Have you ever dreamed of teleporting directly from your living room to a relaxing, seaside getaway? Do you ever sit on your couch, close your eyes, and envision white yachts sailing across cerulean seas?
We have good news for all of you perpetual idealists! There is a way to capture that blissful vacation sensation without stepping foot outside your own home. The perfect nautical color palette conjures up the feeling of eternal summer.
Designing your home using nautical wall art and decor is both trendy and timeless. Typical nautical hues include royal blues and bright whites, but there are plenty of vivid accent colors you should explore. Read on to discover how to achieve a vibrant take on traditional nautical style.
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Nautical Living Room Ideas
When you’re experimenting with a new décor trend, start with your most visible room. Make the most out of your new color scheme by applying it to your main living space. Start with a navy blue or beige sofa to hint at seaside vibes. Accessorize with rope and macrame details for a truly nautical touch. Patterns like stripes and plaid can create a breezy-meets-preppy look. A nautical living room is perfect for hosting guests and casually kicking back with friends and family.
Using Nautical Blue in Your Living Space
Blue is the staple shade for any nautical interior. As we expand on more blue-hued shades below, focus on rich colors that are reminiscent of a day out sailing. You can add these colors to your living room through furniture, wall art, or paint colors.
Blue Hues: Pro Tips
ElephantStock's interior design expert Elimar Lobo Sáenz shares her tips for incorporating bright blue hues:
“Interior designers have dubbed bright blue as one of the top interior design trends for 2023-2024. Using richer blues along with lighter blue textiles will give to your space a serene Santorini-inspired vibe. If you’re a minimalist through and through, consider adding pops of dark, true blues for a vivid touch to your room. Incorporate this unbeatable hue into your decor as a constant reminder of the seaside and clear skies above.”
Shades from Under the Sea
When it comes to a nautical color palette, you have to pick and choose your pops of color with the sea in mind. Paint three walls white with one pool blue accent wall. Combining various shades of azure and sapphire is essential to the nautical aesthetic. Highlight the natural beauty of the ocean with a piece of photo-realistic wall art. Your color palette should revolve around marine scenes, with aqua blues and seafoam greens taking center stage. Choose beige-colored rugs and flooring to mimic the look of sand and summon memories of the sea lapping at the shore.
Feeling Beachy Keen
Transport yourself to your favorite beach by turning your home into a coastal cottage. Experiment with white woods and striped details to capture a resort-inspired ambience. Hang some faux-window wall art to create the illusion that your living room overlooks the crashing waves. Play with pastels to create a softer effect. Incorporating light pinks and pale peaches is a foolproof technique to brighten up your space. Use chic chartreuses and true blues to mimic a tranquil seascape.
Travel to the Tropics
Nautical isn't only preppy sailboat shades. You can also lean more tropical in your overall décor. Look for wall art on the quirkier side, and don’t be afraid to use sunny yellows and muted orange hues. To offset the more vivid tropical tones, focus on muted teals and light greys. As long as the majority of your décor looks fresh and understated, feel free to have fun with warm pops of color.
You Can’t Go Wrong with Classic
There’s something to be said for sticking to the basics. If you’re obsessed with the original nautical color palette, there are a few rules that will help you achieve this classic look. First, find a piece of wall art that incorporates the most important shades: red, white, and sky blue. Once you find your perfect painting, pull from the colors within the print. Navy blue is a timeless choice for furniture, while an off-white backdrop will never go out of style. Don’t forget to add shades of red to contrast the baby blues.
Light, Bright, and Blue
Seashell shades and kelp-inspired colors will help round out your array of blues. Place aquatic houseplants in your living and dining area, and accessorize with dried coral. Play with sage green as a refreshing accent color, and make your focal point a muted teal. Each room should feel airy and bright, so powder blue is a color you can’t use enough of. Don’t forget to choose wood that looks like sand, and add bright white furniture to contrast the pervasive tan.
Yoko Chow, interior designer and owner of Yoko Chow Design LLC, shares her advice for nautical décor:
"Blue and white are almost pre-programmed in [our mind] when we decorate with a nautical theme. Lighter blues are known to [conjure up] a calming and peaceful disposition, while dark blue creates a dramatic contrast."
Chow sticks to several tried-and-true tricks for properly executing a nautical interior. She continues, “White walls with a navy sofa and some patterned pillows in off-white and blue and white will set the tone. Additionally, you can use brown as a [neutral] tone to supplement the overall color palette; indicating [a down-to-earth interior], and the importance of home.”
Chow then follows up with some final tips to complete the look, “You can [also] include an accent wall covered with rustic reclaimed wood panels, incorporate wicker furniture, or add nautical rope decor. [Just] be careful not to use excessive amounts of dark blue, as it can create a cold feeling."
Nautical Color Scheme
No matter how you choose to incorporate the theme, you can rest easy knowing that nautical colors will never go out of style. Take the plunge and dive deep into a nautical color palette. You won’t regret it.