Our nautical decorating ideas are all about the easy-come, easy-go spirit of holidays by the coast. Breathe sea-air style into schemes with shore-inspired prints, soft stripes and cool blues. Trim the sails, scrub the decks and break out the picnic basket – it’s time to escape to a simple life by the shore with these fabulous coastal interiors.
There is something about cool, breezy blues that can create a relaxed and uplifted holiday mood in any room. Coastal blues – mid blues with a grey undertone – are the decorating equivalent of your favourite pair of jeans. The right shade will fit perfectly, look great dressed up or down, and never fail to make you feel good about your chosen decorating scheme. From chalky stonewashed shades to lilac hydrangea tones and crisp navy, sea blues are fresh, natural and easy to use.
Choose furniture in pale colours that look as if they’ve been bleached by sun – these creams and buttermilks are softer than pure white and won’t show up marks as much. With such a muted colour scheme, you can have fun with prints and accessories. Play up the room’s summer feel with sand, sky and navy colours on curtains and cushions and add a statement armchair in classic stripes to complete the look.
Pick a blue and white scheme and you’ll nail the coastal theme in a simple and subtle way. Woodwork is best painted in a really bright white to create an open and airy feel. Add pattern to break up the blocks of colour, but stick to a blue-and-white palette for a seamless effect. Natural-coloured seagrass accessories will look great, too.
Create a seaside-inspired scheme in a spacious country kitchen, where there’s plenty of room to put crockery on display. Wooden panelling is great for creating coastal style, especially when painted in a blue hue. Natural materials such as wood and basket weaves ensure the space stays true to its outdoor inspiration. Don’t overdo it, though – here, a painted peg rail means there’s only one wood finish on the walls.
A feature wall with boat-print wallpaper lends character to this bedroom – add to the nautical feel by hanging round mirrors to mimic a ship’s portholes. Get a laid-back look with wooden and leather furniture and soft, brushed cotton and chambray fabrics. Industrial-style lighting will give your scheme a tougher, more outdoorsy feel.
Start with a basic white room, use striped for the upholstery and finish with shell, rope and sail-boat accessories. Keep windows curtain-free or go for sheer blinds to let the light in and keep the scheme super-simple. Make space for more guests with bench seating instead of chairs. Stick to the theme – even the smallest accessories should be seaside related.
Give a classic, country scheme a coastal twist with fresh ocean blue, to turn your living room into a relaxed and invigorating retreat. Bold stripes used on upholstery can be tempered with patterns in softer shades of the same colour. The rule for decorating with ocean blue is to use it in no more than 50% of the scheme. This will help your room look fresh and inviting, not chilly and unwelcoming. Mix this colour with white, sky and driftwood – be guided by nature and the result will be a nautical palette that can’t fail to revive and relax you.
Take the nautical trend outdoors to create your own Balearic beach house. Upholstered cushion pads with an ammonite-inspired design bring a seashore feel to a swing seat. Floral and nautical designs have been used for a mix-and-match look. To keep the look crisp, choose pure whites, not creamy, yellower shades, as these will look dirtier against the fresh blue tones.
Be inspired by the origins of modern America for your new home renovation. New England style is shorthand for crisp, coastal living and can transform your house into a relaxing home. Choose accents of natural, earthy tones to warm up your room. A rug, some throws or accessories will shake up a blue and white room.
Want more decorating ideas with a nautical twist? READ: Beach-themed bedrooms
Create a comfortable dining area with aged-look leather and wood furniture. Vintage filing cabinets make ideal storage for table linen, cutlery and candles, while garden hurricane lanterns are a nautical alternative to candlesticks. Look out for weathered finishes. Think sun-bleached, wind-whipped and well used wood and leather. Rubber-filled planks, like this laminate, are a hygienic, water and crumb-proof option for a dining area.
Dining table, bench, chairs and lanterns
Barker & Stonehouse
Create a maritime scheme with an elegant modern edge. The latest nautical look goes beyond bleached cotton and seashells to embrace bold colour, themed sculpture and artwork, giving interiors depth and interest. Here a dramatic rope-patterned wallpaper makes a dynamic focal point, with a vintage nautical knot sampler on the wall tying in with the theme.
Turn your home into a haven of neatness and comfort with this classic, American-inspired style that’s easily given a fresher twist come summer. While it reminds you of breezy shorelines and the rolling seas, this nautical look is all about creating laid-back rooms that have storage exactly where you need it. Surround yourself with boats, anchors, chandler’s handles and rope details. A bench and lockers will provide enough storage for you and all your shipmates.
Use cool colours, well worn natural textures and seaside motifs to create a fresh, relaxed look that will make every day feel like a summer holiday. Coastal blue will instantly make any room feel more friendly. Opt for small-scale seaside and nautical motifs to give a kids’ room a fresh, fun feel.
Team classic cream and chestnut wood furniture with navy and chrome accessories for a smart Long Island look. Here a combination of sea-inspired finds with dark-wood furniture and tailored seating showcase a more elegant take on the nautical trend. Create an atmospheric glow indoors and out. The reflective steel and candlelight will illuminate a dull corner. Finish off your New England scheme with a ship’s wheel hung above the fireplace. This decorative piece has real character.
Stone walls give this living room a rustic, underground feel, whilst understated soft furnishings, such as loose covers and throws, have an informal beach-house feel.
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Give a coastal scheme a contemporary twist with this all-neutral scheme, with not a hint of blue and white in sight. Walls and floors are kept pared back and simple with exposed beams and sunbleached wooden boards. A wood burner takes centre stage, surrounded by a curated collection of vintage furniture and accessories that share the seafarers theme.
Painting in blue bellow a dado or picture ledge at waist height, and above it in a soft shade of white or warm ivory, lightens this hallway and adds a shot of colour. The rattan baskets and wooden flooring bring a natural feel to the look.
Set the table outside for a laid-back lunch with an appliquéd fish design fabric as a tablecloth and a fishing net table runner. Team with comfortable ticking cushions and mix-and-match nautical tableware.
We hope our nautical decorating ideas have shown you just how versatile the coastal look can be. From the kitchen to the bedroom, you’re sure to find a spot to give it a whirl.