What is nautical style?
Peaceful, comfortable, and carefree: nautical décors continue the spirit of the beach and ocean in the interiors of homes and businesses. Though still most prominent in coastal towns and beach houses, this look has spread to spaces throughout the country. Nautically-styled homes and businesses are concerned with capturing the serenity of the ocean and re-creating the feeling of being on vacation. A successful nautical décor makes occupants and their guests feel the salty breeze, no matter how far they are from the coast. To achieve this effect, spaces are filled with maritime accessories, casual furniture, and marine lighting to create a laidback environment.
How to Create a Nautical Décor
From the more refined look of coastal New England homes to tropical-inspired designs and kitschy beach towns, there’s more variance in nautical décors than one might expect. That means nearly everyone’s personal style can be translated into a nautical-inspired space! With this much variety, it’s difficult to define the nautical style with specific rules. However, there’s a few qualities common to nearly every maritime-inspired space:
- Warm and Casual: Houses featuring a nautical décor should feel lived-in and comfortable, not like showrooms. Everything used to decorate these rooms must appear functional, regularly used, and inviting. Soft linens and slip covers are used for couches and chairs. A neutral color palette and gauzy drapes and fabrics imbue a space with a light, calming airiness.
- Shades of Blue and White: Nothing establishes a nautical décor quicker than incorporating various shades of blue and white into a room. Blue and white striped throw pillows, curtains, and accessories provide a traditional nautical look, while solid splashes of these colors achieve a more refined aesthetic.
- Don’t forget about red: To reinforce the marine motif, red accents are the ideal pops of color for this style.
- Wood Planks: In nautical décors, woods are either lightly stained for a more natural appearance or finished with paint. White shiplap is commonly used on the walls in kitchens and living spaces. Weathered or slightly distressed wood provide the antique aesthetic needed to give rooms a touch of authenticity.
- Accessories: Accessories are what ultimately establishes a nautical décor. Maritime maps and paintings depicting lighthouses, ships, and beaches are used as wall art. Authentic items like jute rope, oars, and signal flags enhance the nautical theme. Incorporated as décor items, driftwood and shells bring the feel of the outdoors into a home’s interior. Items like ships in bottles and stuffed fish provide classic nautical details.
What about lighting for nautical décors?
Most nautical lights attempt to evoke the fixtures installed on ships and piers. Nautical light fixtures usually function in one of two ways within a décor: smaller fixtures, like wall sconces, contribute authentic details and texture to a room, subtly elevating its style from the background. However, larger marine lighting, typically chandeliers, command attention with their large stature, setting the tone for a room’s style as a focal point. Nearly every mounting can accommodate nautical-style lighting.
- Bulkhead Lights: Reminiscent of the lights originally found on the bulkheads of ships, these nautical sconces assume a narrow, space-saving profile. By closely adhering to genuine bulkhead lights, these sconces imbue classic character into a setting.
- Guard sconces and pendants: Similar to bulkhead sconces, these marine lights recall the fixtures installed above doorways on ships. Along with the more traditional sconces, these lights are additionally offered as pendants and chandeliers.
- Dock Lights: These nautical lights fulfill a practical obligation, but still demonstrate an elevated style. Post top lights can also be employed on docks and piers.
- Wavy, Fluted Shades: Incorporating marine lighting with fluted shades is a simple way to impart a playful beachfront feel. These shades can be mounted as goosenecks, sconces, pendants, and more!