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  • Writer's pictureSara Strachan

Surf Shack Cool (and how to get it)

Updated: May 16, 2023

How to turn your home into a beach house oasis filled with items that spark joy in you. Get that surf shack decor on point and elevate your abode into the ultimate beach house interior that you can't wait to hang out in.

Interior by Brittney Borjeson of Evoke The Spirit as featured in Surf Shack by Nina Freudenberger.

So over the pandemic everyone has probably realised the importance of their home surroundings on their general mood. If you spend time in your home then why not make it your dream space and let the décor reflect your personality so you really enjoy being in your home. Or as advised by Marie Kondo, ultimate house organising guru 'surround yourself with things that spark joy in you'.

If you are an ocean lover then you might want to let this show in your furnishings and have your place nod towards your favourite outside space.

Photo Credit: Pellmell Creations

I grew up on an island, travelled the world in my 20's and 30's with a few windsurfing and snowboarding seasons thrown in for good measure. I then settled in Brighton for around 10 years and lived one minute from the beach where I started my ocean jewellery brand Océan Bohème.

When I was finally in one place for a while I started to enjoy decorating my Brighton flat with trinkets from my travels and art showing my love of the ocean whilst squeezing every type of board into a small space.

Now, having recently moved to Hossegor in France, again seconds from the beach, I have bought a tiny beach apartment.

Renovations have started so I have been delving into the world of Pinterest to inspire and hone the surf shack style I am after.

As I am currently immersed in décor ideas I thought I'd share some of these ideas with you.

Here is a round up of some of the best surf styles and beach decorating trends around at the moment, with a bit of the boho look in there as well. Whilst trying to avoid some of the slightly tacky sterotype of signs pointing to 'The Beach'.


Getting the palette right for your house is key, decide what colour schemes you want and don't be afraid to break some rules. I love the coastal look of whitewashed walls, floor and ceilings. However this is not to say I don't like colour. Bright splashes of crazy tiles, garish bohemian cushions and natural wood are a great way of breaking up a sterile white all over room. Not to mention my obsession for calming teal and seafoam colours wherever possible (unavoidable if you know what my jewellery range looks like).

Photo Credits @hannahcharp @love.and.grey @hatihome

Natural Fibres

As surfers and water women we get our stoke from the natural elements so it's no surprise that we want our homes to reflect this natural vibe.

Photo credit Dreamsea surf Ullawatu

Being so connected with the oceans also means we are very aware of our environmental impact, so go for organic cottons, hemp, fast growing bamboo, FSC approved wood sources to name just a few ideas to minimise your impact when styling your home.

So embrace the elements and fill your home with dried palm leaves, rattan furniture, macramé wall hangings, wicker accessories, coconut trinkets and bamboo worktops.

Photo Credits L- R: hobo beautiful, unknown, Hendrix & Harlow

Hobo Beautiful prides herself on slow, sustainable macramé products, so check out her work to see a great example of sustainable home decor.

Coastal Trinkets

Loving the ocean and the beach lifestyle you probably have found you own pieces of driftwood, stones, seaglass and cuttlefish when visiting your favourite beaches.

Why not make a feature out of these mementos that have sentimental value?

There lots of inspiration on Pinterest, I have a board of ocean inspired and boho DIY projects you can check out there: Pinterest - Things to make

Just remember to go for resin clam shells, fake coral and vintage shells if you do opt to buy for some of these. Here's a little bit of inspo to get you started:

Photo credit above right @willowandbeech

Photo Credit L-R: @the_sourceress @squires Etsy: feathernbone

@seaandglass @noamayliving @baliplume

Art Work

To the left is an epic piece of art by @wavesbyjohny who also makes these waves on driftwood along with dreamy surf watercolours.

If you are on a budget you can buy digital downloads from Etsy and print them at your local printers. Check out below some budget friendly art prints you can buy online.

I have a bit of an obsession with buying surf inspired art work and often have too many pieces for walls! I have now learnt I need to decide where it will fit in before buying it, so learn from my mistakes!

Above : @karasparkmanart Unknow artist @slh_surfart

Below: @las.chicas.del.sol @Faye_allison_artits @piahimmelein

Another really cool idea is to mark a special occasion with your surf art, maybe when you first met your partner, the birth of your child, first green wave or when you moved into your new home. I love these prints by @salt_atlas which record the tide of the moment you're wanting to remember.

Here's a selection of some of my favourites and you can check out more here: Pinterest - Wall Art.

Boards boards boards

If you're into board sports you probably own surfboards, kiteboards, snowboards and skateboards! You don't have to hide these away, taking up valuable storage space, often they are art work in their own right. Show off these toys wherever you can, here's a few ideas to display your boards:

Photo Credits: Anka Supply Photo unknown - Pinterest

@_your_ride @radoracks @kawa_heat_studio

Jungle Style

Bing nature lovers you can't do better than to bring the jungle into your home. Plants can clean your air and are known to have positive effects on the mind so go crazy !

Photo credit @kawaiian_lion

Succulents. cacti, dried palms and air plants are great if your not very green fingered as they require little to no attention.

Photo credit: Pinterest @vitruvi @atelierstellaceramics

If you can handle being a plant mama and have plant lady tendencies then go full hog and bring the jungle to your home with tropical plants wherever you can squeeze them in. If you don't have a lot of space macramé plant hangers can be a solution or throw a shelf up to hold your plant babies.

Coffee Table Books

Even if you don't read a coffee table book they are generally very beautiful - like pieces of art you can hold and flick through.

Photo credit @thesaltyhome

They beautifully show guests a slice of your personality and interests whilst giving your visitor something beautiful to browse (let alone yourself on a rainy Sunday).

Photo credit: @montanamermaid

There's so many great surf inspired books out there to choose from now.

If you're into interior design then Surf shack is a great start.

For Adventurers, there's Swell - Sailing Surfes Voyage of Awakening by Liz Clarke. Which is a great non fiction account of Liz's Clarks Sailing and surfing adventures over the Pacific Ocean - which I devoured as soon as I opened the first page.

Photo credit @kawaiian_lion

For the ocean feminists and redressers of balance this book is definitely worth a read to leave you feeling inspired and stoked: Surf Like a Girl by Carolina Amell, profiling 30 female surfers making waves in the male dominated sport.

For lovers of visual storytelling I highly recommend Her Wave or Washed Elegance by Cait Miers. Cait Miers is a favourite ocean photographer of mine and she has curated some of her favourite images into these publications for your viewing eye candy.

Photo credits below:

Photos 1 & 3 from 'Surf Like a Girl' by Carolina Amell

Photo 2 'Her Wave' by Ocean Photographer Cait Miers.

For the eternal surf travellers or avid holiday planners then these two collections of surf travel books are a must: Surf & Stay and any book from the 'I love the Seaside' collection.

Surf & Stay have a duo of books on offer to help plan your European road trip. Their books cover surf spots, places to park up your camper, quirky accommodation en route and good food finds in the surf towns visited.

The 'I love the Seaside' collection includes four guides: Morocco, Northwest Europe, Southwest Europe and Britain & Ireland. These detailed guides are essential if you are planning a surf trip to any of these areas. Their books include; maps, surf spot info, interviews with local surf shops, shapers and artists, accommodation to suit all budgets and alternative adventurous activities to try in the areas such as hiking and paddle boarding.

For foodies: Finn's World, Surf Cafe Living & Plant over Processed by Earthy Andy, are all perfect for food appreciating water women.

Finn's World cookbook is written by a surf loving Marine scientist who has a strong sustainability ethos. She offers up lots of gluten free delicious recipes to fuel you pre and post surf.

Jane and Myles Lamberth are surfers and the authors of 'Surf Café Living' and they have their own seaside café in Ireland serving up local, organic and fresh beach food. They have written a few cook books and this one not only gives you tasty recipes but also crafting tips for your home and top skills like how to build a fire pit for barbeques.

Earthy Andy as she is known on Instagram brings us her 'Plant over Processed' cookbook from Hawaii. The book include fresh and healthy, plant based dishes that she feeds her surfing family in tropical paradise.

Jewellery Display

I couldn't leave jewellery out of this blog.

Being a jewellery designer, I have soooo many necklaces and earrings and because I don't think jewellery should be hidden away, I thought it should definitely get a little mention.

Show off your jewels and drape over boho mirrors, put on a side table in a clam shell jewellery dish or hang off a driftwood jewellery holder.

Photo credits: @donna_guyler_design @ocean.boheme unknown, Curiographer

If you've enjoyed this blog and you love a bit of salty home décor inspiration then check out these accounts to follow :

Also please check out my unique ocean inspired jewellery here: Océan Bohème where you can get the 'girl who lives in a surf shack look' 😉

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