Call of the coast: an Australian stylist’s California dream home

After years in New York, a move to Laguna Beach for a nature-lover was like coming home

Marcus Hay still clearly recalls the moment he decided to move to Laguna Beach in California. He was having lunch with his partner in a restaurant overlooking the ocean. “Everybody looked so happy and the sun was shining,” he says. “We were in our black clothes from New York and stood out like sore thumbs. But we said to ourselves: ‘This could be our future.’ After being in Manhattan for 13 years, I was ready for a sea change.”

For the Australian stylist, whose clients include American homeware brands such as CB2, West Elm and Williams Sonoma, it was also something of a throwback to his childhood. “When I grew up in Sydney, I lived right on the beach,” he says. “I used to spend a lot of my childhood fascinated with rock pools.”

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