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May 15, 2007 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Throw me your best ideas for (inexpensively?) decorating a nightclub!

Let's say I want to decorate a nightclub...one of those places where people go to drink, dance, and perhaps even take illicit drugs. Do you have links, ideas, inspiration, instructions, etc on how/where I can make/buy trippy/blinky/light up and otherwise visually stimulating decorations for the walls, ceiling, or for human interaction? Think of the awesomest decor you've ever seen in a nightclub anywhere...what was it like? I think you get the idea, and thanks so much for whatever you come up with!
posted by infinityjinx to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
is this a temporary, illegal "nightclub"? what kind of budget do you have?
posted by andrewzipp at 8:23 AM on May 15, 2007

When you're on the budget you say you are on: Details do not matter too much, go for more of the dramatic feel. It also depends on the theme of your venue.

For modern:
- Stretch architectural fabric and backlight with LED DMX lights to break the interior lines of a room.

For classy/hiphop/etc:
- Spend cash on a nice sized chandelier, paint the walls dark red, add oversized white molding everywhere and buy white vinyl covered seating arrangements.

The awesomest decor ever costs money.
posted by omidius at 8:27 AM on May 15, 2007

If you can get a mirror ball, 3 spotlights, a video projector, and a DVD to play, you've got all you need.
posted by the jam at 8:28 AM on May 15, 2007

Response by poster: I have potential access to a few different places, some of which are legit clubs and others which are more warehousey (though no, not necessarily illegal). Ideally, decor needs to be removable, not permanent, and adaptable to more than one club!

Budget in the, um, several hundred dollar range? It sort of depends because I think with some craftiness, an expensive idea could be done on the cheap, no?
posted by infinityjinx at 8:28 AM on May 15, 2007

You could totally make it so that the inside of the club is the outside of the club, and vice versa. You make the outside of the club look like the inside. You know, you put down a rug outside and some couches and pipe out some music. And then inside it looks like the street - you park some cars inside, a mailbox, street signs, and that way when they come in, it's like the OUTSIDE.

Doesn't that blow your mind?!
posted by tastybrains at 8:37 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cover everything in tin foil.
Serve veggie wraps, play rap music.
posted by Dizzy at 8:38 AM on May 15, 2007

There's software you can get that takes audio input and creates visualizations, and this can be as expensie as you want it to be, anything from real-time laser strobes to a winamp visualization projected on the wall.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:40 AM on May 15, 2007

Make a DIY projector and put dynamically remixed video of the interior of the club on the walls.
posted by mecran01 at 8:58 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Find a group that does burningman-esque things.
Convince them that this would be a great way to "get exposure" (i.e. work for free). Giving them some "perhaps even" might help with this process.
Have them decorate the club.

Or go with what the jam says.

Oh, and if you can get any naked people that will do more for the party than any decor. The more naked people the better. Naked people are the fastest and most reliable way to get a lot of people at your event. Ideally, they would be doing something interesting or decorated in an interesting way.
posted by yohko at 9:01 AM on May 15, 2007

I've always thought a winamp visualization projected on a wall of fog would be pretty cool. A hacked XBox running XBMC makes a great, cheap ($100-ish) self-contained mp3 jukebox and generates excellent (winamp-derived) visualizations as well.

Also, strobe lights are pretty dramatic and cheap ($15). Black lights are kinda neat, and then you can have fun with flourescent paint & such. Oh, and sell glowsticks. And whistles. And water.
posted by LordSludge at 9:07 AM on May 15, 2007

Response by poster: These ideas are awesome - the more out there the better. Thanks so much! And yes, burning man is a big inspiration as well.
posted by infinityjinx at 9:08 AM on May 15, 2007

Call the design department of your local art school(s). Tell them you'd like to offer this design job as an internship, in return for a reference and credit (on the club flyer?). Depending on what they say, you could ask them to recommend someone, or for permission to put up flyers on their bulletin board.

I bet there would be some very creative 20-year-olds all over this.
posted by Methylviolet at 9:47 AM on May 15, 2007

That's not a lot of money. Go minimalist. Black paint on every surface and toss in some black lights. Think 'The Exit' in Chicago.

The winamp visualizer sounds nice but that requires a digital projector, which may be out of your price range. You might be able to score an older low-res low-lumens one on ebay/CL which will work fine for this environment.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:18 AM on May 15, 2007

tastybrains, great idea! You had me at "hello", lol.
posted by zarah at 12:02 PM on May 15, 2007

My favoritest club in the whole world is a funky little artsy beer and wine bar in San Francisco. They decorated by spraying the interior of the club with quick-setting foam, embedding objects in it, and spraypainting the resultant shapes. The foam results in globby organic shapes, but if that doesn't appeal it can be sculpted and carved once it sets.

There are TVs set to static and test patterns embedded into the ceiling which provide ambient light and visual style. Used TVs are cheap enough and you could hook them up to a VCR (also cheap used). Almost none of the furniture matches, abut it's all comfy.

The overall effect is kinda Neo-Techno Tribal. I realize that that may be a bit late-90's for some, but it could be updated to fit a more contemporary style.
posted by lekvar at 1:21 PM on May 15, 2007

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