My friend Carey and I decided to check out the new OC Mart, which is a hip new shopping plaza in Orange County. Other than the Anti-Mall (aka The Lab in Costa Mesa) or The Camp , we don’t have a lot of hip places to shop in our heavily mainstream suburban county (My hometown of Laguna Beach has tons of great little boutiques, but we are the exception in OC.). I will share some photos of the inspired landscaping at this fun shopping district in my next post. But first, I have to share the amazing outdoor furnishings store we stumbled upon almost by accident. It’s called Inside Out 365, and I couldn’t believe they were for real.


Usually, we have to drive at least an hour up to Los Angeles for hip, modern furnishings for our outdoor living rooms and gardens, amazing places like Big Red Sun in Venice and Potted in Atwater Village.


Carey and I almost missed this fabulous shop if we hadn’t explored some of the walkways that extend beyond the central shopping area at The OC Mart. (Sadly, there are still quite a few empty storefronts.) The place has mixed reviews on Yelp. The hipsters want it funkier and the one percenters want it slicker. Overall, I thought it was pretty great, with the Portola Coffee Lab, a cheese place, a wine bar, some boutiques with great clothes and reasonable prices, and a brand new seafood joint, called the Shuck Oyster Bar. Not to mention some nice outdoor spaces with fountains and inspired plantings. Beats the heck out of stuffy South Coast Plaza, if you ask me.


We have great little nurseries in most of the cities in Orange County, but few offer modern designs or ethnic textiles.


I’m just a sucker for Mexican ceramics…


and colorful pottery and glass…



and mod, boldly colored planters and unique lawn furniture…



and organic pieces in wood…

and outrageously cool hanging lamps and votives…


and where else can you find a long, solid outdoor dining table, along with stylistic chairs with outrageously fun lines and colors…


and sculptures with birds, especially owls (yes, I’m one of those oddball owl people) …


and vintage ethnic piece, like these spools from India…


and more cool chairs and side tables…


Yup, I’m shamelessly swooning over this little find. Apparently, they’ve been in this home furnishing plaza for years, but recently switched from beachy decor to more modern styles.

Makes me hopeful for the hometown county. I might even start calling it by its newfangled nickname: The OC. And not flinch when I say it.


6 Responses to Inside Out at the OC!

  1. Michele Holt says:

    HOLY California!! I would DIE in there. Just die! I want every single thing. Lucky duck.

  2. Denise says:

    Nice find. If they carry Bend chairs, they’re OK in my book!

  3. Adrianna says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I read about that place in Sunset mag but I was still unsure about making the trek to find it. I have kids so getting out has to be worth it.

    P.S. I love your blog.

  4. Someday, I do need to go out there and see all I’ve long missed. Great finds, and those various colored chairs…wow, and they might even be able to take the rigors of our climate.

  5. Pam/Digging says:

    What a fun looking store! I’d love to have some of those colorful chairs.

  6. Camille B says:

    Hi Janine!
    Sorry I missed you when you visited my store. Thanks for the shout out on your cool blog. I grew up here in the O.C. and I am so tired of the “faux chateaux” I always appreciate it when people get what we are trying to do.
    Check SOCO collection out again soon as lots of new stores opening, Design within Reach and Serfus Culinary District in the next few weeks.
    Best, Camille

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