Ready to Go Nautical? We Have All the Best Ideas for Nautical Themed Decorating  

So it’s time to decorate the beach house, or the boat house, or even that cabin by the lake. You’re thinking ‘nautical,’ but not quite sure where to begin. But just like any decor scheme, one inspiration piece is all you really need to get those creative juices flowing.

For nautical themed decorating, think model ships or decorative boat models and build from there. Larger accent pieces such as fish netting, boat oars, and life preservers are ideal. Afterward, bring in smaller details, such as ocean-themed linens or throws, candles nestled in sand and seashells, and rugs made from jute. There are many techniques you can use to tie these items together so they compliment each other and look cohesive. We’ll cover two important ones in detail.

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Nautical Decorating Calls for Specific Color Palettes

Obviously, your color scheme should bring to mind some elements of the sand and the sea, but the color palette used could be different for every decorator and for every space. Small rooms, such as boat cabins or hallways, will appear larger if you use lighter colors on the walls, floors, and ceilings. This could make sandy-beige wall paint your new best friend. Add accents of teal, sky blue, and coral to lend a beachy air. Bring in natural elements such as driftwood, jute, and sand dollars to give the eyes a place to rest.

Then again, if you’re using nautical themed decorating in a large, cavernous space, you can afford to be more dramatic. Navy blue, contrasted with stark white and hints of gold, is very nautical. Open shelving filled with decorative boat models, lighthouse statuary, and the occasional conch shell will more than evoke a seafaring mood.

Nautical Theme Lighting Is Also a Plus

Lighting fixtures that combine heavy rope with wood or brass bring to mind a nautical theme. And so do wall-mounted lanterns. Lamps, pendant lights, and chandeliers that feature appropriate motifs are ideal as well. Consider patterns such as:

  • Boat anchors
  • Seagulls
  • Ship’s wheels
  • Compasses
  • Dolphins, Fish, or Whales

And echo these motifs in other elements around the room such as fabrics, throw rugs, carpets, and window treatments. Remember, you should always have several types of lighting in a room, including ambient, accent, and task lighting, to make the space more appealing and convenient.


When you’re ready to begin your new decorating project focused on nautical decor, visit for inspiration. You’ll find a captivation collection of nautical home decor, including ship models, spyglasses, and globes, both vintage-inspired and contemporary. There truly is something to satisfy every boat enthusiast at GoNautical. We invite you to shop for inspiration today.

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