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10 Rad Ideas for Surfing-Inspired Style

Surfer style comes out of the waves and into the house with washed-out colors and boho touches

Joanna Linberg
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Unconventional Color

Surfers put a premium on fun and that vibe extends to a relaxed approach to color in the home. Many surf shacks mix sun-faded pastels with no organized palette in mind, while others (like this SoCal home) ignore convention by splashing on on a big statement. To try this at home, choose two paint colors from the same paint strip to ensure they won’t clash. Then roll or brush the colors on in in layers, embracing the imperfection of it all.

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Raw Power

Capture the unpredictability of a big wave with furniture that shows off some rough edges. This live-edge oak bed frame does just that, letting the organic shape of the plank on top vary and the warm grain, held together by contrasting butterfly joints, shine below. Brass legs are a chic touch.

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The Go-Anywhere Throw

A machine-washable cotton blanket lets you relax the rules. Take this one to the beach for a picnic, drape it over the sofa, or use it as a towel in a pinch. The black and white toughens up beachy color combos like turquoise, orange, and pink.

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Show-Stopping Board

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. A gorgeous surfboard, that is. Prop your favorite in a corner and you’ll gain color, dimension, and a whole lot of “hang loose” vibes. For the rest of us, there are three options: vintage, custom, and retail. Vintage boards are collector’s items, so it’s tough to find one in the wild (eBay and Etsy are sources to stalk). A surf shop can hook you up with a maker if you have a strong vision. But retailers like St. Frank are elevating the classic shape to decorative object—their boards sport textile patterns.

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Casual Accessories

Rag rugs on the floor? Country. Rag rugs wrapped around a two-foot pouf? Surfer chic, especially when the rags in question are denim scraps woven into a durable cushion cover. The color nods to the ocean, too. Pull it in front of a sofa, nestle it into a covered outdoor space, or put a tray on it to hold drinks.

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Piece of the Beach

The water is never too far from your mind when you hang one of Max Wanger’s dreamy photo prints. He specializes in compositions that turn the natural world into graphic shots that wow with their simplicity. Water often features in his work, but with an unexpected viewpoint or color. The dusky hues here have us swooning.

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Soft Spot to Land

An early-morning wake-up call to hit the surf requires a breezy place to nap it off afterward. An outdoor lounge is just the thing (for those of us who prefer to watch the waves roll in from our beach towel, too). Think daybeds with soft mattresses, a vintage rug spread directly on the ground, and lots of pillows.

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Just-Right Furniture

Here’s where the Venn diagram of boho decor and surf-shack style overlaps: furniture made from rattan or grass. These carefree pieces visually lighten up a room that might otherwise be weighed down with wood furniture and lots of textiles. The classic Malawi chair shown here can be found in vintage stores or often as an inexpensive reproduction.

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The Perfect Pattern

Think of this pillow as a souvenir from the time you caught big waves in Lima…or as the piece that lets you daydream about an epic surfing trip. This hand-woven cushion has a go-with-the-flow stripe that absorbs easily into your existing decor. Use it to zhuzh up white bedding or bring order to a mishmash of throw pillows.

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A Touch of the Islands

Natural bamboo frames can skew a little tiki bar. Take that classic profile and gild it and you’ve got an accent that works as well with an abstract work of art as it does with that other surfer standby: the thrift-store landscape.

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