“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” ~ Christopher Paolini
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic…” ~ Van Morrison
“Waves are the voices of the tides. Tides are life. They bring new food for shore creatures and take ships out to sea. They are the oceans pulse and your own heartbeat.” ~ Tamora Pierce
What is it about “life on the sea” that captivates and thrills our hearts? Is it the sound of the waves crashing upon the rocky shores? The nostalgic fragrance of the damp, briny air? Hearing the halcyon and untroubled seagulls, coasting above the crystal blue waters, cooing, squawking, creating serene, melodic melodies for our ears and souls? Perhaps, the romance of the sea is made up of all the seafaring tales that have been passed down by sailors, fishermen and sea captions. The legends of the mermaids, stories of “old ghost ships,” abandoned by their crew and fables of the dangerous pirates, rum runners, frighting Leviathans of the deep and buried treasures? Perchance it is the myths and tales of the ominous, colossal storms they weathered at sea and lived to tell about. How about the legends like old Alias, a sailor lost at sea, who comes back to haunt his maritime home on the water. It is a Folklore told in the renowned movie Mystic Pizza…
(The imagined ghost of Alias visits his home on stormy nights, causing the floorboards to creak as he paces back and forth upon the back balcony, overlooking the sea.) There are so many mystifying fables that allure our hearts and create within us an abounding love and desire for the arcane sea , filled with all of it’s Brobdingnagian and countless enigma.
Two irrefutable stories that are uncanny and a bit haunting, are the two schooner ships that truly were abandoned by their crews mysteriously. One ship, The Carroll A. Deering was found run aground in 1921 off of Cape Haterus, North Carolina. Investigators propose that the cause was possibly rum runners or ship pirates. In 1969, The Teignmouth Electron was also found adrift, deserted and forgotten in the Atlantic Ocean. These two stories are not folklore and they are not of old. 🙂 (Spooky!) The sea embodies an abundance of intrigue, mystery and impeccable beauty… It is fabulously romantic, inspirational and is popular as ‘the perfect muse’ for many prestigious novels such as, The Old man and The Sea, The Phantom Island and The Mermaid. It is also the galvanizing influence of countless, famous paintings such as, Monet’s La Terrace de’ Sainte Adresse and Niebenkorn’s Ocean Harbor, as well as the classic and memorable films, The Titanic, Life of Pi and Lifeboat. (And, for many, a MUSE to inspire the decorating and creating of their lovely homes.)
It has always been one of my husband’s and my lifelong dreams to one day live by the sea and host a Bed and Breakfast for people who are in need of a retreat away from their everyday lives… a convivial respite. 🙂 We adore the foggy mists that come in over the water in the early mornings… the diverse sea birds gliding above the glistening water as the sunshine breaks through mid-morning, the breathtaking sunsets that gloriously arrive at dusk, (the enchanting ‘gloaming hour,’) and listening to the waves, softly flowing into shore as the day ends and the stars have announced their brilliant presence.
In creating your maritime home, remember, you may not live on a rocky cliff, over looking the ocean or upon a sandy marsh where you watch the tides roll in and out, BUT, You can create the inside of your berth to look as if you do! 🙂 Capture a part of the romance of the sea, it’s legends and fables, it’s mystery and beauty by bringing forth the decor of a seafaring home.
Most of the maritime homes that I have visited are dressed in soothing blues and whites and embellished with an abundance of maritime ornamental decor. It is not surprising as the colors of blue and white represent serenity, peace, clarity of mind, fresh beginnings and relaxation. All these qualities make for an exceedingly inviting and cozy homestead.
Our first stop will be the main room of your home, which is the Living room…It is the room that sets the mood and theme for the rest of your resplendent abode. As with any decor that you choose, there is always the ‘formal rendition’ as well as the relaxing, laid back. I have chosen both of these looks for inspiration to begin creating the Nautical home of your dreams. Lets start off with the living rooms that are a tad bit more “dressy.”
The living rooms in the next few photographs, are still a beauteous and striking maritime look, but are a bit more on the masculine side. I think all of these living rooms are inviting, galvanic and cozy…It truly depends on your taste and the colors you choose to create with. These rooms are less formal and more on the “comfy” side. 🙂
I simply adore this antique fireplace festooned in a maritime theme… It is breathtaking and exceedingly CREATIVE! It would certainly be the “conversation piece” in any home. 🙂
One of my favorite nautical decor displays thus far! The whimsical grapevine wreath amidst the two enchanting topiary trees is prizewinning. I adore this decorators bethnic extravaganza of the life-like and animated ‘sea bird’ amongst all the starfish, sand dollar and weathered beach wood. Her tableaux upon the green wooden chest, creates not only a magical ambiance but exudes charm and class. I love it! 🙂
Our next stopover will be another renowned and important room in your home …The Dining room. The room where you gather with friends and family over ambrosial cuisine, fine wines, laughter, sharing and story telling in a convivial and warm ambiance. I think it is fun to mix up your rooms a little bit, still carrying the nautical theme throughout the house, but perhaps in different styles.
The advantage you have with a seagoing look, is that you can create any room in your home, using a variety of shades of white…(eggshell, opalescent pearl, butter cream, off white, even tones of light greys or brown for your keystone.) Once your furniture and color pallet is established, you can begin adding the blue decor along with alluring benthic ornaments such as lighthouses, old ship compasses, sublime fresco’s or photographs of sea captains, nautically shaped stars, seagulls, pelicans, sea shells or whatever treasured collectables you desire to display. You can do the same thing with establishing your primary color pallet in a shade of blue that you love… Then highlight your room with a variety of hues and textures of white. ENJOY the creativity within you and remember, don’t hesitate to bring forth the dream inside your heart and make it reality! 🙂
Here are some decorative ideas to ‘add to your rooms’ for that nautical, cozy look, along with some beautiful blues…I absolutely dote on the color combination of blue and white… Whether in a bedroom, my wardrobe, a fresh flower arrangement, decorative throws or the paint colors on our walls. There is nothing quite as soothing, eye catching and picturesque! (Adding creamy, soft yellows to this famous color combination is an enlivening warm touch as well.)
A ‘nautically themed tree’ is a welcomed sight all year round. It adds a rustic seafaring ambiance to any room… It’s twinkling white lights create charm and appeal as well as ‘romance’ within your room and brings forth added texture and dimension to your colorful haven.
I love this painting… It would go perfectly in a living room filled with blues and accented with a hint of the grandeur color of red…This little girl looks identical to my brother’s daughter when she was about 3 years old, with her bright, gorgeous auburn hair, running into the waves of the ocean. Now she is a beautiful young woman, (still loving the sea,) but gosh, does this bring back happy memories of my younger days as she brought so much joy, laughter and smiles to our lives…(And still does.) 🙂
Bring the natural things of the sea, to the inside your home…sea shells, star fish, sea horses, anchors, old ship compasses, and a diversity of mason jars filled with fresh sand from the shore, topped with a tea light candle. Tie a blue and white decorative ribbon around the jar and display it upon your hutch. (If you make a half dozen of these homemade candles, and light them all in the evening, it will add charm and pizzazz to your room.) 🙂
The next ‘layover’ is the most certain and sure place for rest and relaxation that I know of...Our bedrooms. There are so many beautiful blue and white linens, duvets, Eiderdown comforters, decorative pillows and blue and white collectables, that this room should be an easy room to make over or to newly create. Your bedroom is your sanctuary, place of retreat, hide-a-way and wondrous place of slumber. Embellish this room with serene, blissful and soothing decor…soft candle light and subtle, yet enlivening scented fragrances. When I wash our linens and make up our bed, I love to spray our sheets with an ambrosial, redolent scent. (For some reason, I think it helps us to sleep better.) 🙂 They even have ocean scented sprays, decorative candles and scented oils with reed diffusers available in the stores now a days… What a perfect idea to enhance your oceangoing decor style. (Wow, with the nostalgic fragrances of the beach filling your room, all you would need is a sound machine that has the inviting calls of the sea birds, along with the roaring waves…you could close your eyes and be right on oceans shore.) 🙂
This bedroom is a little different with its shades of pale, light green amidst the soft, pristine whites, yet It still brings forth a feeling that ‘the soothing ocean breeze and sound of the crashing waves could come through the window at anytime.’ 🙂 A few ideas of some winsome additives are a lighthouse tapestry for the wall, an engaging Thomas Kincaid nautical throw, a seahorse pillow and a sea shell frame, displaying one of your most cherished ‘beach memories.’
This is my dear friend Ellie’s guest bedroom in her lovely nautical home in Delaware. She just finished painting her contrast wall in a fetching, wispy, gossamer, pastel blue. It adds an exceedingly stunning and visual ambiance amongst her white walls. She made her own creative and bethnic lampshade. Isn’t it adorable? Yes, Ellie, you have “quite the creative touch.” 🙂 This room is not only soothing, but filled with warmth and charm.
With the warm and inviting, navy blue stripes upon the comforters, the ocean blue carpet and the freshly painted pastel blue wall, she highlighted this maritime room with a mixture of vintage and country-cottage, captivating white wooden dressers, adorned with a potpourri of her sail boats and merchant ship collection. Great job Ellie! 🙂 This room beckons our hearts to go and spend a day amongst the ocean shores. 🙂
Now, we enter the room that is the most popular…You have heard the saying, “No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best.” 🙂 Kitchens are the place we “CREATE.” Whether it’s a fanciful confection for a loved ones birthday, a savory and spicy pasta dish with sweet Italian sausage and fresh herbs from our gardens, or we are baking Christmas cookies with our kids…there are so many wonderful conversations that take place within our kitchens…(Along with delicious cuisine and some great aromas that fill our home…) This truly is one of my most cherished rooms of all!
These first few kitchens are all bedecked in blissful blues and whites… all they would need to awaken the pelagic feeling throughout the room would be a few pieces of nautical decor; a framed photograph of a famous lighthouse, an ornate helm from a schooner ship, decorative anchors as well as accent towels evoking the emotions of life by the water.
In these next photos, I got a little inventive and imaginative. 🙂 These kitchens are not the standard, maritime colors of blue and white, but with dressing these rooms up, adding the right decor, they would bring forth the nautical look in a charming, elfin kind of way. Below each photo are some ideas that I hope will inspire you and get your ‘creative juices flowing.’
For this kitchen, I thought the perfect accent colors would be red, white and blue… all the eye-catching, maritime decor items would fill up the mantle above this fabulous, eccentric stove, except the accent towels. 🙂 (The rooster is adorable, but for now, he has to find a new home! ) 🙂
This Kitchen already has an ideal foundation with it’s rustic, warm Faux painted walls accompanied by the rich navy blue…By adding a maritime picture on the far wall, some Lighthouse plates, blue and white dish towels and a lighthouse canister set, your kitchen would come alive with the romance and mystique of the ocean..
These two kitchens would look great with a few starfish, a lighthouse spice rack, blue and white accent towels as well as a diverse collection of seashells. I would leave the warm hues of the yellow…It’s very cozy and inviting.
This has got to be one of my all time favorite Cucinos, (as the Italians would say!) 🙂 It’s soft white structure and delicate woods, accompanied by a combination of blue and white china, maritime plates and homemade, sand filled mason jars with a potpourri of taper and tea light candles along with intricate, motley seashells, would make for a beautiful, enchanting and notable kitchen. (Maybe add a blue and white runner on the stunning wood floor to tie in the mixture of blues and whites. )
This white kitchen would look wonderful with a highlight of green and soft hues of tan to bring forth your nautical theme. A lovely ship for your counter top, tan linen accent towels with the nautical star, a topiary star and once again, the beautiful soft light of candles burning in your mason-jar, sand filled candle creations.
Lastly, one more ‘White kitchen” to bring into our theme… How about some blue flowers on the counter top, blue and white china as well as light house plates to fill the ‘show stopping’ window-paned cabinets, an enchanting lighthouse and nautical pillows to top your bar stools? A bright, beach themed painting would be a spectacular addition to bring out your vibrant colors that you’ve chosen. Add a few blue and white accent towels and your set to go!
Here is a back splash tile mural with a maritime theme for the back of your kitchen stove. I love these new ideas…. What will they think of next? 🙂
We will take a short stop at our next room…the bathroom, Ladies room, powder and Mens room as we call it! Because it is the smallest room in your home, ( and no, I do not plan on illustrating a nautical walk in closet, ) 🙂 this room is very simple and easy to create… I love our bathroom as it is the place that houses one of my favorite things in all the world… OK, two of my most cherished….A bath tub and luxurious bubble-bath… 🙂
Here are a few ideas to inspire you with the ‘soul’ colors of your room, blue and white.
These decorative ideas are all fabulously soothing and festive highlights for ‘this very important’ room! 🙂 I especially like the greyish-blue tinted walls amidst all the creamy white sea shells and shelves, (The 4th photo.) This unique color is definitely a stunning and impressive maritime color…
Here are a few SEAFARING “powder rooms” already finished! 🙂
We can’t forget the passages that take us to our beloved rooms…our foyer and hallways… Here are a few inspirations for you..Some of these are quite formal, others very cozy and inviting…again, add some of your own touches amongst the blues and whites to bring forth your personal, signature touch and theme within your own home.
There are not many foyers like this one… It’s extremely formal and regal, but it presents the idea of how wondrous and appealing mixing different shades of blue amongst the white can look.
I adore this color of blue mixed with this butter cream white, not to mention the breathtaking structure of this foyer. I can just imagine how majestic it would look with seafaring decorations.
This foyer is simple, yet elegant…again, the soft tans amidst the white is resplendent.
This hallway is immense…it’s charm reminds me of the South… I love the soft blues amongst pearly white.
This passageway to the porch speaks it’s own fabulous introduction. 🙂
Lastly, the mixture of the blues, pastel green and sunny yellow is so charming in this foyer. It is not only refreshing, but sure to make everyone who enters this home feel ‘very welcomed.’
Our second to last stop is the land that surrounds our homes. If you are blessed to live on the ocean, (and don’t have to dream that you are, 🙂 your views alone will be captivating. If you do not live by or on the ocean, these are still some great ideas to enhance the natural loveliness of your yard and bring forth an abundance of beauty, peace and serene days to your lives. Alfresco dining , creating a floral arbor in your garden, sitting on your porch watching the sunset, and adding seafaring decor to your outside piazza with decorative sea shells and fresh, crisp, white lace table runners.
I love the wildflowers, straw basket, (great for gathering your sea shells,) summer hat and maritime throw amidst the weathered wooden fence. It goes to show you that almost every place on our property can use a little touch of love and ‘fixing up’ to bring forth charm and warmth.
OKAY….our seafaring journey has just about come to an end…I feel like I have been to the beach and back! 🙂 I wanted to leave you with a few ideas for a magical, dreamy, Maritime and “Merry -Time” 🙂 Christmas! 🙂 (I just got that as I was writing.) 🙂 I am amazed at how many ideas there are for a nautical Christmas theme… Not only is it a beautiful decor style for everyday life, but it is eminently eye catching at the most wonderful time of the year. ENJOY even though Christmas is a ways away…( But…have you heard of “Christmas in July?”) (“Just saying”…) 🙂
Welcome your guests with a beautiful, fetching alfresco Christmas tree, adorned with starfish, sand dollars, as well as ocean blue, silver and white decorative balls. (Don’t forget the enchanting, twinkling white lights! ) 🙂
This certainly would change the memories of the traditional festivity of “Bringing Home The Tree,” (the day after Thanksgiving,) wouldn’t it? Yes, Christmas by the sea is very romantic, magical and sublime.
This mantle is much more formal, yet very refreshing, taking a turn from the norm. These photos and ideas make me want to rent a cottage at the beach for Christmas… (Or change my whole house for the holidays to create this enchanting seafaring ambiance.) 🙂
A beautiful nautical Christmas tree…I love the mixture of the light blues and whites…and the tree topper is gorgeous!
This table top tree is adorable and accents the color of the walls to a “T.” (And it would be an easy decorative addition to create.)
I love the traditional Christmas tree, but this one gives you a little magic and awe of both styles…the decorative shells yet ample decorations of the glorious reds and greens… A very festive and picturesque tree, evoking the joy inside of us as we think of Christmas’ past. (As children, we always wondered how Santa could get down that fireplace chimney…) 🙂
This nautical tree is not only striking but magically kaleidoscopic. It’s abundance of sea shells amongst the colorful ornaments, (I love the purple added in,) is very alluring. (The mermaid tree topper is so unique and definitely brings this tree to life.)
Rustic and enchanting garlands with miniature white lights to bedeck the outdoor porch for the holidays…How about adding a string of sea shells, intertwining them within the greens and berries? What a great idea for the enchanting season.
WOW, a white Christmas dream come true, right on the ocean! I still find it miraculous to see a fresh snowfall on the sandy shore of the beaches. This charming tree, the warm fire burning, and the inviting alfresco dining, is a wondrous Idea for a cozy Holiday evening. (Bundle up and make some homemade beef stew with a loaf of hot bread …That would be the perfect, wintry dinner.) 🙂
For the front porch, decorating the balustrades with this picture-book, festive cheer is breathtaking. The decor is traditional, yet against the soft yellows and whites of this regal home, it looks incredibly stunning. For a more nautical look, you could add some starfish and lighthouse ornaments amongst the lush greens. What a great way to welcome home your loved ones for the holidays!
Celebrating the season in a rustic, yet a bit formal wintry wonderland style, with the feel of the sea being close by would be heavenly. Winter whites are hard to beat in setting a festive, holiday table and the tree, adorned with shells and sand dollars combined with the pearl like strands, is very Victorian, lovely and elegant.
A cozy summer, beach house, embellished with Christmas cheer! (Though it doesn’t look like snow is in store for this Balboa Island, CA. cottage home. ) The blue and white home bedecked with the festive and cheery red is so lovely…
A very simple and beautiful Christmas wreath for your front door! (I think I will make one of these for this upcoming Christmas…) Very soothing and calming. This wreath reminds me of my childhood years … You know the days when you’d lay in the freshly mowed grass and look up at the sky, mesmerized by the wonder of the stars and bright lit moon, on the clear, balmy summer nights?
This home went all out with it’s maritime decor… I love how all the colors chosen in this festive garland go PERFECTLY with the sandy brown paint color of the home, accented by the bold whites and the rich, dark wood of the front doors . (The decor even draws in the color of the shudders! ) Very Classy!
Lastly, a tranquil, serene and festive holiday table … Again, there is nothing like the combination of the color and textures of blue and white, sea shells, accompanied by natures beloved hue of green. (I would have never thought up the idea of a bench painted blue and white….it’s so pretty!)
OK, I am now ready for a hot, freshly brewed, cup of coffee and something to eat after this home tour! 🙂 Happy house creating….Enjoy bringing forth your individual and magical nautical home as you add some new ideas to your abode. Whether you decide to just change one room or change them all, treat yourself to the house decor that fulfills YOU and surround yourself with all the things YOU LOVE!
( And no, I do not think that mermaids are real! 🙂 Well maybe in the dreams and imaginations of our children… 🙂