The Wellness-Centric Malibu Home of Your Dreams
Simone Harrer is the woman we all would like to be: grounded, warm, effortlessly stylish, and ever in the pursuit of better mental and physical wellness. Not to mention, she spends her Malibu sunrises and sunsets on a surfboard in the Pacific. We stopped by on a sunny summer morning to tour her breathtaking home, replete with yoga studio, chicken coop, and a cold plunge, and talked living well by the sea.
- Rip & Tan: How did you settle permanently in Malibu? What drew you to living by the ocean?
Simone Harrer: As a young girl growing up in Germany, the only way I had access to the ocean was by watching Jacques Cousteau. When I went to bed, I had dreams filled with diving and being in and under the sea. I even had a recurring dream of being able to breathe under water. I know this is where my love and curiosity of the sea began.
When we moved from Europe, I often drove to Malibu from Brentwood with my four month old son Laurentius. Even though it was a bit of a distance, I was always drawn to sitting on the beach with him. Looking back, it is so apparent to me that I wanted our children to grow up in this special place. Malibu is a small community with powerful nature, surrounded by both ocean and mountains. The minute I moved here, I felt at home.
- Rip & Tan: Your home is a beautiful mix of neutrals, beachy blues, and impactful moments of color—what was your inspiration in decorating your home and what feeling did you hope its design would evoke?
- Simone Harrer: I wanted to create a space that was very comfortable and soothing: both visually and physically. I try to have soft fabrics and lots of good blankets laying around, and lots of raw organic pieces. I wanted my home to be chic, but simple and kid-friendly at the same time. My inspiration probably comes from spending lots of time in Provence and Bali. I also tried to create plenty of outdoor living spaces: I love living outside and taking advantage of the great weather year-round in California.
- Rip & Tan: What role does surfing play in your life?
Simone Harrer: Surfing has impacted my life profoundly—I do it almost daily if there are waves. I am so appreciative of being out in nature and experiencing riding along with a wave: not being able to control nature, but instead flowing along with her. I love surfing with friends, and also enjoy going by myself. Surfing forces me to be in the moment.
Wiping out or being held under by the wave has forced me to learn how to surrender. If it is a long hold down I might still be afraid, but learning how to relax during the process has been such a good lesson for life on land.
- Rip & Tan: How would you describe your personal style?
- Simone Harrer: My style is for sure casual with a side of chic. Natural fabric is everything to me and everything has to flow. I gravitate towards simple pieces that I can wear all day and going out too.
- Rip & Tan: What role does wellness play in your life and in the design of your home?
- Simone Harrer: Wellness is something that I really appreciate and have created daily rituals around. I go in my sauna and do an ice bath every day. I also try to do something physical each day, like yoga or circuit training taught by my friend Gabby Reece. My main goal is to stay fit enough to enjoy my life, continue surfing, and stay healthy enough to have physical adventures for the rest of my life. It’s not easy for me to train and be regimented each day, but I see how important it is since it supports my other passions.
"Wiping out or being held under by the wave has forced me to learn how to surrender. If it is a long hold down I might still be afraid, but learning how to relax during the process has been such a good lesson for life on land."
- Rip & Tan: Describe a typical day for you.
- Simone Harrer: My day starts with a mediation and writing down my dreams or thoughts that come through. If there is surf, I definitely skip all of my other morning activities like yoga and working out and I am in the ocean for sunrise and sunset. I run a household, take care of business, and try to learn and do something creative every day: whether it’s ocean photography, taking a matcha tea making class, or educating myself on different topics through reading and listing to podcasts. For me, it’s about improving my daily life and the lives of others and learning how to be kind to this beautiful planet.
- Rip & Tan: What does “living well” mean to you?
- Simone Harrer: What comes to mind when I hear living well is focusing on human connections. Being surrounded by my family and friends is the best way for me to feel gratitude. I’ve learned that if I want to feel peaceful or happy, the most effortless way to do that is to be grateful. I use those connections to help reinforce my daily practice of recognizing what I am truly grateful for. And, of course, living well includes spending as much time in nature as I can.
"I’ve learned that if I want to feel peaceful or happy, the most effortless way to do that is to be grateful."
- Rip & Tan: What lessons or traditions do you hope to pass to your children?
- Simone Harrer: Family time: I grew up in a big family and we always had loud, fun family dinners. When I became a mom, my parents played such a big part in our lives. They spend half the year here with us in Malibu, and we spent the summers there. There is a time in life when kids need to leave and find their own footing in the world, but when we are together we cook and invite friends and have an open house. I hope I will have a chance to play a big part in my grandchildren’s life in the same way.
- Rip & Tan: What role does motherhood play in your identity?
- Simone Harrer: Motherhood is my biggest joy–I always wanted to be a mama. I love taking care of them, and making our home a warm and nurturing place for my children and all of the other children and young adults that come through our home—I think I’ve “adopted” quite a few over the years. Motherhood is one of the greatest lessons in life too. Learning to give them the space and freedom to experience life their own ways, with all of its pain and disappointments, and not try to bend and manipulate their experience so they skip these emotions. I always have to remember that my happiness is not their journey.