Do you want to feel like being in an ever holiday? No worry if you don’t have a beach house. You can bring the sea, the boat, the spirit into your home by decorating it in nautical theme. Nautical home decor has always been a popular decorating style because of its casual, relaxed and cozy feel, which everyone wants their home to have.

You don’t have to invest a huge amount in a total house makeover. I have always been against massive consumption. My way of decorating in any style is to choose the big and most expensive furniture in neutral style and colors and accent the room with theme-specific elements. Typical nautical elements are seashells, boats, anchors, oars, red and navy stripes, paddles, boat steering wheel, lighthouse, ropes and fish and lobster shapes.

With that in mind, let’s explore these elements of nautical theme decorating for instant inspirations!

#1 – Nautical color combinations

Colors are the first elements that you should take into consideration before deciding on anything else so that you are clear on how your dream nautical themed home will look like. Creative Color Schemes has a great collection of color schemes for any theme that you would want to decorate in.

You can refer to the color palette below for your nautical home decor. You can choose a 2-color, 3-color or 4-color color combination for your theme accents.

nautical home decor color combination

Nautical color palette


#2 – Nautical pillows or cushions

Cushions and pillows are inexpensive ways to update the look of your sofa. A neutral color sofa (in white, beige or light grey) will turn nautical in instances by adding a few beach themed pillows and cushions.

nautical home decor cushions

Beach themed cushions


#3 – Sailing mapĀ  or travel poster or picture

I love how warm and cozy the walls become with vintage maps on. These maps can be found in poster stores or a lot from Ebay for very cheap prices. If you don’t want to change your wallpaper, having a big poster that runs across the wall is the closest way to give a striking effect to your wall as it draws attention right away and easily become the focal point of the room.

nautical home decor vintage map

Vintage map


#4 – Nautical theme rugs

The roughness and handmade look of the rugs give the beach house a warm and welcoming feeling. If you have a tools, time and talents to make the rugs yourself, that would be the greatest. However chain stores offer rugs in various sizes and colors at very budget-friendly prices for you to choose from. I bought tens of small cotton rugs for all the rooms in my house for only a few dollars each from IKEA and dollar stores. Cotton, rattan and braid rugs fit the best to nautical styled home.

nautical home decor rugs

Stripped rugs


#5 – Stripped elements

Stripped cushions, stripped wallpaper, rugs add nautical feeling to the room without overwhelming it. Many people decorate their beach houses with only white and navy blue as main colors and use navy stripes as the main pattern in the house and it still looks marvelous. So if you are unsure how to buy nautical decorations so that they look simple yet stylish, go for white and stripes – the no-fail combination.

nautical home decor stripes

Navy stripes


#6 – Sailing books

Books are not only for pleasant reads but are also great decorative items. A few old vintage sailing and boating books will add instant nautical feel to your bookshelf or wall at minimal costs.

seaside home theme sailing books

Sailing books


#7 – Seashells and starfishes

These are probably the easiest and cheapest (usually free) beach house themed decorations. In addition, it could translate into a fun afternoon at the beach for the kids to run around and enjoy a “Who collect the most seashells” competition.

You can display seashells as a centerpiece as they are or glue them around a candle holder, soap box or picture frame. or if you are intrigued by this marvelous seashell mirror below, head over to HGTV for a full tutorial.

nautical home decor seashell mirror

DIY seashell mirror


#8 – Rustic painted furniture

You don’t have to invest hundreds in antique pieces from any designer boutique. A few pieces of accent rustic furniture would already enough to bring the history and character into your room. You can buy a few old stools, nightstands or small tables for your flowers from the flea market and paint the furniture yourself for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

The Happy Housie has a great DIY tutorial how on to transform an old beaten up chair to this fresh stripped rustic one!

nautical home decor diy stripped chair

DIY painted chair


#9 – Wallpaper

If you can afford a supreme makeover for your home, consider going with nautical theme wallpaper. As walls make up the biggest area in a room, decorating with themed wallpaper allows you to keep other decorations to a minimum.

nautical home decor stripped wallpaper

Navy stripe wallpaper


#10 – Nautical style curtains

Curtains have a very big effect on the look of any room. Therefore choosing the right curtain will enhance your nautical home decor dramatically. There should be balance in your decorations otherwise the room might be too crowded. For example if the wallpaper or other textiles are already in nautical patterns, the curtains should be kept plain and simple with only one color hue.

nautical home decor curtains

Nautical curtains for kids’ room


Popular curtains for beach house style are: nautical pattern, stripped, navy or white fabric curtains or white, rattan and bamboo rolling curtains.

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