Nautical Ideas

Coastal and Nautical Décor: Ideas for Your Home

Welcome the light and breezy styles of Coastal and Nautical décor in your home with beach inspired furniture and accessories. These relaxed themes bring the natural beauty of the sea indoors and create a tranquil getaway.

Decorating Tips
Giving your room or home a Coastal or Nautical makeover is as easy as understanding the elements common to these styles:

For a real oceanside feel, incorporate several pieces that are comfortable/overstuffed and upholstered in easy-to-clean sport fabrics. Striped slipcovers are a great way to capture this look and feature the added bonus of being able to change them whenever you’re in the mood for a fresh new look.
Striped Couch
For wood pieces, opt for those painted in pale, milky whites, blues or greens. Finishes designed for a weathered or distressed look are especially popular. Give current furniture or yard sale finds new life by using chippy or cracked paint treatments available at craft and hardware stores. Be sure to replace ordinary knobs and pulls with sea-inspired designs in antique brass, copper, pewter or nickel.

Wicker furniture is an excellent alternative to wood and adds casual flair to living rooms and bedrooms. You can also make ordinary pieces extraordinary by adding an artful seashell design. For ideas, take a look at our Shell Furniture.

Wall Color:

Don’t underestimate the importance of wall color when creating nautical interior designs. The right paint creates the comfortable mood you’re looking for and brings together the different elements of your design. Consider these options:

Blue weathered wood

  • Soothing colors like light and creamy whites, yellows or blues
  • Paint effects such as sponging or crackling to create an aged or weathered effect
  • Beach-themed stencils
  • Wall borders or murals
  • Wainscoting, especially for a New England look


Lighting is a principle element of Nautical or Coastal interior design. Combine natural light and recessed lighting with interesting table or floor lamps. Many exciting choices are available, such as designs featuring boats, fish, seashells or coral, seabirds, anchors, lighthouses or lifeguard chairs. You can also use coordinating ceiling fans. Lamp kits available at craft or hardware stores make it easy to convert many found objects into original lighting designs.


The options for accessorizing are as endless as the variety of the sea. Get started with these ideas:

  • Large starfish on white shelvesStarfish and shells
  • Glass bowls or vases filled with your favorite sea shells and beach sand
  • Lobster trap markers and fish nets
  • Mermaid or blue crab figurines
  • Driftwood finished with rope and a metal sandpiper figure
  • Crane or nautilus bookends
  • Weathered wooden seagulls or ships
  • Sea shell mirrors or picture frames
  • Porthole-shaped mirrors
  • Stained glass images of lighthouses

For many, beachcombing is a favorite seaside pastime. Display ocean-themed items found on the beach or in stores or yard sales such as:


  • Ship replicas
  • Old brass spyglasses
  • Vintage sextants
  • A shadow box of nautical knots
  • Worn lanterns
  • Oars, nets, fishing poles, glass floats
Soften the look and accentuate furniture pieces by adding decorative pillows with seashore designs or solid blue and white colors.


Add warmth to the nautical theme by including area rugs throughout the home. Popular choices include sisal mats, short pile rugs, or stenciled floor mats in tan or blue. Other complementary choices for this style include rugs featuring coastal scenes.

If you prefer hardwood, a light stain goes perfectly with area rugs in white, tan, blue, ocean green or white.

Wall Art:

Highlight your coastal theme using wall art. Consider black and white beach and ocean scenes or boat prints in light frames. To enhance this style, apply seaside watercolors or Doral prints to a chippy white frame. Other excellent choices include prints of seashells, starfish, birds and harbor scenes, a tromp l’oeil of a porthole or a tapestry featuring a romantic ocean panorama.

Window Treatments:

Think light and airy with sailboats, lighthouses or seashells; canvas with blue and white stripes; or consider bamboo or Roman shades.

Have Sea and Shell create a CUSTOM PIECE for your coastal and nautical influenced home.