January 14, 2019

Wanderlust Design Revitalizes The Waterfront on LA’s Venice Beach into a Bohemian Haunt

Venice Beach, California, is best known for its bodybuilders, rollerskaters, and proud West Coast weirdos, and there may be no better place to watch the parade roll by than The Waterfront. Revitalized by Jake Mathews when its original iteration shuttered after 20 years on the beach, The Waterfront’s 10,000 square feet encompass a restaurant with an outdoor patio, an oceanfront beer garden, a lounge, and a to-go shack—plus a taqueria. It’s all been put together by Wanderlust Design, the studio founded by Mathews’ wife, Heather Tierney.

Murals by DJ Javier lead the eye to the patio beyond. Photography by The Salty Shutters.

“The building was falling apart when we took it over,” says Tierney. “It needed some major upgrades to both the interior and exterior.” Friends from all over the world, from Brooklyn, New York to Indonesia, fashioned custom teak armchairs, sofas, and stools, and helped rescue and repurpose banquettes and other furnishings. Sean Tully of Los Angeles’s Innocnts Gallery and Art Advisory then covered the walls with vibrant works from emerging artists such as Dane Peterson and Marco Zamora.

Outdoor seating is delineated by a wall with bamboo insets and a mural by Maxwell McMaster. Photography by The Salty Shutters.

The bright and breezy spot, Tierney says, “takes inspiration from Southern California in the 1970s and 80s: The surf-and-skate culture and feel-good ‘free love’ attitude.” In other words, it’s the perfect place to hang out after you hang ten.

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