Inside Pro Skateboarder Nyjah Huston’s Zen Laguna Beach Pad

Kathryn Romeyn

Adulting looks different for everybody. For some it’s buying their first home. For others, such as 25-year-old Nyjah Huston, the Nike-sponsored American skateboarding phenom, it’s graduating to the second. Trading in his first house, a fun pueblo-style party pad in San Juan Capistrano, California, for a chic 5,300-square-foot place in nearby Laguna Beach with serious views, was a major milestone. It’s shared not with a handful of dudes, as before—“It was always messy, with people sleeping everywhere”—but with one of his closest female friends, who loves to cook. “I feel like this house is kind of the next step of the more mature me,” Huston says of the light-filled five-bedroom that first caught his eye several years ago but was beyond his budget. “I’ve always wanted to eventually end up in Laguna Beach.”

Last year, upon seeing the price had dropped, Huston thought, “Oh, wow, I actually have a chance to buy this place now! I always loved the style of it, the interesting modern architecture on the outside, and the views are amazing.” Still, he took some convincing because, as he says, there were “a lot of weird colors inside, weird greenish granite, and lots of carpet; we did a complete remodel on it.” He was encouraged by his mom/manager, Kelle Huston, who showed him photos of what could be. “She was a lot of help into making it what it is now,” says the world’s highest-paid skateboarder. “It was a long process, like six months to a year, but it was definitely worth it because I absolutely love the place now.”

“The trophy room is my most proud space,” says Huston of the timber- and concrete-clad room built out to showcase the many wins and championships of his dynamic career thus far. “I come in here and it only makes me want to work harder and keep going.”

Huston had a lot of input, but also left his mom, along with some help from designer Stace King, to make initial selections from which he could make decisions. He chose all the marble and quartz in L.A., and key pieces of furniture at RH. “It wasn’t something I would have pictured myself doing at this young of an age, but it was actually a pretty fun process to be involved in picking that out,” he says. Mom, meanwhile, homed in on her son’s aesthetic through tonal black, white, and gray interiors with an abundance of skulls of all kinds, from those stitched on throw pillows to cow and coyote craniums. “That’s all me and my type of style,” says the athlete, who consciously introduced wood elements during the renovation as well as hints of vibrant color through artwork.

Huston’s presence in the place is refreshingly conspicuous, not only in the spiraling line of skateboard decks that follow the staircase upward but also in the custom-built dirt bike underneath it—“one of my favorite things in the house.” Dozens of trophies and awards aren’t the only objects imbued with meaning. Huston bought an owl painting hanging prominently in the living room when he was just 18. “That painting symbolizes the time my friends and I would skate, literally, all through the day and night and even into the next day.”

Inside Pro Skateboarder Nyjah Huston’s Zen Laguna Beach Pad 

Although he doesn’t cook much, pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston appreciates the kitchen breakfast nook in his Laguna Beach, California, home, especially since it was reupholstered from a “weird green leather” when renovating. “I love it now,” he says of the space, adding that he found the underwater biker girl photograph, by Harry Mark, at X Games Aspen pop-up store BLK MKT. “It’s one of my favorite art pieces in the house.”
Says Huston, “There being a lot of big glass windows, a lot of good areas for the view” attracted him to this five-bedroom home, where he’s already enjoyed some particularly spectacular sunsets. To complement the exposure to inspiring landscapes, he installed quite a few plants throughout the place. “Someone comes to water them,” says the pro skateboarder. “I was going to have my roommate try to do it, but it’s too big a job.”
Huston’s attraction to RH’s white Cloud sofa was instant. “I went into the store on Melrose in L.A., sat on it, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I definitely need this one.” He brought the dining table from his previous home, as well as the owl painting that represents, to him, the era when he and his friends regularly skated all day and all night.
There’s no mistaking this is the home of a skater by the installation curving up the spiral staircase, featuring some of Huston’s favorite designs for his signature Element board along with decks he rode in championships won throughout the years.
Huston’s most recent Street League Skateboarding championship trophy sits on a special pedestal in his trophy room, alongside his X Games medals and a pair of his signature Nike shoes a friend graffitied. Although the trophy room is his favorite in the house, Huston admittedly spends the most time in the home gym he built in the remodel.
“The trophy I’m most proud of would be between my first pro contest win ever, in Arizona—I’d gotten so many second places I was just over it, so it was nice to get my first win,” says Huston, “and also the last Street League Skateboarding championship from a few months ago. It was my third win in a row, my best winning streak yet. I’m stoked that I’m keeping it going.”
Huston chose black-and-white marble for the powder room, with cement tile for the walls and an exotic black-and-white photograph, also by Harry Mark; “I thought fit pretty good in there,” he says.
During the remodel, the space that was being used as the living room became Huston’s entertainment room, complete with a pool table from his previous home that he re-covered in black felt, and a new black marble bar featuring slabs he hand-selected. “I haven’t had an official party here, but it’s definitely a good room for entertaining,” says the billiards enthusiast.
Says Huston, “When we got the house there were these holes in the upstairs hall, and we were like, ‘Hmm, should we cover this up?’” Huston’s mom thought of putting plants in the nooks. “As you can see, I love my plants, I love nature in general. So I think it’s cool how we were able to utilize the space in a great way instead of making it into a normal wall.” Opposite is a gallery of photos—Huston doing favorite tricks; pictured with his family; and as a baby with his first-ever skateboard. “All the photos are very memorable,” he says.
A skull dream catcher hangs at the entrance to Huston’s master bedroom where, to break up all the black, white, and gray, he introduced timber elements over his RH bed. A splash of color comes courtesy of friend Mark Rios, aka Mr. Dripping, who, says Huston, “drips paint and makes these faces, and actually came to the house and painted this canvas for me right here.”
A friend connected Huston with a marble company in Los Angeles, where he chose the pieces fitted around his massive tub, which he does soak in from time to time. “I love the way it turned out, the modern look of it,” he says. "And the plants there, too, help out with the good vibe.”
“I was super stoked to have a proper guest room in this house, because in my last house there were just people everywhere all the time,” says Huston. Because of the slanted roof, hanging curtains posed a challenge in the bedrooms. Their solution, wood valances, added “a cool aspect,” he says. “Man, it was a mission to figure that out!”

Dedication and passion feel like tangible elements in a house that’s just the right amount of grown up and serene. “My favorite room is definitely the trophy room,” says Huston, who for the first time designed a space dedicated to his many wins. “I love to go in there and see all the hard work I’ve put in,” he adds. Visually, the entire home is evidence of 20 years of work, beginning when Huston was just five years old (at seven he got his first sponsor, Element, and at 11 he made his X Games debut). It’s filled with not only accolades but also poignant memories captured on film.

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Perhaps that’s why Huston—skating into the 2020 Olympics fresh off an impressive winning streak—feels protective of his airy, sophisticated retreat that is, in many ways, a contrast to his dark, messy San Juan Capistrano party palace. “I’m only 25, but I feel like I’ve already experienced so much of life,” says the skateboard star. In a sure sign of maturity, he adds, “I haven’t had an official party at the house yet, because I’m just so obsessed with it I don’t want anything to get messed up—it’s very rewarding living here.”

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Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest