How to Select Unique Nautical Themed Décor

Anyone who has grown up in a Navy family (or just loves the ocean) appreciates a well decorated room full of seashells and anchors. However it can easily be overdone as easily as you can say “She sells seashells”…or not.

Making a nautical themed room really depends on the coloring you choose, which all depends on the room you are trying to decorate. Here are my tips on keeping your room nautical inspired without going overboard!


Nautical rooms should be full of light. If there is a large picture-esque window or sliding door, use the sunshine to your advantage and let it in. I love using a double curtain rod with sheer white curtains on the inside, and solid blackout curtains on the outside so you can block out the light when it’s movie time or you just need it darker. Choose your color theme here-as the curtains are a focal point of the room and an accent piece. I like blue and white or red and white stripes with gold accents. Light seafoam and azure blue are also great as color montages for a living room. One is brighter and bolder and one has a softer appeal. Gold accents are a great way to tie the whole room together no matter your color choice.

Big Pieces

The larger pieces of furniture, no matter what room you are designing-should be staples. You may not want a nautical theme forever, so keep the sofa/cabinets/dresser etc. neutral. The expensive basic pieces serve as a canvas to which the theme can accent, and if the design changes later it isn’t an expensive mistake. If you have nautical theme striped cabinets and need to sell the house, that’s asking for trouble. Seafoam pillows are much easier to replace than seafoam couches should tastes change. An accent rug is easier to change than carpet. This piece is another good reference on where to begin if you’re not sure where to start on your decorating and you’re starting from the beginning, to make sure you see the forest before the trees.

Accent pieces

Selecting accent pieces once you have found your decor theme is the fun part-scouring thrift and hobby shops for pieces to accent your walls or coffee table is standard issue, to be truly unique you should go straight to the source. The beach/ocean! Keep in mind that taking things from the ocean is illegal in many places-coral reefs especially are protected by federal law. However, in many areas of the country that are near the ocean where unique trinkets and organisms have been taken legally and safely, finding something from an off-the road shell shack in the Florida Keys or Myrtle Beach can be the perfect piece that nobody else can find or duplicate. If staying closer to home is more in your budget, steer clear of mainstream stores, sticking to places like Homegoods where the stock tends to rotate on a weekly basis, and consignment or pawn shops-where you NEVER know where you might find!


Sometimes the most unique things are the pieces that are TRULY one of a kind. They become that way because you make the only one. With the dawn of Pinterest-inspired decor, making your own decor for fractions of the cost of what home furnishings used to cost has become mainstream-and much easier! What used to be a daunting task has now become simple for even the novice crafter with blogs, step-by-step videos and tutorials complete with pictures, lists, and troubleshooting. Making a flawless ship-in-a-bottle or antique bronze spray painted anchor can cost only a few dollars with the DIY method which could be easily over $100 at a store such as Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel.

The more items you can attach a personal meaning to, the cooler and more unique your decor will feel. A diving flag that your grandpa had in the military may be unique to one family, while a telescope that another couple buys at a consignment store but is learning to use to stargaze is unique to another. Make memories in the space you live in and it becomes your own.

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About Caleb Sanchez