Surfer Chic: Bring a Surf-Shack Aesthetic Into Your Home

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Image: Jared Fowler for The Design Files

I grew up on the Texas coast, have lived in Los Angeles, and have spent time in beachside homes from Hawaii to Florida. One of my favorite lifestyle-influenced décor styles is what I call “surfer chic.” It’s all about having that relaxed, informal vibe, and it can be achieved in homes far from the water by making some simple choices like those shown here.

From the moment you step into a surfer chic environment, you know you’ve arrived in a place that feels separate from the rest of the world. It’s different because there’s less tension and fuss. Necessary to this style is outdoor décor that doesn’t mind getting wet, is fine with being a bit mismatched, and sets the tone for what’s to come. The courtyard above does all of that and is also vegetation-friendly, another hallmark of surfer chic.

Relaxed

Surfer Chic Living Room
Image: Remodelista

The sense of relaxation continues indoors with easy seating and a less-rigid space layout than might normally be found in a living room. This one is open to the elements—just right for surfer chic, by the way—and somewhat bare-boned. It’s ready for an impromptu gathering or an easy meal.

Informal

Surfer Chic Kitchen Decor
Image: The Kitchn

Surfer chic means making what you have work for you, so if you need upper cabinets but have crates and baskets, that’s okay—they will work just fine. The ethos is: why sweat the small stuff when there are waves to catch? And you can see that this solution not only works functionally, but also is very appealing in the space.

Board Room

Surf Board Decor
Image: Material Girls

Any and every room is a good place for your board, when you’re living inside surfer chic. With this laid-back style, life is always good!

How would you bring the surfer chic décor style into your home?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.