Nautical decorating ideas – to inject your home with a little seaside chic

There are plenty of ways to tweak your scheme, whether you live by the sea or simply want introduce a sense of relaxed outdoor living to your home

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.

Love nautical decorating ideas? READ: Coastal living rooms that recreate carefree beach days

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.

Stick to a simple palette

dining room with wall mounted kitchen shelf blue wall and white table

(Image credit: David Brittain)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Luna Landscape 5 matt emulsion, £24.49 for 2.5ltr, Dulux
Buy now: Kentucky dining chair, £89.99 for two, Argos

Opt for a Country meets coastal look

coastal kitchen with blue panel wall and shelve and bench

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Witham plate rack, £178, Rowen & Wren
Buy now: Axis bench, £199, House of Fraser

Take the theme to the bedroom

nautical bedroom with boat-print wallpaper

(Image credit: TBC)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Wallpaper, Linwood
Buy now: Chest of drawers, Feather & Black

Make it modern

nautical hallway with rope motif wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Carolyn Barber)

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.

Instill an East-coast vibe

nautical hallway with bench storage unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Wallpaper, Esta Home at Wallpaperdirect
Buy now: Bench, cupboards and drawer units, The Dormy House
Buy now: Storage boxes, The Holding Company

Nod to nautical living

nautical dining room with laminate flooring and dark wood furniture

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Dining table, bench, chairs and lanterns, Barker & Stonehouse
Buy now: Apothecary chest, Clippings

Evoke a Long Island look

nautical living room with a Hampton's theme and ship's wheel

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Sideboard and coffee table, Laura Ashley
Buy now: Armchairs, Sweetpea & Willow
Buy now: Rug, Oka

Will you be adding any of these nautical decorating ideas to your interior design scheme?

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.