Nautical bathroom ideas that are inspired by the seaside

Be inspired by holiday cottages and days at the beach to create a fresh and relaxed nautical look in your bathroom

You can almost feel the sand between your toes and hear the lapping of the waves with a laid-back beach-themed bathroom. And, it’s a look that suits your bathroom perfectly, with distressed wood, nautical accessories and striped textiles. Go for blue and white, then mix in driftwood and wicker for a beachcomber vibe. Personalise the look with treasures such as postcards and photos to conjure happy memories of holidays past.

Take classic country style, add the feel-good factor of being beside the sea – and you’ll end up with a scheme that’s as emotionally appealing as it is visually. This is one look you can never tire of and is easy to adjust and develop. Add nautical and seaside motifs and accessories to your room with a light touch – particularly in the bathroom, where they can look clichéd.

If you prefer formal over slouchy and laid-back, swap coastal scenes for classic striped wallpaper and ease back on the shabby finishes. If you can’t give up the glamour, swap matt cottons for colonial-style black accents, sparkling glassware and pure linen. Bright whites, faded denim blues and a few pops of scarlet create an easy-going but quintessentially British seaside feel. Look for bathroom storage with a rustic, weathered finish in a pale palette and keep it fun and quirky in a family bathroom with plenty of themed accessories and motifs.

So even if you are fully land-locked, make the most of that coastal feeling with bathroom design ideas that will bring the seaside inside.

Theme a small space

Image credit: Brent Darby/Country Homes & Interiors

When space is tight in a bathroom, keep things simple. This compact under-the-eaves room has its smart boat bath centre stage. With natural light limited by a tiny window, this black-and-white scheme keeps things  simple and easy on the eye, while tongue-and-groove panelling boxes off the pipework while providing storage and display space. Pops of blue and red introduce a coastal theme perfectly in keeping with the panelling.

Decorate with different shades of blue

Image credit: Polly Eltes/Country Homes and Interiors

This country bathroom uses gentle shades of blue and a nautical theme to add character. Using subtle touches of colour and minimal accessories is a great way to introduce elements of a trend without creating a themed room. Here, shells, starfish and a blue and white striped blind give the neutral bathroom a coastal feel, but only at its most mild. The paneling around the bath offers the perfect place to display accessories.

Work in raw materials

Image credit: Brett Charles/Style at Home

Evoke wonderful memories of summers spent in beach huts with a stunning photo of a seaside landscape positioned above the bath. Find a favourite picture and have it made into a large-scale print, flyposter or wall decal. Make sure that you seal it with varnish to ensure that it is watertight. Scour salvage yards for reclaimed wood to use as panels on your bath, walls and floor. Don’t be discouraged when sourcing salvaged wood – even when damaged, wood can often be restored to its former glory. Any dents and scratches become part of the patina of age.

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Buy now:
Similar Timber, B&Q

Opt for nautical accessories

Image credit: Brett Charles/Style at Home

A porthole-style window (or perhaps a mirror that creates the illusion of one) is a perfect way to add a coastal feel to the architectural features of your home. Select painted panelling for a relaxed, East-coast feel. Choose a deep-sea blue for the walls immediately behind the bath. Add novelty anchor towel holders to create a quirky home for striped towels.

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Buy now:
Similar mirror, Coastal Home

Acessorise the right way

Image credit: Ideal Home

Combine maritime elements for a yacht-club-inspired look. Use smart stripes to add colour to the pale walls and team it with a co-ordinating rug for a cohesive and considered look. On the windows, opt for a Venetian-style blind to inject coastal-style, as well as to let light in without compromising on privacy. Complete the look with seaside-inspired accessories and rich blue linens.

Stick to a theme

Image credit: Simon Scarboro/Country Homes & Interiors

Keep your base colour neutral: White walls and floors will open up even a tiny room and give a feeling of a light and airy space. Choose accents of natural, earthy tones to warm up your room. Opt for wooden bath panels to shake-up a blue and white room.

Get the look
Buy now: 
Blind, Jane Churchill
Buy now: Similar bath, Drummonds

Image credit: Trevor Richards/Country Homes & Interiors

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Use the colours of nature to inspire your decorating scheme. Play with the sky, sea and sand to form a dreamy coastal colour scheme. A weathered, faded look is the essence of a coastal theme for your home, think bleached and dip-dyed linens and fabrics. Bring the colours of the seaside into your home and channel coastal chic with calming whites and cool shades of blue. Punctuate this nautical scene with candle holders and accessories in a similar colour palette.

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Buy now: Similar throw, Anthropologie

Keep it authentic

Image credit: James Merrell/Homes & Gardens

Conjure up memories of faraway lands and fabulous seascapes with a rustic Mediterranean-inspired bathroom. Create a room that feels light, breezy and energising by day, but cosy and cocooning at night. Rough white walls and cool blue accents give this bathroom space it’s cave-like, laid-back vibe. Here, a stack of boldly striped towels adds to the maritime mood of this simple but effective bathroom. Paint a vintage freestanding tub in an azure blue hue, then sand for an unpolished, weathered finish.

Conjure up holiday memories

Image credit: Katie Lee/Style at Home

Epitomise beach-hut chic with white shabby-chic storage and coastal-style accessories. Introduce elements of coastal living by using a few carefully chosen accessories. A drift-wood style ledge infront of the mirror creates a lovely display shelf perfect for shells and wild-flowers vased in simple jam jars.

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Buy now: Similar towel and accessories, Marks & Spencer

Go nostalgic

Image credit: Nigel Rigden/Style at Home

Set a nostalgic feel with vintage-inspired, seaside-themed wallpaper and simple white-painted wooden furniture. Add an old-fashioned charm to your room with charity-shop art and classic beachside plaques. Take the look one step further with a novelty toilet seat. Use a crate as a quirky box shelf to display personal objects and trinkets. Wooden crates don’t have to be expensive and even less than perfect ones are easy to make pretty and practical.

Make it modern

Image credit: Emma Lee/Homes & Gardens

Be invigorated by a stormy-sea shade or moody blue sky. Choose a St Ives-inspired fabric beneath the basin, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a permanent holiday while using it. To keep the look crisp, choose pure whites, not creamy, yellower shades, as these will look dirtier against the fresh blue tones.

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Buy now: St Ives fabric, £40 per metre, Sanderson at Wallpaper Direct

Go all out

Nautical bathroom ideas

Image credit: Paul Reaside

Get a cheerful look using aquatic brights and create a dynamic scheme by covering a feature wall in a reef-inspired design – a coral print will bring back that holiday feeling. Combine energising turquoise and verdant green for a vibrant, modern look. A bold palette like this lends itself to a scheme with a Miami beach vibe – think modern, stylish furniture and glamorous, white, high-gloss finishes. Calm the lively pattern by painting the adjacent walls in a soothing palette of white. Finish off the look with fabulous sea finds. Position them organically as though they’ve washed up on shore amongst coral and sand-beaten glass, as well as watery glazes and sea urchins for a super-chic stylised look.

Get the look

Buy now: Coralie wallpaper, £49 per roll, Lorca at Osborne & Little

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