In my last column I promised you a closer look at the focal point in 11-year-old Luke’s bedroom: a totally cool surfboard desk. But before we ride that wave, I need to share with you the goal of the room. Yes, every room should have a goal.

Knowing your goal for a room helps shape your d├ęcor choices. Bedrooms for adults often are designed as relaxing retreats or romantic oases. But for kids growing out of childhood, a bedroom should be a fun hangout for friends or an inspiring space to study.


Luke’s parents told me that he did his homework at another spot in the house, so his room really was a place for him to draw, hang out and call his own.

Knowing Luke’s love of surfing, I was thrilled when I found this replica of Duke Kahanamoku’s surfboard. It all came to me: Instead of hanging the board on the wall, I would create a desk out of it.


The board’s 8-foot length made it plenty big enough, but its shape provided no storage space. Luke didn’t need drawers or a file cabinet, but some shelves would have been nice.


No problem! I sketched out a simple design of a wave with shelves to anchor one end of the desk and called upon local artist Al Ness to bring it to life. After trying out the concept with a cardboard mockup, Al built the wave out of plywood and painted it in the hues of a breaking wave.

After adding some trays and bins, dude, we had a surfboard desk!

If you have an old, unused surfboard, why not mount it on a wall with brackets and a small file cabinet under one end? Or mount some shelves painted a surfer blue or, for a more ‘floating’ effect, painted the same color as your wall.


You’ll spend less than you would on an average desk — and take your room from cool to super cool, man!

Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit