How to Live That Coastal Life When You're in the City

Sacha Strebe

Living in the city certainly has a myriad of benefits. There are history and modern art museums with world-class exhibitions, stellar coffee shops with Instagram-worthy décor, and five-star restaurants (let's not forget the shopping), but the pace is definitely frenetic. This faster way of life is exhilarating and fun for the most part, but eventually, we all need to dial it back and find calm after the storm. One place where this happens all year round is the coast. There's nothing quite like the healing energy of the sea, and our human instincts often draw us to its shores for a dose of Mother Nature's home-grown remedy. 

It's this powerful force that attracted interior designer and founder of Haus, Nina Freudenberger. But there was one aspect of this laid-back coastal lifestyle that she really fell in love with: surfers' beach shacks. They inspired her so much that she went on a global search to document them all in her stunning new book, Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water. After moving from NYC to L.A. two years ago, Freudenberger was "totally blown away by the surf culture." She adds: "I saw it everywhere—people just taking their boards down to the beach on a bike, strapped to the roof of their car. It is so engrained in California living that I wanted to see what else it was affecting."

As she started digging, she began to see that surfing was clearly not just a sport and that it seeps into all aspects of life. "Surfers make lifestyle choices to accommodate their passion," she says. "That includes how they live and where they live. That just felt so inspiring to me." Starting out with just three homes, through an amazing feat of social connectivity, Freudenberger ended up connecting with another 20 surfers all over the world where she traveled and photographed their homes and their stories. Ahead, she outlines a few simple tips to achieve this relaxed vibe at home and in your life, even if you don't live anywhere near the beach.

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