The Olson and Baker Design Guide to Nautical Design Styles

The Nautical Style is a classic design theme characterised by a sensory environment tied to the sea. Textiles, materials of all kinds are rooted in costal customaries.
Within interior design the cliché is easily demonstrated with buoys, stripes and anchors. We’re going to show you how to ditch the movie-set façade. Here are the elements that allow us to capture the essence of Nautical Style.
Stripes
Stripe a feature wall, rug or cushion cover with a light ocean blue. As with the very closely linked Scandinavian Style try not to use any other contrasting colours as this will instantly detract from the light gentle touch of the blues.
Nature
Make use of dried sponges and starfish, purely ornamental, though when used here and there that can have arresting effect. String Shelving would work beautifully with something like this; it’s minimal style would draw attention to a small feature such as this. Plant’s work equally well, succulents in particular.
Materials & finishes
Colours are simple, they should stay within the realms of the coast. Ocean and sky blues, light sands and greys. Brilliant white can be used for crisp contrast and separation of more significant elements. Timber furniture is the preference, wickers, white pigmented oils and aged oaks work particularly well. White washing is a great way to reclaim furniture, but be aware of the ‘Shabby Chic’ influence this may have if not done sparingly.
Accessories
Nautical Maps Vintage charts and sailing maps can be found at most sea-side resorts, for something more authentic try a flea market of online auction houses. Traditional artwork also works well; we’d advise re-framing in a contemporary styled moulding to prevent it looking stuffy.
They key to making the Nautical theme work for you is simple subtlety.
Use decorative elements sparingly.
Don’t mix heavy tones of colour.
One focal colour max, if any.
Try to use authentic vintage pieces where possible.
Olson and Baker offer a free interior planning service, so if you want to create a nautical retreat but need some help with your scheme get in touch orders@olsonbaker.com

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