Modern Surf Style Is What Your Home Needs This Summer
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram or Pinterest, shots of California cool interiors have likely been infiltrating your feeds. Modern surf style is effortless and perfectly understated. White-walled interiors are tastefully sparse with impactful art pieces, and laid-back, retro furniture that nods to the coastal setting. The key to nailing this look is editing: no space is too cramped or crowded, and nothing is too precious. Click through for our tips on how to bring this easygoing aesthetic home.
The sleek and slim stylings of mid-century modern furniture throws back to casual, vintage California surf style.
One way to balance out the whitewashed aesthetic of modern surf style is to bring in soft, tonal shades.
Slim stainless steel railings provide a sleek counterpoint to warm wooden accents.
A mottled lamp base paired with a map of a seashore and accents in sage and blues creates a seascape feel — even if you’re landlocked.
If you love color and bold patterns, go for it! This bamboo wallpaper and inky subway tile feel coastal and fun. Keep things casual with wooden shutters.
A large expanse of stone as a matching backsplash and countertop looks clean and contemporary, especially next to a dark wood island. The natural striations in the stone imbue the sparse space with an organic quality and has the look of rippling water.
Knitted pillow covers and a vintage, flat-weave rug add a sense of history and a touch of warmth to this white-walled dining room.
A judicious use of color keeps the modern surf style from being too serious. The modern orange faucet and drain pipe in the powder room of a Martha’s Vineyard beach house strikes the perfect note between playful and grown-up.
Play up the casual side of modern surf style with oversized floor pillows, perfect for lounging on during lazy summer afternoons.
Part of the beauty of the modern surf style is its eclectic nature. Pieces in similar shape, color palette or style, such as these dining chairs, can be combined for an easy, feet-up feel; nothing is too precious.
Designer Vanessa Alexander has three sons who surf, so she had to make sure her Point Dume, Malibu, home could withstand a rough and tumble collection of boys running in and out, with large surfboards knocking into things. A well-loved chest in the front hall means surfboards can come and go without worry.
Typical of a seaside beach house, exposed ceiling rafters or un-plastered walls add to the easy-going charm. Paint everything white to elevate the look.
Almost every detail in this room (save the sconce) is patterned, yet the look isn’t overwhelming. The trick is sticking to textiles and surfaces within the same pattern and palette, like this room’s stripes in warm browns, white, grey and black.
Having a few plants in the house helps bring in a tropical feel. Style a few select plants (succulents are a great low-maintenance, on-trend option!) in a few handmade wooden or ceramic pots throughout your home.
Shapely woven baskets are the perfect storage solution for the modern surf style — they can go from front hallway to beach in a snap.
In the uber-cool boutique hotel, The Surfrider Malibu, design was top of mind (after the enviable view right off the Pacific Coast Highway, of course). The retro, ’50s surf-shack style was updated with bleached wood furniture and chic art. Here, a dip-dyed throw adds a watery sensibility.
Beyond this piece taking the surf theme literally, statement or cheeky artwork hung in minimalist frames is one of the key details of the modern surf style.
An atmospheric feature wall that looks like a misty horizon takes the look to new depths. Blond wood furniture and simple accessories keep the look rooted in minimalist, modern surf style.
This striking vignette isn’t anything too complicated, but it’s the unusual pairing of an oversized plant holder, tree and bendy ladder against a crisp white wall that makes it so eye-catching. Keep your stylings sparse and simple for maximum effect.
Crisp cotton, crumply linen and nubby wovens, such as rattan, hemp or sisal, give surf style an organic touch.
In this dining room, the stunning rope light fixture steals the show. A supporting cast of a wood panelled ceiling, wainscotting and wallpaper add visual depth to the look.