Nothing quite says summer like a long day at the beach or cruising around a lake. Whether or not you live by a large body of water, you can enjoy some nautical adventures without leaving your room.

Nautical decor is a favorite for a reason. It gives a laid back, easy summer day feeling year round and can range from playful to elegant. Plus, it’s really easy to achieve! Just follow these nine ways to add nautical touches around your home.

1. Porthole Mirrors

We’re being specific here, but porthole mirrors are one of the greatest items for a nautical theme. They can be subtle or a focal point of a room and are visually stunning.

Porthole Mirror

2. Go to a Surplus Store

Army and Navy Surplus Stores are an often forgotten resources for decor. They’re a great place for rope, hardware, hats, nautical flags, nets and compasses if you’re going for an authentic look. Use these pieces sparingly to avoid looking too kitschy.

Navy Surplus Store

3. Sea Shades

We all immediately associate blue and white with the sea, and using them amongst different shades adds elegance, interest and depth. Have fun with the palette by adding a fun accent color like red, yellow or turquoise.

Blue Red and Yellow Bedroom

4. Think Like a Sailor

Use items sailors are still using today. Painted tie backs are great for curtains, drawer pulls or to hang pictures. Nets make great table runners, anchors add interest and table legs can be wrapped with lengths of rope.

Nautical Decoration

5. Accent Pieces

You can find great decorations at consignment, antique and discount home stores. Look for metallic sailboats, ships in a bottle, floatation devices, statues, coral and ship wheels. A little goes a long way.

Nautical Decorative Ship

6. Oars

Anytime you find an oar, take it as a sign to get it. Add hooks on them and use them anywhere! As a coat rack in the mudroom, for towels in the bathroom, pots and pans in the kitchen…we really can’t get enough of them.

Oar Decoration

7. Shipwreck Your Furniture

Distressed furniture is in, and it fits right alongside a nautical theme. Simply give your existing wood furniture a distressed paint job or maybe add some nautical stencils then make way for the compliments.

Distressed Coffee Table

8. Oceanic Maps

You can turn a simple blue and white room nautical just by adding a beautiful old map to your walls or under glass on your coffee table. They’re a point of interest and are timeless.

Nautical Home Office

9. Take a Walk on the Beach

The easiest way (unless you’re landlocked) to find nautical bits and pieces is on the beach itself! Take a long stroll and keep your eyes peeled for smooth driftwood, beach glass, coral, sea shells or maybe even a long-lost message in a bottle. The glass and sea shells look beautiful on their own, or you can kick it up a notch and create your own mosaic.

Beach Finds


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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.