Nautical bathroom ideas that are inspired by the seaside

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Be inspired by holiday cottages and days at the beach to create a fresh and relaxed nautical look in your bathroom

    Want to get the nautical bathroom look in your home? It might be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream of the summer sun!

    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.

    Want more bathroom decor ideas? READ: Small bathroom ideas to optimise your space

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

    1. Paint it white

    Nautical bathroom ideas

    Image credit: Alistair Nicholls

    A nautical bathroom should be two things; relaxing and lived-in – and this coastal scheme certainly ticks both of those boxes. If in doubt, paint your bathroom white, and add weathered accessories that can be easily changed at the drop of a hat. Look for shabby, beachcomber style furniture, and add mirrors and picture frames with a driftwood-esque feel. If creating a bathroom from scratch, opt for wooden panelling to call to mind the fisherman’s huts of the British seaside.

    2. Theme a small space

    Image credit: Brent Darby/Country Homes & Interiors

    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.

    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. If you don’t want to go too coastal, then look for nautical bathroom accessories that you can change easily. Pops of blue and red introduce a coastal theme perfectly in keeping with the panelling.

    3. Decorate with nautical accessories

    nautical bathroom ideas nautical bathroom decor

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Accessorise a neutral bathroom with jolly nautical-themed accessories. This neutral palette has been used as a fresh backdrop for seaside-style towels, bathmat, artwork and decorative pieces. The window treatment is simple and provides a contrast to the ornate wooden painted mirror and distressed display cabinet. The rich red linoleum floor helps to anchor the scheme.

    Looking for more bathroom inspiration? READ: Hotel-style bathroom ideas to inspire a luxurious scheme

    4. Paint in nudes

    neutral bathroom decor

    Image credits: Brett Charles

    Sandy tones and influences take this neutral bathroom to a seaside location without all the obvious blue and white nautical touches. Carefully chosen nautical bathroom accessories introduce the trend while retaining a calming neutral tone – perfect for a relaxing bathroom. A porthole-style mirror above the sink and large sand-filled vases both nod to the nautical but maintain the warm and calm effect of the wall and woodwork palette.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    Similar Timber, B&Q

    7. 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.

    Get the look
    Buy now:
    Similar mirror, Coastal Home

    8. 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.

    9. 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

    10. Try out trends

    Image credit: Trevor Richards/Country Homes & Interiors

    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.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar throw, Anthropologie

    11. 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.

    For more bathroom decor ideas. READ: Bathroom storage ideas to help you stay neat, tidy and organised

    12. 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.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Similar towel and accessories, Marks & Spencer

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

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

    15. Go all out

    Nautical bathroom ideas

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Get a cheerful look in your nautical bathroom 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

    Do you love nautical bathroom decor? Will you be trying these nautical bathroom ideas in your home?

    All the latest from Ideal Home