Originally appeared in Pratt and Lamburt magazine
Convert your favorite space with a touch of nautical inspiration. Mention the word “nautical” and the image that often comes to mind is a little boy’s bedroom decorated to resemble a pirate’s ship, complete with skull and cross bones fabric and red, white and blue paint. As fun as this may be in a child’s bedroom, it translates into a sinking ship when introduced to a more sophisticated setting such as the family room, kitchen, or guest room. Don’t be discouraged though—one can maintain the mature ambience of a space and still add the fun of a nautical theme by simply combining traditional nautical elements with modern design techniques. Use colors inspired by the ocean and the ships that sail on her such as soft, translucent blues and greens combined with natural wood elements. Incorporate dark ruby reds and oyster whites to the mix to bring in the traditional side. For even more seaworthy flair, add a sprinkling of authentic nautical antiques and artwork as a finishing touch. Color Me Perfect With any theme the most important element to consider is color. For nautical themes, find a happy medium between neutral and bold tones. Pratt & Lambert has introduced the ideal palette for achieving a sophisticated nautical motif. The new Regatta palette of retro-seventies and nautically inspired colors is perfect for introducing an updated maritime feel to any space. “For a nautical theme you don’t necessarily have to use red, white and blue,” says Kathy Alexander of Alexander Interiors, LLC in McLean, Virginia. To stay on the subdued side, go for more neutral shades on the walls such as Pratt & Lamber’s Browned Butter 10-11 or Beige Modern 13-22. Use the bolder Scarlet O’Hara 5-16 or Golden Laughter 11-8 for an accent wall in the center of the room to make a focal area really pop. The ceiling can take on a cheery character of its own with Pratt & Lambert’s Oyster White 10-1 or go bolder and darker with Floradora, a milky green color reminiscent of the dark depths of the ocean. Antiqued Accessories As important as color is to a nautical theme, there is so much more that can be done to perfect the room. Accessories can make or break a well-designed space. Too many antiques and art pieces can make a themed room look over the top and junky, Alexander advises. But the appropriate items placed strategically throughout the room can add that coveted finishing touch. When it comes to nautical antiques, authentic is key. Although you will often pay a price for original items, they offer an atmosphere of credibility that replicas can’t achieve. Alexander suggests picking out just a handful of items to place around the room. A telescope could rest in front of the main window; an antique ship’s clock on the mantel piece and a porthole can serve as a unique piece of wall art.