We’re ready to move in to filmmaker and surfer Mikey DeTemple’s beach house. Filled with beach relics, estate sale discoveries, and other nautical treasures, it’s not just Mikey’s escape from New York City…it’s a whole other world. Meet us in Montauk and discover how he’s customized his oceanside small space to make it his own (complete with a lofted surfboard rack) and get his picks for what to do and see on a trip to Long Island.
Photos by Zak Bush
Above: "My wife Lisa and I went to Brimfield a few years back. It was so overwhelming, so we split up in different directions to try and cover more ground. She found me later in the afternoon with this "Camp Fire Girls" flag. Total score."
Above: A vintage brass candle holder and an photo of Mikey's dad surfing in Montauk in the 1970s
Mikey has rented his Montauk studio for the last three years — owned by two good friends, before he had his own spot he split his time couch-surfing with friends and an uncle. "I would stay as long as I possible could while trying to keep both relationships intact," he explains. "I remember going to see [this] home and dreaming that I would be the coolest place to live. It's pretty fun to look back on it."
Above: "The boards in my rafters are all vintage. They do get ridden sometimes, and I've got to climb this old janky wooden ladder to get them down."
Today, he divides his time between Brooklyn and Montauk, "depending on what I've got going on in the city, and how the surf is out in Montauk. If the waves are good, I usually blow everything off and drive out there. I've been a lifelong visitor to Montauk, as were my parents, so it's in my blood to be out there. It really feels like home. I've got some amazing memories from being out there as a kid. I guess that's what brought me back out and why I spend so much time out there...chasing those memories."
Above: "My sailing and ocean books are scattered throughout the space. They are great references for sailing and I use them as inspiration for projects."
What’s a typical day-in-the-life like for you?
I like to keep it pretty simple in Montauk. I get up early, around 7:00 or so and drive down to the beach to check the ocean. Depending what it looks like, I'll go home and make coffee or grab a cup in town. If there's surf, I'll spend the entire day in the ocean. If there isn't, the list is long with things to do. I'll throw my little sailboat in the lake and spend hours doing that, or maybe drive over to the harbor and go flounder fishing on my uncles boat. By that time, it's usually past 8pm, so we're always having late dinners in the summer. Usually dinner goes until 11pm. From there, it's back home and do the same thing over the next day.
Above: "I love this collage of boat photos and paintings. They are all vintage from various places. My favorite is the small brass prop. "
Can you share more about the vintage and antique store discoveries that you’ve collected over the years?
I've accumulated a lot of stuff, and a lot of it comes from road trips up to Maine or local estate sales. I love reading the yard sale section of the paper and mapping out my Saturday morning going through other people's junk.
Do you have any specific collections?
I tend to always get the same stuff. Maps, flags, vintage sailing books. I have a hard time straying from vintage nautical. It's a problem sometimes.
What are your favorite spots in Montauk?
I love sailing on Lake Montauk when there's no surf. It's one of my favorite things to do out there. I love a morning cup of coffee from Lefthand in town and I enjoy dinner or a drink at the Crow's Nest.
Above: "I built this board rack a few weeks ago. It was a fun project, and houses everything I ride on a daily basis. There's a lot of variety in there: You could ride pretty much anything with that selection."
Can you share more about your surfboards?
I have very specific taste in vintage surfboards. There's an era that I really love: 1972-1979 is my favorite, so I'm always going after boards from around then. Most of the ones in my apartment were craigslist finds. There's one that I found under a friends house about 15 years ago in my rafters. The yellow Hanley I traded another board for. My Dad used to ride Hanley's in the 70's. I like to think that one could have been his.