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.
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
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.
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Opt for a Country meets coastal look
Image credit: 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.
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.
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
Image credit: 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.
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.
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.