Nina Freudenberger’s Surf-Shack Essentials


“All of the rooms you see in this book prioritize ease over elegance, good vibes over any sort of grand vision,” explains Nina Freudenberger, interior designer and author of the newly released Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water. “These homes are flexible and relaxed, a perfect snapshot of the people who live in them.”


Keep reading for Freudenberger’s favorite vacation spot, tips for getting the surf-shack look, and what’s next for the talented designer.

The Maryn: We have to admit, our team is completely obsessed with your book! Can you tell us a bit about the homes you photographed and what makes them so special? 

Nina Freudenberger: That is so awesome to hear! I selected these homes because I was personally inspired by the homeowners and their exciting design decisions. I love seeing people trying something new in an authentic way. I also felt that each one of them had a point of view that felt fresh to me, not overly styled or forced. 



TM: Can you give our readers some design tips to achieve the relaxed surfer vibe in their own homes? 

NF: There are so many ways to get that vibe, and they’re all totally achievable! Layer pillows and patterns so that nothing feels too matched and that everything has more of a casual, relaxed, “thrown together” look. Add textiles wherever you can: throw blankets over seating, hang tapestries from walls, and add tablecloths and cushions on seats. Make everything comfortable and inviting. Another quick tip is to bring the outdoors inside by adding plants to corners, window ledges, and bookshelves. Plants make everything better. 


TM: Tell us about your Surf Haus candle! What inspired the scent? 

NF: Surf wax! Literally the scent of surf wax being rubbed on a board before heading out on the water. It’s such a clean, beautiful scent, and it really evokes summer and the beach. 



TM: Where is your favorite vacation spot to unwind? Any favorite hotels? 

NF: Any hotel these days sounds amazing (life with a 17-month-old makes me say things like that!). But one of my favorites is The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. It’s so private and beautiful, the food is incredible, and I’ve never been more relaxed in my life. 


TM: We’re all curious to know, what’s next?! Rumor has it you have a line of fabrics coming soon? 

NF: I do, and I couldn’t be more excited! I collaborated with Studio Four NYC on two wallpaper patterns, both in multiple colorways, and one fabric line, all inspired by my travels and the making of Surf Shack. This is my first collection, and I cannot wait to hear what people think! 


Freudenberger’s Picks for Getting the Surf-Shack Look



Reprinted from Surf Shack. Copyright © 2017 by Nina Freudenberger. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Brittany Ambridge. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.