Summer Porches: Creating a Nautical-Themed Outdoor Space

In summer, all roads lead to the front porch. And there’s nothing more refreshing after a busy day at work or school, than coming home to a beautiful outdoor space that’s a reflection of you and your hobbies and interests. If you’re a pirate at heart, or you’d always rather be sailing, nautical decor can create the ideal theme. Start big, with dramatic inspiration pieces that bring to mind the sand and the sea, then fill in with smaller maritime accents, such as decorative anchors or nautical lighting. Mix and match, put in and take away, until you’ve created the perfect summer oasis for relaxation to set sail. Here’s what we recommend. 

Begin with a Good Quality Exterior Paint in a Nautical Color

A new coat of paint goes a long way toward refreshing a space, especially areas such as porches and railings that require regular maintenance. By repainting your front porch floor, trim, and railings, you’ll help protect it from extremes of weather. And if you use a good quality paint plus primer, one or two coats may be all that’s needed. We recommend using a darker color for outdoor flooring. Otherwise, you may spend the rest of the summer constantly sweeping up debris. An alternative would be to paint your porch floor in a lighter color, then purchase a large nautical-themed rug to cover all but the edges of your seating area.

Choose Your Nautical Rugs Wisely

Whether you opt for a single, room-size outdoor rug, or you prefer smaller rugs scattered about, choose them wisely. Something with a nautical motif will help drive your theme home. Consider dramatic stripes, sand dollars, or boat anchors. Or, feature a nautical shape throughout your space, such as the circular shape of a ship’s wheel, and repeat it throughout your design. But remember not to go overboard. For example, if you choose a busy rug, pair it with solid-colored outdoor cushions and vice-versa. 

Don’t Shy Away from Nautical Wall Art

The exterior walls that border a shaded front porch make beautiful backdrops for nautical wall art. You could mount boat oars over the front door or a compass rose near the window. And this is a perfect opportunity to flank a front door in nautical lighting. Reproduction ship lanterns are ideal for this purpose. 

Remember to Accessorize

A small grouping of furniture surrounding a coffee table makes a nice display area for nautical weather instruments, a decorative boat, or a ship’s bell. These give guests something to fiddle with and admire as they enjoy a cool glass of sweet tea and some warm conversation on your front porch. 

Use Porch Windows as Nautical Displays

And if you’d like to display an antique ship model or a collection of cherished boat models that you would never consider placing outdoors, display them in the window that opens to your front porch instead. They’ll add to your theme and give others a chance to admire them as much as you do. 

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