18 Liberating Decorating Tricks from Real Life Surfers


This past weekend we stopped by our local public library and on one of the floors in the staff picks section, I happened upon a book, Surf Shacks; An eclectic compilation of creative surfer's homes from coast to coast and overseas by Indoek, a surf-centric blog run through ITAL/C and published by the folks at Gestalten. Published back in 2017, the book covers apartments to bungalows from New York to Bondi Beach, visiting homes of some of Indoek's favorite people in the creative surf community.  Browsing through, I felt a pull, back to a simpler time in our life, and in this day and age of such pre-meditated and staged images, I sensed a spark of realness and freshness that I've so missed, and think perhaps some of you might too?  In many of the homes, the idea of living smaller and simpler was not only refreshing, like one of the surfers featured, Nick LaVecchia said, "it is the most liberating thing you can do".

With that in mind, one activity that I've always loved doing when browsing through books and interior magazines is looking for decorating tricks that I could adopt and in sharing a bit of a comradery with these surfers, it beckoned me back to what's important, just being happy wherever you hang your hat.  A novel idea? In fact, since we already live in quite a small space, this book has inspired me to accept all the little flaws our 70s townhome has, and maybe make the best of what we already have, rather than waiting to tile with that perfect tile, or cover the flooring with that perfect wood. I long for this realness again. How about you? Let's take a look!

(Above: Home of Mathew Olerio and Joanna Zamora \ Photo @readmckendree)

1. Custom Concrete Countertops
Designed and built by San Francisco artist, Jay Nelson for owners Jess Bianchi and Milia Grace Mau (some of you may know Milia's beautiful jewelry), we love how they created a custom concrete countertop in this artful crafted remote Hawaiian home. Home of Jess and Malia Bianchi | Photo Matt Titone @mtitone

2.  Pinned Canvas Curtains
From the above-mentioned home of Jess Bianchi and Milia Grace Mau, love the canvas tent feel that the pinned fabric gives to the space. Both up in the loft and down below in the living area. Home of Jess and Malia Bianchi | Photo Matt Titone @mtitone

3. Matchy Matchy
That photo and those lamps go together like peanut butter and jam. Sometimes matchy matchy doesn't work, but in this corner it's a yes from me. Home of  Mark Wiesmayr and Eileen Peters | Photo Matt Titone - @mtitone

4. Surf Table
Also, if you surf, this is authentic. If not, but want it? Then display it like you mean it. Home of Brian Bent | Photo @paulnemirahcollins

5. Hang Art Like an Artist
Think gallery but not perfect.  Home of Colin Tunstall | Photo Drew Innis @drewinnis.

6. No Rug, No Problem!
Use a cool blanket. Home of Hiromi Matsubara | Photo Matt Titone @mtitone.

7. Mix Old and New
Eclectic things can totally go together.  Home of Jake Burghart and Meredith Danluck | Photo @readmckendree.

8. Create a Photo Series
A collection of photos that you've personally taken, or love is a great way to make a space one's own. Home of Jake Burghart and Meredith Danluck | Photo @readmckendree.

9. Jars of Collected Sea Glass and Shells
A stand out way to display collected sea glass and shells. Home of Jeff Yokoyama | Photo @readmckendree.

10. Polaroid Wall
An old idea, but still a good idea. Home of Jeff Yokoyama | Photo @readmckendree.

11. Cubbies
The perfect way to display or not display. I kind of like them minimalist empty. Home of Mason St Peter | Photo Matt Titone @mtitone

12. At the Right Level
Take note of the ceiling height and where to hang art, pulling the eye in, creates the illusion that everything is on the regular. Home of Matt LeBlan | Photo Mark Wiesmayr @marksurfsbig.

13. Outside the End Table Box
Love this cause we used to do this. Grab an outdoor folding stool to hold books and all of a sudden it becomes a makeshift end table with an edge. Home of Matthew Olerio and Joanna Zamora | Photo @readmckendree.

14. Kitchen Shelf Love
Lots of different types of shelves here, but somehow it magically works thanks to the white and wood. home of Mikey DeTemple | Photo Drew Innes @drewinnis.

15. Wicker Mix
Mix it up with different colours of wickers; from dining room, to living room, to lights, and then even the rug. Home of Raimana Van Bastolaer | Photo Ron Thomson @stopbreathing.

16. Plants and Weaves
All you need is love with some plants and some weaves. Home of Ryan Lovelace | Photo @willadlerphotographs.

17. Hang On
Hammocks don't have to always be outdoors, and neither to skateboards. Home of Ty Williams | Photo Nick Lavecchia @nick_lavecchia .

18. Trim It
Not sure what I like better; that green trim or the surfboard. Whichever, they both really go together. Home of Ty Williams | Photo Nick Lavecchia @nick_lavecchia 

Surf Shacks; An eclectic compilation of creative surfer's homes from coast to coast and overseas by Indoek,  published through Gestalten.

"Living smaller and simpler is no doubt the most liberating thing you can do. Free up more time to live."
—Nick LaVecchia

Jan Halvarson

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