The Smog Shoppe & Making a Great Indoor-Outdoor Party Place

December 24, 2023

the smog shoppe

I am, with great envy, eyeing the Smog Shoppe in LA.  I so wish that Boston had a similarly hip indoor-outdoor event space that married gardens and industrial architecture together in a way that makes you just want to party.

In looking at the place, I certainly imagine attending or hosting the smoothest soiree, and that got me thinking about what you simply must have when creating a party garden or really just any sort of indoor-outdoor living area. Outdoor living rooms are undoubtedly a luxury of living in warmer climates (i.e. not New England), but there are plenty of lanai (that’s what they call the outdoor living room in Florida and Hawaii and probably other places too) ideas that can make your garden more livable – even it it isn’t for the whole year.

vertical wall garden at the smog shoppe in LA

1) Open space  – Vertical gardening gives this relatively small space the garden feeling without taking up the room of a garden that is planted in the ground. Using vertical space keeps the floor open for mingling but gives the lush vibe.

2) Manipulable Space – Can you see in the images that there are big planters on casters?  You can move all the garden elements around to create a flow for the party, rooms, and cozy places to be.  Every party can be a little bit different.

smog shoppe la

3) Big Long Tables. – There is just something about snaking tables that brings a festive mood.  (Outstanding In The Field does this so well!)

4) Talking Points – Hey did you see those shells in the water fountain.  How about the painting of that guy over there?  Don’t miss the Ukulele in the corner…. Remember it’s details that excite and spark conversation.   Fill you garden with details that represent you, the place and the individual event.

A collage of photos with a red chair and a guitar. smog shoppe LA
details at the smog shoppe

5) Cozy spots – Sofa’s, mixed seating, quirky lounge spots encourage the party and keep the fun going late.

6) Cool lighting – Mix candles, up-lighting, and moody overhead lighting to create a vibe and transform the place once the sun goes down — and don’t forget interesting touches that are not hard to pull off — a sheet on a laundry line is easy and old movies, family films, and music videos are always great backdrops to a party.

smog shoppe movie screen

images from  Casa Sugar, dana grant, jac shoot, and the smog shoppe

Check out these Fun Projects for more garden inspiration:

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