Get The Look: The California Surf Shack

California Style Home Decor

I’m really excited about this Get The Look post for two reasons: 1. I love this cool California style home decor AND I’ve recently decided to add a few of these design elements in our home. I can’t wait to show you!

My design style has always been rooted in coastal, beachy decor. I grew up on Lake Norman and the coast of NC/SC was like a second home to us. It’s where we vacationed and we’ve owned several places at the beach throughout the years. I grew up cruising the strip (if you’re from NC/SC and visited Myrtle Beach during the 1990’s you know what I’m talking!), shag dancing with my parents and laying out on the beach until we were golden brown.

Get The Look California style home decor look coastal art print and surfboards
{Source: Styling by Jason Grant; Photography by Sam McAdam-Cooper}

I never got into surfing (as you can guess the East Coast waves are not up to par) but the laid-back, low-key, stay at the beach all day, I’d rather have sand in my shoes way of life has always been a part of me. And as my decor style shifts and changes I find myself wanted to translate those feelings and that lifestyle into our home more and more. The California bungalow vibe is currently speaking to me and whenever I see a picture of a white-walled beach shack with surf boards and worn wood my heart skips a beats or two.

What I love most about design is that there are SO many niche styles within one design category. For example, if I said I love coastal design that could mean anything from east coast decor with pastels and brass dolphin sculptures to nautical New England, Palm Beach chic, California cool and so on. I like to get a taste for all of them and right now my taste buds are craving Cali cool!

So, check out these homes that I’m drawing major inspiration from and the design elements needed to pull off this style!


White walls.

I can’t deny it any longer – I love white walls. I’m definitely seeing this trend throughout lots of coastal design books, magazines and websites.

California style white walls and greenery
{Design; Photo}

Beach art photography.

A beach bungalow wouldn’t be complete without an image of the blue surf that all of us beach lovers crave.

California Surf Shack home with beach art

Rattan, cane or wood accents.

Natural wood elements are almost always a part of this design style and I love the warmth only wood can add to a space.

Natural Wood Elements for a California style look

Surf boards.

Of course this is a key element of any California beach shack and, really, the more the merrier!

Surf board used as decor in California beach bungalow
{Source; Photo by Zak Bush}

Pops of color.

With a white back drop, all beachy bungalows need a pop of color. It can be bold, pastel or a vintage pattern.

Pops of green and pink in this California style home
{Source; Photo}

Lots of plants.

Greenery is essential in a Cali cool room and whether they’re faux or real, plants add lots of texture.

Greenery and bold art in a California style beach home
{Source; Photo}

Cozy, slip-covered furniture.

Casual is the name of the game here and in my opinion there’s nothing more inviting than cozy, slip-covered furniture. Check out this hotel in Malibu, CA for some many great design images.

Slip covered furniture for casual living in this California style home


Some of the signature California surf shack accessories include vintage rugs, Mexican blankets, natural wood, books, plants, worn leather, wall hangings, baskets and anything boho.

Textured accessories in pillows, ottomans and books in this beach home

Perfection is not welcome.

This is possibly my favorite ingredient of the California surf shack. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact it SHOULDN’T be. Yes, I still prefer an uncluttered space but it’s okay for it to feel super casual and even a little bit messy.

California style home decor is not about perfection
A California style beach cottage with a lived-in feel

How to get the California style home decor look

Recently I came across a new design book called Surf Shack: Laid-back Living by the Water and it is ALL the things! This is a must-have for any beach house and there is so much California style home decor inspiration in these pages.

California style home decor book Surf Shack
surf shack book for inspiration

So, I’m curious, are you feeling this laid-back surf shack design style? I know I am!


Get the look in this California style home decor book for inspiration

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