s in a little nook, makes it so cosy.
    And it must be beautiful at night with the lights on!

  • I absolutely love the colours! I’m such a sucker for interior & exterior design!! 🙂

    lots of love, Dana Carmella ♡

  • I love those lights two! Our screened in porch has these weird little nooks on each side and I never knew what to do with them until now! Honestly, this never even crossed my mind. I thought maybe landscaping or something? This is much more fun!

  • What a cute makeover! Having outdoor spaces for parties is so much fun! 🙂


  • This post is very inspiring..love the transformation. The lighting, the colorful pillows, THAT rug, just perfect! May i ask where is that rug from?


  • I love this space! It’s so cute. My favorite part is the ‘L’ shaped bench! It’s so great for entertaining large groups of people. Way to maximize the space you have!


  • This is freaking brilliant! Time to check all of the nooks and crannies in my house for hidden potential… 🙂

  • this is SO inspiring! my home needs one of these creative entertaining spots!

  • Okay I LOVE this, invite me over! Haha, but really such a perfect space, as soon as I have a backyard I totally want to do this.


  • You guys always impress!! I need to move out of the city a buy a house!!

    Oh, for those who want the grill (which is AWESOME!!) It is a Bodum Frykat Cone Charcoal Grill.


  • Love this new space! So bright, clean, and fresh!

    xo, rn

  • This is adorable! I love the rug!
    Much Love, AnnCates xx

  • What a superb transformation. It’s so lively & inviting which makes for the perfect gathering spot. :] // http://www.itscarmen.com ☼

  • Hi-

    I would love a source post for this transformation! I’m in desperate need of some wall planters like the ones here!

  • Beyond impressed by this project!


  • It looks absolutely stunning! Perfect for the summer! If you had a moment could you check out my blog:


  • I love summer, and I love all the things that you are doing on your blog. I have been reading all the lovely and bright posts. I am loving the beautiful mess! 🙂


  • This is a beautiful idea! I love how you turned something so simple into a nice, cosy social environment 🙂 The lights are a nice touch.


  • What a lovely new space! I also love your sunny yellow shirt 🙂 where did you get that? (Link)

  • i’m guessing you’ll get this question like 100 times but where can i get that adorable grill?!?!

  • Looks so festive! I don’t have much experience with outdoor entertaining, but wondering how it holds up in the weather… I’d like to do something similar myself someday.

  • So cute! I love the make-over. Can’t wait to read the posts about it!

  • I love the globe lights!

    ♥ Naomi Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups

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