Whether you live next to the sea or a thousand miles away, it’s easy to add nautical décor to your home. The cool thing about decorating in a nautical style is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to add a few seaside touches. Here are four quick ways to add the feeling of the sea without breaking the bank.
1- Blue, Gray and White with a Touch of Red
Almost every nautical-themed design features a color scheme of blue, gray and white. Blue evokes the sea, gray the traditional wooden ships and white the clouds in the sky. These three colors tend toward the cool side of the color wheel, so warm up your room by adding a few touches of bright red, another color found in nautical-themed home design as well as nautical clothing.
Take the nautical theme even further by adding fabrics with blue and white or red and white stripes, another hallmark of seaside decorating. Horizontal stripes are more modern and are excellent to use for accent pillows or throw rugs. Vertical stripes look fantastic on the walls. The vertical stripes have the advantage of making your ceiling feel higher than it is, which will make your space seem larger.
Of course, you can use a different color scheme if you’d rather. As long as you scatter seaside accessories and artwork it will still come across as nautical décor.
2- Shells, Driftwood and Ocean-Themed Accessories
Accessorize your nautical décor with anything and everything washed ashore. Shells and driftwood are the most popular and the most plentiful. Glue a collection of shells to the frame of a mirror in a random or precise pattern. Either way it will look stunning. Place an interesting looking piece of driftwood as a centerpiece on a table or mantel or feature it as a sculpture on a pedestal.
Thick, sun-bleached ropes are another quick way to add nautical elements to your décor. The same can be said of cotton or nylon nets. Hang them haphazardly on your wall. They are especially attractive when strung across an inside corner. Sea shells also look good attached randomly to the nets with wire. Don’t stress about where you put the shells on the nets. Fish swim in schools, but not in formation.
3- Ocean-Themed Artwork
Seascape paintings or prints are a natural addition to a nautical-themed design. Frame them in weathered wood for maximum effect. Another type of artwork that screams nautical is maps of coastal areas, especially if the maps are old or made to look that way. To “antique” a new map, visit a craft store for antiquing gel and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Scour flea markets and second-hand stores looking for beach- or sea-themed signs or artifacts that can be used as artwork on your walls. Smaller items can be grouped together, like with like, for the biggest impact. Shadow boxes are another way to display one special artifact or a unique collection of a similar things. Think bobbers, fishing rods or other fishing tackle. A simple weathered sign with the word “beach” and an arrow pointing the way is quintessentially nautical.
4- Mariner Artifacts
Anything that was once on a ship can be turned into artwork, sculpture or an accessory in a nautical theme. With a little imagination, you can feature mariner artifacts that will look right at home in your house.
For example, hang an old oar on the wall, peeling paint and all. This can be a solo feature or part of a larger grouping of mariner artifacts. An old ship’s wheel, if large enough, can serve as a room divider. The added bonus is that light and air will pass through the spokes, but its size will define the spaces on either side of it as separate, but not isolated.
A mariner compass can be put into a shadow box and used as artwork on a small patch of wall. Other ship’s artifacts, like anchors, can be either hung on the wall or placed strategically throughout the room. An old ship’s log can sit on the coffee table instead of a coffee table book. Open it to a page with a particularly interesting entry. Better yet, change the open page to mirror the current day of the year and it turns into a conversation piece.
Simply put, look for anything that has even the smallest connection to the ocean and treat it as a special, unique object. Scatter a few seashells and driftwood in strategic places. Add a color scheme in blue, gray and white with a few pops of red. Feature a picture of the ocean, a coastal map or a navigational map. Presto. These four simple ideas integrated into your home will magically make it feel and look like a seaside beach house.