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

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.

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.

details from the smog shoppe

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


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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

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