My friend Jill and I were on our way home from an outing to Venice Beach recently, and we were trying to beat the TGIF traffic home to Laguna Beach. We had eaten a late lunch at The Rose Cafe, where I had picked up a postcard at the cafe advertising a cool-looking design firm. 
While driving down Rose Avenue to the freeway home, I spotted this sign.

“I have to stop,” I said, and we circled around to park. It was the same name as on the postcard; a store and design studio called Big Red Sun. Who cares about a little rush hour traffic?
We loved everything we saw, and this was just the front yard. These giant spheres…
This killer fire pit…

How about this slider bench, painted a perfect bright red.
Not to mention the blooming succulents everywhere!!

I would be happy with just one of these bells. Very happy.
And you have to love anyone brave enough to plant Morning Glories!

Jill had already scoped out the back and warned me I was going to go nuts here. She was right!
I tried to keep my cool. It was that kind of place…cool. At first I thought the people who worked here might be too cool, if you know what I mean, but they were very relaxed and friendly. 

Inside this door is their gift shop, and it’s packed with equally amazing garden decor and other unique gifts. The owner didn’t want me taking photos inside because people had been stealing her sources. I totally understand that. I was just grateful she didn’t mind me snapping away at her outside ideas!

So now we are heading to the back, walking along the side yard. Quite a chair. I love the skylight!

Giant iron bowls. Dream on!

Okay, these people have imagination!! 

I met the owner briefly. She was very nice and told me she had moved here from Austin, where they have the original Big Red Sun. Why is it all the groovy things seem to be concentrated in two places right now–Austin, Texas and Venice, California. At least that’s how it seems to me lately.

Here is a key ingredient: This place didn’t just have groovy stuff, it had groovy people along with it.
 The place was overflowing with creative energy!
These mini food and coffee trucks were parked behind Big Red Sun in the back alley. 

People just liked being here. Wouldn’t you? They had beautiful plants, decor, music, food and a friendly vibe. What else do you need? (Great idea alert: note the rock-filled planter that supports the patio umbrella!)

I’m sure you already noticed the bold use of color, both warm and cool, 
primary and pastel, whatever worked.
A bull skull, vintage skateboards, another woven fiber chair, chunks of rock, a giant orb. 
Take your pick. All in need of good homes.

In every cool garden, dogs are always welcomed.
 I actually caught two in the act of lifting their legs, and no one batted an eye.
Jill and I regret we didn’t kidnap that large resin owl!

Can I have this table. Please?
Vintage MCM patio lounge painted the perfect color–it blends and pops at the same time. I think I would add a pillow or two.

There’s not much more to say. Everything was fun and creative and something I could live with for a long time.

Like most amazing creations, the owners managed to make it all look effortless. But I know this kind of imagination and beauty are the work of true artists!

So if you are driving down Rose Avenue in Venice, and spot this sign, don’t hesitate to pull over. You won’t be disappointed. Even with our drive home in bumper to bumper traffic, we would have delayed our trip home anytime to visit this place!

7 Responses to Big Red Sun RISING!

  1. Carey Brown Strombotne says:

    I could find some spots in my garden for that mish-mash of fabulous. Love it all!

  2. danger garden says:

    This was a must see destination when we visited SoCal in late 2009…loved it. Thanks for the updated visit!

  3. Cat says:

    Tons of inspiration but I'm mostly stuck on the orange pot!

  4. Pammy says:

    Wow, wish I had know about them when they were in Austin. I love all the colors and the different things they did with all the gorgeous succulents. Looks like a fun fun trip!!!

  5. The Intercontinental Gardener says:

    Good that I live this far away, I would go bankrupt in a minute… those giant iron bowls (and spheres, now that I think about it) are exactly what I need for my garden in Sweden. Such an inspiring blog you have!

  6. Mark and Gaz says:

    Accessories galore, love it! The bright red slider bench especially….:)

  7. Denise says:

    I've got the chair to match the MCM lounger — wish I knew the name of these chairs!

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