Nail The Nautical Look Without Going Overboard

Jul 3

Hey there! I hope you’re having a lovely week!

In today’s post I want to share some tips on how you can achieve the nautical look at home without going overboard with the expenses or doing overkill with the artefacts.


Nautical-inspired home decor has been around for ages and will probably be around until the end of time, considering so many of us are deeply obsessed with the sea. The introduction of elements such as sea life, anchors, miniature ships, buoys, helms and navy & white striped soft furnishings can quickly add a timeless nautical feel to any space. If you’d like to go nautical without it becoming a major decorating project, then pick a room or just a corner and consider these useful tips below.


For a simpler nautical theme, paint your walls white or a cool pale colour such as a very light blue, sea foam green or off-white. If you prefer a more dramatic effect, then go for navy walls with a white trim along the skirting boards. Always consider how the choice of wall colour will affect the appearance of the furniture and accessories you already have. If you have all dark wood furniture, navy walls is obviously not a good choice. 



It is essential to keep your window treatments light and airy to allow even that ‘first light of day’ to stream in abundantly. Opt for gauzy fabrics such as lightweight linens, muslin and cotton voile in paler colours, again, whites the palest of blues and sea foam green works very well here. If you’re using blinds, go for white or light natural woods.

nautical windows


As always, the accessories you choose can either make or break the look so be 100% honest and clear about what you really want to achieve and choose your pieces accordingly. There’s no point in decorating your living space with items you’re not genuinely attached to or things you just can’t relate to in any way. Your home should look and feel like YOU. At least, that’s my opinion anyway. Here are a few guidelines to follow when adding your accessories.

Integrate Collections : If you have the soul of a sailor then by all means, bring out the helm, anchor, telescope, navigational charts and other authentic nautical artefacts you’ve been collecting. However, if you’re drawn to the more natural aspect of the theme then it might be best to stick to sea life imagery and weathered ropes, and rely more heavily on the colours of your wall art and soft furnishing to pull the theme together. Whichever boat you’re in, the approach is the same. Reserve a feature wall, the mantlepiece or a corner for displaying larger items, and create little vignettes on a bookshelf, side table or coffee table with smaller items.


Soft Furnishings: If the obviously nautical items you have are too small to make the desired impact, you can rely more heavily on cushions, rugs, bed linen and towels to help you along the way. Go for navy, cobalt, beachy blues, and whites then add a strong coral, red or a mellow yellow as an accent colour to brighten things up if you so desire. Whether plain, striped or printed with a motif, the right sizes, colours and textures should do the trick.

nautical throw

Wall Art: Decorate your walls with prints or paintings of various sea life including shells and corals. A framed vintage navigational chart or a contemporary anchor print will work just as well depending on your existing style. Remember the colour of your prints and the frames are also important points to consider.

nautical art

Embellish Creatively: Up for a bit of DIY action? Embellish existing accessories such as lamps, trays and vases with items like weathered rope and seashells. A very simple yet effective thing to do is replace your standard curtain tie-backs with rope. That is sure to bring a bit of nautical charm to your space. For those of you with more dedication to DIY, repurposing paddles and oars into coat racks and glass floats into lamp bases are also excellent ideas.


However you choose to accessorise, ALWAYS try to strike a balance by mixing the weight, height, size and texture of your items. This makes for a more relaxed, natural and aesthetically pleasing outcome.


So, you like the nautical look but not sure you can live with it? No stress, just leave your living room as it is and throw a nautical themed dinner party. I eagerly await my invitation in the post! Ha ha! Here are some ideas for you too.


Images taken from Pinterest

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