Designer Raili Clasen gave it her signature surf style.

Dining Room in Baja House by Raili Clasen
Ezequiel Hurtado

The owner of this Baja California house had longtime ties to the area: “Our client and her late husband literally established this quaint surfer community in the 1980s, building the first home in the neighborhood [an hour from San José del Cabo],” says designer Raili Clasen. “The home sat vacant for years with the fishermen watching over it while the homes all around it were being built. Then came the hurricane, which decimated the entire house deeming it uninhabitable.”

Entrance in Baja House by Raili Clasen
The entrance features surfboards, of course.

Ezequiel Hurtado

When it came time to rebuild, Raili’s client wanted it to be a fun and welcoming home for her visiting children and grandchildren. Since the family surfs, fishes, and generally loves being in the water, the goal was to have the space set up for all of that. Casual, colorful, and not one bit stuffy were the intended vibes for the home.

Dining Area in Baja House by Raili Clasen
Colorful art is found throughout the home.

Ezequiel Hurtado

Luckily for Raili’s client, the designer had been dreaming up what she would do with the home for years—even before she was hired. “I had this design plan done in my sleep,” Raili says. “For a few years, I had been watching it, wondering what the next steps were going to be. Then I met the homeowner on the beach, and she hired us.”

Kitchen in Baja House by Raili Clasen
The kitchen has spectacular ocean views.

Ezequiel Hurtado

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And another plus for the client? Raili knows a thing or two about surf style. In fact, she has a new book, Surf Style at Home, that showcases her many eclectic beach-inspired projects, from an Alabama lake house to homes in Newport Beach to this very house we’re featuring in this story. “Surf style is a perfect combo of nature and the bright surf vibes of the ‘70s and ‘80s all rolled into one look,” Raili explains.

Living Area in Baja House by Raili Clasen
The living area is bright and airy, with plenty of seating.

Ezequiel Hurtado

The book came together after she realized that her previous background in the surf industry (she worked at brands like Raisins Swimwear, Quiksilver, and Roxy) was showing up in every one of her interior design projects. “With small and effortless details, anyone can make their home feel more fun, colorful, and beach club-y,” she adds.

Sitting Area in Baja House by Raili Clasen
A seating corner for enjoying a cup of coffee or reading a book.

Ezequiel Hurtado

For this particular house, they wanted it to feel like a “Mexican oasis”—but not like the newer fancy hotels in Cabo… more “old school” Cabo. Raili and team filled the home with furniture sourced in San Miguel de Allende and art from local galleries in San José del Cabo.

Primary Bedroom in Baja House by Raili Clasen
The bedroom in the main structure has fun pops of color.

Ezequiel Hurtado

The home’s main structure has the living, dining, and kitchen areas, plus one bedroom. There are also two casitas with ensuite bathrooms and separate entrances. And they’re currently adding a bunk room and pool house on the property. 

Patio in Baja House by Raili Clasen
Beautiful tile adorns the outdoor dining area.

Ezequiel Hurtado

While the environment surrounding a beach house seems idyllic, there are some considerations to take into account when designing, Raili says. “The wind, sand, and hurricanes play into interior design with a beach house,” she explains. “For example, we can’t use fine linens or light fabrics because of the amount of salt and sand running through everything.”

The finished design captures the Baja spirit and incorporates chic and unique designs, from the light fixtures to the art to The owner loves her new space, of course.

Patio Seating in Baja House by Raili Clasen
There’s also a balcony with plenty of seating to enjoy the views.

Ezequiel Hurtado

And if you want to bring that surf style home but live miles away from the beach, you can still achieve the look without it seeming cheesy or out-of-place. Raili recommends choosing the materials and the color palette carefully. “We use natural woods, bring in bright and bold accent pieces, and bring in as many trees and plants as are allowed,” she says.

Buy the Book

Surf Style at Home by Raili Clasen Book

Courtesy of Publisher

Surf Style at Home by Raili Clasen, $30