We all dream of days spent by the sea, so it’s no wonder the nautical look is so popular year after year when it comes to decorating our homes. This look is easy to achieve and offers a laid-back style which can work in any room; from bedrooms and bathrooms to kitchens and even into the garden for the summer months.

Décor decisions


Ophelia sofa in textured stripe red, from £775; natural cushion with red stripe, £18; galvanised metal frame, from £9, all Next

Start by deciding on the type of nautical style you want to create at home, as there are several different looks you can embrace within this trend.

A popular take is the more traditional vibe of white-washed interiors, blue and white stripes and plenty of natural woods. On the other hand, consider opting for more of a New England look with splashes of cherry red and bolder shades of blue for a more playful edge.

 

Off the wall

off the wall
Welcome aboard life ring, £9.95, Live Laugh Love

Set the scene in any room by giving your walls a coastal inspired feel. This could be achieved using paint to white-wash an exposed brick wall, or even using painters’ tape to create your very own striped design. Look out for wallpapers that give a nod to nautical—faux wood panelling will give your space a classic look and be reminiscent of a beach hut or seaside retreat, or why not go for a fun print such as ocean motifs or abstract fish patterns?

Think about whether your chosen design or paint colour is better suited to a feature wall or whether it will make more of an impact if used throughout. For a more permanent design feature, consider installing tongue and groove panelling, or making your own using simple MDF panels.

 

Floor filler


Cloud corner sofa in Navy Blue Brushed Cotton, £2,445, Loaf

Like walls, your floor treatment is equally as important when it comes to creating the coastal look. If you’re lucky enough to have floorboards, make the most of them and use them as a beautiful feature in the room. Try your hand at adding a white-wash to brighten up the whole space or, if they have a dark stain, sand them back and re-varnish for a lighter-coloured finish.

Depending on which room in the house you’re decorating, use rugs to continue the seaside look. Jute is a natural material which is well-suited to this style and its hardy texture is perfect for a hallway or kitchen. For a softer touch in a living room or bedroom, look for a rug to bring out colours such as navy blue, baby blue or a splash of red depending on your chosen nautical scheme.

 

Must-have motifs


Shore cereal bowls, £3 each; mugs, £3.50 each; cast iron fish trivet, £15; cast iron blue 3.3L casserole dish, all Sainsbury’s

There are plenty of playful designs you can incorporate into this popular look, so don’t be afraid of having a little fun with the finishing touches. Think seashells, crabs, gulls or anchors to name just a few!

Look out for a small model of a ship to act as a well-themed ornament on your bookshelf, or invest in a new set of tableware with lobster or fish motifs. Oars and life-rings make quirky pieces of wall art and navy bunting will look the part hung above a headboard or mantelpiece.

 

Raw finish


Abstract seascape print, £25, Arthouse

Choose pieces with plenty of natural textures to furnish and accessorise your newly-designed space. Wooden furniture will fit in well with a coastal look, whether it’s painted, white washed or in its original colourway.

Try to opt for lighter woods such as ash or oak, as walnut and mahogany can look dark and dated in this type of scheme. Look for pieces with a weathered and distressed finish to complete the look, or this is something you can do yourself using fine sandpaper to lightly rub away parts of the paintwork and expose the wood beneath.

Cottons and linens are wonderful fabrics to work into this look when it comes to soft furnishings, and try to include a few accent pieces with rope detailing, such as a lamp or mirror, to pull the theme together.

 

Bright idea


Coastal Stripe Navy percale bedding, from £18 for a housewife pillowcase, The Secret Linen Store

Continue the nautical vibe through to your lighting choices if possible, too. Fisherman-style pendant lights will suit a coastal-inspired kitchen or dining area, and shades featuring bamboo or rope will help add texture.

Lanterns ooze seaside charm and can be positioned by the fireplace for a cosy touch, or grouped together in a small cluster as a centrepiece on your dining table.

 

Read more tips from Cassie Pryce

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