Published on March 19, 2019

When it comes to adding eye-catching details to our homes, we typically tend to rely on daring paint colors or statement-worthy decor pieces to get the job done. That said, every once in a while, an unexpected element seems to pop up in just about every living space we come across. (Who can forget the ever-so-ubiquitous For Like Ever print craze?)

The latest accent on its way to total design domination is certainly an unlikely one: surfboards. Channeling everything California cool, they double as emblems of a carefree lifestyle, one that alludes to laid-back living at its quintessence.

Not quite sure where to start—or where to display the darn thing (considering the average board usually extends well beyond five feet)? Allow the spaces ahead to serve as your guide.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON FRANK ROTHENBERG

Leave it to Garance Doré to truly school us on the best use of surfboards as decor. The French lifestyle guru posted a pair of gun boards—in the perfect ultra-glossy color palette, no less—to fill out the often empty space underneath the stairs, transforming the nook into a handsome display.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER MOSIER

In Claire Darrow Mosier’s eclectic London townhouse, a two-tone board casually leans against the wall in her home office, standing in as an ode to her affinity for surf culture, as well as a meaningful memento of her family’s surf shack in Costa Rica.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

John and Christine Gachot’s Shelter Island retreat embodies family-friendliness to a T, paired with style-focused moments that pay tribute to the designer couple’s inspired aesthetic. In the light-filled dining room, a red-and-white striped surfboard invites an unexpected pop of color that fits right in with the relaxed coastal vibe of the home.

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Photography by MIKKEL VANG

Allow the dreamy Montauk beach house of Sean MacPherson and Rachelle Hruska to stand in as proof that surfboards make an ideal decorative accent for a transitional space. Merging outdoor-indoor, the open-air entertaining area comes fully decked with a trio of boards.

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY STACY KECK

Pair a surfboard with a statement seat, and the duo has the decorative power to transform an empty corner into a focal point with effortless ease.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Elevate the sporty accessory into the ultimate glam-meets-modern accent: Consort’s Tribeca store showcases a marble-effect board, complete with sleek gold-lined detail.

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Photography by Sara Toufali

Sara Toufali’s serene Los Angeles home comes with its fair share of boho-chic moments, but in the middle of the rattan furnishings and abundant array of greenery, you’ll find an all-white longboard that gives an otherwise standard corner a burst of character.

Ready to embrace the surf? Here are the boards we’d want for ourselves.

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