For designer Ilan Dei, the best of life happens outdoors. After he spent 20 years embracing the Southern California lifestyle of Venice Beach, it was perhaps inevitable that he would become the proprietor of a local gardening and outdoor design store where the inventory is displayed in open-air shipping containers.
His store, Ilan Dei Venice, evolved over time, from a pop-up shop on Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard that sold his limited designs including weatherproof furniture, to his current permanent store. Now Ilan Dei Venice feels like an outdoor oasis, offering everything from custom bikes to raised garden beds to patio seating. Dei even hosts the occasional community yoga class: “I want everyone to have an experience when they come here,” he says.For more information, visit Ilan Dei Venice.
Photos by Stacey Lindsay, unless otherwise noted.
Above: The Venice storefront; photo via Ilan Dei Venice.
Above: Dei is known for his bright-colored patio furniture; photo via Ilan Dei Venice.
Above: The shop sells planters, outdoor tables, garden beds, and bird feeders. Perhaps the ultimate example of Dei’s love for the outside is the store structure: it is completely en plein air with inventory displayed in two large corrugated-metal shipping containers.
Above: Decorative vases and tiny cacti.
Above: Dei sells cargo bikes, a convenient and comfortable way to get around in a city. He and his team customize the bikes, adding bespoke cargo boxes to make it easy to transport groceries, gardening essentials and large loads. “It can function as a second car in a small community,” he says. Seen here is the Cetma Cargo Largo in Green; it’s $3,150.
Above: You don’t have to be an expert in gardening to enjoy the benefits, say Dei. Case in point: The CHG “Food Factory” Hydroponic Greenhouse ($3,500). Lightweight and easy to assemble, the vertical growing system makes harvesting vegetables and fruits easy. It comes complete with a gutter and irrigation system.
Above: Literature at the entrance keeps shoppers informed about upcoming yoga classes and other store news.