Laid out on a long board, paddling offshore through warm turquoise swells, you finally spot your wave. Oblivious to the roar of breaking surf and the taste of saltwater, you plunge into a timeless battle of man versus nature on the crest of a 30-foot barrel wave. Gnarly, dude!
From the ’40s through the ’60s, American pop culture celebrated those thrill-seeking, sun-bronzed surfers of Southern California immortalized by surf bands’ spirited lyrics and in dreamy films such as Endless Summer. When challenged with creating a bedroom that captures the energy of the vintage surfing scene, designer Suzi Gregg and decorative painter Jennifer Siemon knew just where to start. The star of their project would be an early surfer’s favorite car, the ash-clad woodie, memorialized by the iconic Beach Boys who sang, “I loaded up my woodie with my boards on top” in the teen anthem “Let’s Go Surfin’.”
In a San Diego home near the beach, Gregg and Siemon faced a long blank wall sorely in need of a focal point. Deciding a flat mural was too tame, Gregg boosted the overall impact with an unexpected twist. She sliced a surfboard in half, then used hidden L brackets and silicone to mount it above the painted woodie as if the board were being carried on a roof rack. “When you take a two-dimensional surface and incorporate something unexpected to make it three-dimensional, suddenly the project can stand alone,” Gregg explains. As a bonus, the surfboard adds functionality as a shelf.