Nautical decor has been a favorite of designers and decorators for decades. There’s something about the simplicity of the classic look and the way that it evokes the coast that people find appealing, even soothing.

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The great thing about nautical decor is that it’s versatile and can go in pretty much any direction. Nautical can be traditional or modern, abstract or literal. No matter what your personal style may be, nautical decor would be as at-home in your abode as it would a coastal cottage. If you love a regal, sleek nautical look as much as many others, take inspiration from these five rooms and their nautical inclinations.

 A Subtle Nautical Color Scheme


By Darci Goodman Design via Decoist

At a glance, you might think this living room has a modern Americana style. You don’t really see anything that jumps out at you and screams nautical like raw wood, sailboats, rope, or any other traditional nautical decor. Then you spot the beautiful white coral that serves as the room’s centerpiece, resting on a mirror that sits on the coffee table. Once you see the coral, you notice that the blue is a seaside navy, the white paneling and beams on the ceiling definitely evoke the nautical look, but as a whole the effect is subtle.

From the Ground Up


By Anthony Baratta via Decoist


In this formal sitting room, the nautical theme is more prominent, beginning at ground level with the custom-made nautical compass rug that provides the color palette of the room. The furnishings are very traditional, evocative of a nineteenth-century captain’s quarters. A large painting — featuring a coastal scene with big, rolling storm clouds — echoes and balances the shapes of the rug while also being a prominent focal piece framed by the stark white walls.

 Stark Seaside Kitchen


By Town & Country Kitchen and Bath via Decoist

This kitchen lacks the signature nautical reds and navy blues, but still maintains a nautical feel. The white used as the primary — and almost the only — color is a common element of kitchen design, but the hints of light, powdery pewter gray and the rich, warm woods balance provide balance to the white. Using gold fixtures instead of silver gives more of a traditional, old-fashioned feel to the space, accented with decorative items like the starfish and the small sailboat.

 Modern Marine Entryway


By Kate Jackson Design via Decoist

Here’s an entryway that combines both traditional nautical elements with more of a modern, interpretive take. The contemporary, earthy wall color is juxtaposed alongside white wainscoting and paneling, providing both contrast and visual interest. Instead of a wood or metal handrail for the stairs, heavy rope is wrapped around pegs placed intermittently along the stairwell, which is both effective and also a creative way to evoke the nautical style.

 Sail to Sleep


By Bella Home Builders, Inc. via Decoist

More of a literal translation, this bedroom is a child’s nautical dream. In terms of the decor, the room is rather simple: White walls, exposed beams, versatile beige carpet. However, the custom-made bed that looks like a miniature yacht or sailboat definitely steals the show. Artwork and decor on the walls — three-dimensional fish, a fishing pole, a small ship’s wheel hanging above the sailboat bed — reinforce the nautical theme throughout the room. The wood desk and chair are simple and no-frills, but look right at home in this lovely nautical bedroom.

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