Your House is Your Haven: Don't Neglect the Interior

Three Tips For Your Maiden Voyage Into Nautical Decor

by Cherly King

Do you love the look of a nautical-themed room? Do you want to add some maritime style to your own home, but aren't sure whether or not you can pull it off? You absolutely can. Read on for three fun tips to guide you through your native voyage into nautical decor.

Hoist The Right Colors

The first step in your journey is selecting a color scheme that is reminiscent of the sea. Any combination of blue and white works well. For a classical nautical look, opt for navy blue and antique white. For a more modern maritime look, choose a rich turquoise blue and bright, crisp white. 

If a plain blue and white palette isn't lively enough for you, you can incorporate a burst of yellow, red, or black. These three colors were often used on sailor signal flags of long ago. Just be sure to use these additional colors sparingly, as they can quickly diminish the natural appearance that is necessary for a nautical-themed room.

Bring Brightwork Back

Now it's time to turn your sails toward the furniture store. What, exactly, are you looking for? What features can make a piece of furniture fit a nautical theme? Brightwork.

The term "brightwork" dates back at least 250 years. It refers to ships' shiny metal and varnished wood decor. Brightwork has a bad wrap for being notoriously difficult to maintain on the harsh, salty, sunny sea. Inside the safe confines of your home, however, it's nearly effortless to keep looking good.

Look for furnishings that incorporate polished teak or driftwood, and shiny brass or bronze metals. For upholstered furnishings, look for solid blue or white pieces, and then add pizzazz with a few throw cushions in bright, bold nautical prints. What types of prints are nautical? Anything in a large gingham or plaid print, or any piece that incorporates anchor, shell, or starfish motifs. 

Want something a little more extraordinary? Check out faux bois furniture. This furniture is made to resemble wood, but it's crafted from other materials such as concrete, plastic resin, or iron. It's a great way to experiment with different textures while still staying true to your nautical theme.

Install Leading Lights Aloft

Until you have your sea legs, it might be difficult to navigate your new, nautical-themed room. What would a proper captain do? They'd install leading lights. Out on the choppy water, leading lights are used to navigate through danger zones.

Operational lighthouses employ leading lights, but they're also commonly found in smaller beacons along the edges of shallow or narrow channels. Beacon leading lights are placed at set intervals and sailors visually line them up to ensure they're on the right path. 

How can you get the look in your new nautical room? You can buy a simple track lighting fixture and install it perpendicular to a porthole window, mirror, or light. 

Porthole windows are surprisingly inexpensive, with many options falling below the one hundred dollar range. You will, however, need the help of a skilled carpenter to install one. A round, porthole light is a cheaper option, and if your budget is extremely limited, you can make your own porthole mirror out of a thrift store mirror, an old serving tray, and a package of wooden doll heads. 

No matter what your budget is, there's a way for you to add the whimsy of leading lights and a porthole to your nautical-themed room.

If you're new to home decorating, don't let the fear of uncharted waters prevent you from creating a nautical-themed room. If you love the look, it's easy to get by following the above three tips for your maiden voyage into nautical decor. Keep these tips in mind as you look for new furniture from retailers like Design Center Furniture