Design Ideas

5 nautical decor ideas

July 24, 2017

Who doesn't want to feel like they're on vacation, year-round? Tasteful nautical decor in your home creates a serene, seaside-inspired feel that embraces mindful living and relaxation. And with chic touches of maritime-style flair throughout your home, the end result will be impressively elegant and anything but kitschy. 

Here are five seaside decor ideas for your home:

1. Pay attention to wood type for furniture and walls 
The type of material you choose for your furniture as well as your walls can make a beautiful nautical statement. For an upscale, yacht-like feel, go for smooth wood paneling and shiny mahogany dining tables, end tables or bedframes. You could also use strips of polished mahogany along wall mouldings. Pine walls, with their visible knots, also mimic the interior look of a boat. For a more rustic nautical feel, choose natural-finish furniture or wall paneling with intriguing textures - their natural beauty calls to mind driftwood. Another option is to use a mix of white and light-colored furniture for an airy feel. 

grey Grey hardwood floors can create a soothing look in a nautical-inspired home.

2. Display treasures from the sea 
Be mindful of the seaside decorations you display throughout your space - a curated collection of beloved items keeps your home's decor from veering into seafood-restaurant territory. Anchors, sails and oars become a graceful focal point when secured to the wall above sofas, beds or dining tables or in entryways. Another tasteful idea is to frame and hang antique-style prints of seashells, fish, lighthouses or navigational maps throughout your home. Collections of sea glass, shells and other shore-finds can be beautifully displayed in clear glass jars across mantels or end tables, while blankets and extra pillows can be corralled in wicker baskets. 

3. Create softness and calm
Human beings are evolutionarily wired to feel calm and peaceful around the ocean - the soft sound of rolling waves relaxes us and soothes our minds. Reflect that serenity in your home with a design palette of airy whites, dreamy blues and refreshing seafoam. Consider lightness in the fabrics that you use, as well - gauzy curtains that blow in the breeze, oversize canvas pillows and irresistibly soft bedsheets beckon you to unplug and unwind. 

"Reflect serenity in your home with a palette of airy whites, dreamy blues and refreshing seafoam."

4. Go for white or grey hardwood flooring
Choose light-colored hardwood floors in your beach-inspired home to help create an airy feel. White or grey hardwood floors made from oak, maple or hickory are all good choices, with the species lending themselves well to light, airy colors. White floors can create a crisp, breezy feel, as well as a minimalist look. Light grey tones are soothing and calming. The great thing about white and grey hardwood floors are that they can be mixed and matched throughout your home easily, as they complement each other well. You could use white in the parlor and living room, for example, and grey in the kitchen and bedrooms. 

5. Mix and match patterns tastefully 
When creating a nautical-inspired space, it can be tempting to go overboard with stripes or seascape prints of sailboats, waves or lighthouses. However, too many patterns can make your rooms look busy and hectic - the opposite of what you want for your beach escape. Instead, adopt a less-is-more approach to using patterns, carefully considering where you take advantage of them. For example, classically nautical stripes look sharp on throw pillows arranged on the sofa, but can be too much when also splashed on curtains and carpets. Another approach is to vary the size of your patterns throughout your home - pinstripe curtains can be complemented, not overwhelmed, by a bed cover boasting bold, thick stripes.  

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