My House: Apparel Designer Mikey Armenta’s Northern California Surf Retreat

My House: Apparel Designer Mikey Armenta’s Northern California Surf Retreat

By Thomas McDermott
In the sleepy surf town of Bolinas, Taylor Stitch creative director Mikey Armenta finds inspiration in the ocean.

Mikey Armenta wears a lot of hats at the San Francisco–based men’s clothing brand Taylor Stitch. When he’s not snapping photographs of a new collection or designing eye-catching window displays, he’s thinking up a pattern or sketching out a new piece of apparel. In other words, he’s a creative powerhouse—but when his reserves run dry, he retreats across the Golden Gate Bridge to the quaint seaside town of Bolinas, California.

Taylor Stitch creative director Mikey Armenta rinses off at this Bolinas, California, surf retreat. 

On the weekend, you can find him relaxing on his porch high up on the hillside; otherwise, he’s out catching waves down on the beach below. But the house is more than just a surf shack. There’s a slightly submerged kitchen replete with exposed brick, a master bedroom that benefits from the light breeze floating off the ocean, and an outdoor shower hidden in the shade of palm fronds. 

We caught up with him for a quick tour of his home and asked him a few questions along the way.

What would you say is your most prized possession at home?

My dad gave me his Pentax Honeywell 35mm camera when he realized I was shooting more film than him. He bought it in ’68 when he was in medical school in Medellín. 

Any tips for sourcing furniture and vintage finds?

Drive a truck, and always keep your eyes peeled. I search for a lot of antique and thrift stores on my travels. I usually find some quirky shelf piece that serves as a memento of that trip or time in my life. 


How’d you choose the art in your home?

A lot of art I acquire from friends. My buddy Ty Williams gifted us a few fun pieces that keep the vibe light.

Is there somewhere that you’ve carved out as your own creative space? Tell us a little about the music room.

We have a lot of little nooks in the house that lend [themselves] to creative endeavors. It’s laid out in a way that allows me and Sally to work on many different things without being on top of each other. There’s a music studio conveniently located in the back of the house that sits in a hillside allowing us to crank it up without bothering anyone.

Shop Taylor Stitch
Taylor Stitch Mechanic Jacket in British Khaki
When your work’s cut out for you, look no further than the Mechanic Jacket—an effortlessly sharp, painstakingly constructed garment that’ll survive whatever you throw at it with aplomb.
Taylor Stitch Crater Shirt
The aptly named Crater Shirt made a big impact when it first appeared on the TS roster. What it lacks in bells and whistles (unless we're counting the snazzy cats eye buttons) it more than makes up for with some timeless good looks and rugged construction.
Taylor Stitch Democratic Jean
Being a Bay Area-based brand, you could say blue runs in our blood—the blue jean is as integral to the local identity as the Golden Gate Bridge or the grizzly bear, and we're honored to uphold—and elevate—that tradition.

Is there anywhere in the house that you feel the most creative?

I usually find that my most creative moments are at the kitchen table, where I can see the ocean and feel I’m not missing out on anything.

Try and sum up your design approach in one sentence.

I try to find a practical approach to create functionality. 

What’s the most important thing that makes a house feel like a home to you?

Sharing the place with others, whether around a cozy meal or listening to music by the fire.

What’s your favorite part of where you live?

I can see the ocean while my head is still on the pillow. Being so close to what nurtures my soul is probably the most idyllic part of where I live.

What’s surprised you the most about your home?

The amount of visitors we continually get.

If you could redesign any room in your home, what would you change and why?

If I were to re-design a room in this house, it would be the tool shed because the chaos level in there is at its peak right now. 

What’s some interior design advice you would give someone who’s beginning to decorate their home?

Decorate your home slowly and with the things that make you feel more whole. Don’t attach yourself too firmly to belongings, as they're only things that can eventually become clutter.

Shop Taylor Stitch
Taylor Stitch Heavy Bag Tee
We took the soft touch of your favorite decade-old tee and beefed it up. Rugged, but with a gentler side, this heavyweight's sure to slide to the top of your tee rotation.
Taylor Stitch Headland Sweater in Marled Navy
The Headland Sweater—named for the coast-dominating headlands that provide unparalleled seaside vantages—is built to accompany you during those perspective-expanding moments.
Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino in Organic Olive
The most comfortable and hardest wearing chino out there—now with just a hint of added stretch.

Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.