Travel Notes-Road trip to SoCal + Malibu

Ventura Highway in the sunshine
Where the days are longer
The nights are stronger…

Road-trips have a way of making you feel free and in charge of your own destiny.  The seed for this trip to the west coast trip was planted when we decided to make a major change of place, and move our life & business from Sydney to Byron Bay. Friends of ours were not surprised that we were making the move north – it was more a matter of when not if.  So this time last year we set off on a research trip to sunny California…

 I lived in San Francisco for 6 months in my twenties but had never spent much time in SoCal.  There is a real sense of familiarity and I see why Australians are drawn here, it’s easy to feel at home in this part of the world.  Both places share the ‘feel-good factor’ that goes hand in hand with the beach/surf culture – regardless of how your day has been, that laid-back vibe is hard to ignore & the sea is always there to wash away your troubles.
And of course we were interested to see antiques & interiors in these environs… & also how they were faring in a much more transient retail market place like LA. elements i love, blog, travel, interiors, antiques

We found the perfect stopover, to start this leg of our trip…Malibu. Sadly I am writing this as the devastating fires are unfolding again in 2018, my heart breaks for those who have lost homes and animals, all those impacted communities are in my thoughts.   Just a week after our visit here (same time last year) Ventura Highway would be closed due to escalating fires and we drove into LA with a number of smaller fires on the go and extremely high winds. But back to Malibu…

Arriving just on dusk at the Surfrider Hotel we had front row seats from the roof top deck to watch the sky turn from blue to pink over Malibu Pier…

california, malibu, elements i love, blog, travel

Built in 1905, Malibu Pier has an interesting and diverse history, today it houses Malibu Farm – it is an enchanting and nostalgic structure.   Despite the million dollar homes nestled a stone’s throw from here a local crew had a line of rods at the ready the next morning. The allure of the salty sea doesn’t change to those that love it ~ surfers, fisher folk, sun worshippers and walkers…bare feet and board shorts simple southern California style 🙂

california, malibu, elements i love, blog, travel

After staying with friends in both San Fran and Carmel we were looking forward to checking into The Surfrider.  There was a genuine down-to-earth essence about the spaces so it was great to learn & briefly meet (on that rooftop deck!) one of the creative forces behind The Surfrider Emma Crowther – ex Aussie who is married to co-creator/architect Mathew Goodwin along with business partner Alessandro Zampedri. I  love no fuss interiors that feel unpretentious dare I say ‘wabi-sabi’ –  especially spaces like this that are thoughtful and bespoke. 

As this was stepping stone to LA, Venice,  Laguna & beyond we were up early to check out our surroundings…

california, malibu, elements i love, blog, travel

Post walking, it was time for brekky  on the roof deck – it was unusually hot for November so the umbrellas were up & there was talk of fires as the winds picked up.  We packed our bags and headed into the fray of L.A. feeling like we had just stayed with like minded folk in southern California.

As we ready ourselves for our next chapter in Bryon, and drill down on what the essence of our new space and our new life will be, I find inspiration is in the everyday. It can be my natural environment, a beautiful hotel, gallery, cafe or a cool clothing line. For me travelling is the perfect way to see other creatives putting their heart & soul into places that make you feel good.

En-route we found plenty of ideas to consider and influence our new direction. Now for the fun part; our own design dilemmas &creative challenges as we slowly craft something wonderful in Byron. Stay tuned or follow our progress in my insta Byron Warehouse stories.
X Brooke
Next Post: will reveal our favourite finds in LA & Venice Beach.


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