How do you get your home or even a beach house ship shape – or should we say ship chic? I’m going to be doing bad puns in this article I have decided. Also if you own a beach house can I stay? Adding a nautical twist or creating a nautical themed reading corner, living room, bathroom, et cetera, will inspire feelings of travel, voyage and adventure. It might also be a great theme for an Airbnb you were considering.
Old timey maritime technology has the perfect marriage of vintage and classical themes; the romance of the ship and sail era, the woodsmanship, the metal and leather vintage diving suits and the complex and intricate brass and gilded instruments. A nautical theme is a manly one indeed, full to the gunwales of wood and metal, hemp rope and dark visages of monsters of the deep.
In this article we will go into how to furnish your room with a nostalgic, nautical look. But, if you are starting from scratch then consider a navy blue and white decor design which inspires thoughts of all things nautical. Paint two walls white and two navy blue, for example – or consider a simple navy blue accent wall in a predominantly white room. Check out our blue accent wall article for some inspiration in this area.
From nuanced nautical flare, to masculine decor so boaty that it will have you saying ‘Mi casa su barco’ to your guests (or shipmates). So, let us embark on a journey, 20,000 leagues below word count (that was a bad blogging joke). We’ll have a look at some interior design ideas for inspiration and then focus in on individual items you can purchase that will put Captain Nemo’s Nautilus to shame.
Disclosure: The links present in this article direct you to amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information see our About section. We aren’t allowed to post prices of products but most of them are reasonably priced.
Let’s break this post into, semi-arbitrary, different sections to represent different themes from nautical history; in order to cater to all styles of taste and suit all manor of color pallets. These different themes will work amazingly with most styles, weather you want a mid-century modern tinged room or a rustic and classical type living space. How about the following:
#1 20th Century Retro Metal
Nautical Floor Lamp
Let’s kick off with a classic. An underwater living space isn’t complete without a big-ass, maximalist, tripod nautical floor lamp. They are fierce and vintage looking, with all of the design tropes we need for our nautical theme – i.e. complicated metal shapes and rustic wooden legs. The lamps are primarily used for accent lighting, so don’t think it would double up as a reading light unless you check the specifications – or check some of the reviews which may mention it. Below are some examples of cool, masculine living rooms and scenarios which may inspire you whenn choosing a nautical floor lamp.
Nautical Antique Finish Brass Spotlight Searchlight Wooden
Tripod Floor Lighting Stand Vintage Home Decor
This a hefty piece, weighing in at 18 Kg. It even looks like an old school diving suit. Ground diameter: 15″ height: 75″ volume weight: 20.00 Kg head size: 14″ colour: antique brass finish and brown tripod. It’s made from antique brass and wood. Click through the link to check out some of the reviews which may include some photos of the light in action so you can get the vibe of the lamp.
Antique Tripod Style Vintage Model searchlight Wood
Tripod Lamps LED spotlights Marine (Brown-Silver)
This smaller nautical floor lamp is on the more affordable side. Product details and dimensions: head Size: 6″ X 4.5″, height: 22 inches, ground diameter: 11 inches Material used: Aluminium made head & Wooden tripod. Remember these are accent lights, not desk lamps, find a space to place it in your living room or room where it can add mood lighting for movie nights or in the evening.
Nautical Floor Lamp Marine Focus
Designer Searchlight Steel Tripod
This is a premium nautical floor lamp with a premium price. Made from aluminium & steel polished to nickel finish. Height: 74″ inches, head size: 20″ X 12 ” inches, ground diameter: 31″ inches with an adjustable leg. This would perhaps work nicely within a mid-century modern male living space, as the lamp has nice clear lines and a minimalist style, skinny leg look.
Thor Nautical 1950’s Hollywood Studio Vintage
Design Industrial Tripod Floor Lamp
A more reasonably priced nautical floor lamp. It looks awesome and shiny, a true nautical heavyweight for your masculine living space. Details: Front diameter: 8″ height: 70″ depth 10″ material steel/aluminum/wood Finish: chrome. Light source is LED with a warm tone (see above mood board).
Round Port Hole Mirror
Chuck in a round mirror in your bathroom, which are not only becoming increasingly trendy, but also resemble a porthole window of a ship. Or, as this is the internet where everything is available to purchase, you could always just buy a porthole window mirror from ebay, as below.
This one is available on ebay
There are loads of these kind of mirrors on ebay, apparently they are a thing now! I just randomly googled it and wondered if somebody would have bothered to make a mirror within the style of a porthole window, and there they are. They will look awesome in your nautical themed room, particularly in a themed bathroom.
Nautical Antique 10″ Ship Lamp Boat Oil Lantern
Maritime Collectible Decorative
Nautical mock-vintage lamp. There are a few of these available from the big online stores, but you may need to shop around to find a good one; the above one for example has very little information, click through the link to see other suggested versions, including LED variants. You can also pick up some real antique ones from various auctions, such as this one from Skip Jack – that auction and marine wares site actually has a tonne of cool vintage maritime items to use in a rustic manly living space (often with a premium price tag; however there are also some cool items available for under $50).
#2 Age of Sail
Let’s get a bit Georgian for a moment- the age of 18th and 19th century sailing ships was packed to the gunwale with character and charm. Canon balls and 4-inch oaken beams being blasted by a man-of-war on the rolling waves. Ships, sails, beautifully crafted wood, metal and rope – manipulated for violence, comfort, style and speed.
These decor pieces will ascend your living space into the realms of true masculinity, harkening back to the days when one man could change the map of the world, alter world history with a well placed flank of his armada, risk limb dismemberment from canon, rattle sabres with pirates and generals whilst gunpowder smoke fills their lungs. The themes of leather, wood, brass and hemp will always work well with your living space, being naturally muted and neutral colors, they are unlikely to clash with other items, and wall colors within your home.
Lets check out the mood board below
You wouldn’t have much of a nautical themed living space without hemp, or hemp looking rope features. The HMS Victory, which smashed Napoleons Armada in 1805, contains a whopping 26 miles of rope, that’s a marathon in length. This rope rabbit hole (rope-bit hole?) was a fun one to go down, you would be amazed at the amount of hemp rope based products available on the market for an under water themed room.
JayDee Decorative Hanging 3 Tier Natural Wood Floating
Wall Shelves with Jute Rope-Home Decor Organizer
This shelf is easy to hang (just screw in the hooks) and with tonnes of rustic charm. The rope is rugged and has that thickness you’d expect to see aboard ships. Hang it in a large bathroom or anywhere within your living space for decor and other items. See below for some cool trinkets to place on a shelf.
Glass Fishing Floats | Cobalt Blue Japanese Glass Floats
These glass blue floats are pretty cool, maybe a bit too hippy-dippy for some, but placed tactfully and tastefully they could add a nice nautical note to a piece of décor, like a shelf of TV unit et cetera.
Auraglow Solar Powered 60 LED Bulb Garden Outdoor
Hemp Rope String Fairy Light
A rustic style hemp rope which is intertwined with 60 twinkling LED lights, to create a cool effect. Admiral Nelson probably didn’t have This would make some stylish garden décor. Wrap it around trees or gazebos or just chuck it on a bench like in the promo above. These are a unique item to adorn your home or garden with.
Vintage pendant lights
Mock kerosene lanterns -which instead use a common bulb (not included!) and hung from hemp rope. These may require some electrical know how to install however. Hang them up next to a reading corner or outside by a shed or patio area for some mid-summer night’s accent décor.
A vintage captains chair is another awesome maritime item you could add to a masculine living space, as an accent chair in a living room, or one for the reading corner, or even the office! All though they didn’t make swivel chairs back in the day of wooden ships.
Chesterfield Captains Chair
There are loads of these available around the web on auction sites, like this one from ebay. Probably best to have a shop around for these awesome accent chairs, which vary in price from under $100 to nearer to $500 depending on quality and whether or not it is a genuine antique. Here are a few examples below from randomly searching ebay.
Antique captains chair, smokers
bow ash and elm.
Original Antique Captains Swivel
Leather Oak Chair
All That Glisters…
…is not gold, in fact it’s usually brass in this case. Some brass trinkets are a good way of adorning a nautical themed space, put them on your work desk, hallway storage units, shelves et cetera. Check out our article on leaning ladder shelves – which would be in-keeping with a nautical – age of sail – theme.
Brass Nautical Sextant
Not nearly as sexy as it sounds; the sextant uses it’s various moving parts to observe a fixed astronomical object and the horizon for the purposes of celestial navigation – actually that does sound quite sexy. Invented in 1757 by John Campbell, of the British Navy. The sextant has recently been revived by the British and U.S navies – probably due to concerns of security of GPS data. There are many to purchase, wildly varying in price. Most of them are fully operational (double check in the bio for the product).
London 1920 Marine Collectible Décor Nautical Spyglass
I think we can agree that calling a telescope a ‘spyglass’ is much more civilised. Image this sitting on a cool leaning ladder shelf or similar. The dulcet tones of the box and telescope would work well with traditional colored walls and décor. This is 3 draw brass telescope and it comes in high quality wood gift box.
Here it is fully extended (said the actress to the bishop), this is also a fully function piece, so you can spy on people, obviously. Leave it in the cool little box on the shelf, or take it out and place them both on a shelf for a powerful accent décor piece.
If you wanted to go balls to the wall, then grab one of these tripod telescopes as accent décor for your (key word alert) cool male living space. Perfect to place by a window in an apartment or house.
5″ Sundial Compass Solid Brass Sun Dial
This brass sundial would be a nice accent piece to place on your shelf or a cabinet. Measuring in at approximately 4.25″ in diameter, you could easily sneak it on the book shelf or by the window.
Wheel of Fortune
Pirate Boat Wheel Nautical Fishing 15 inch
Made from high quality and stained teak wood, this wheel is handcrafted with a centre of brass. Make sure to measure the wheel in case you wanted a larger or smaller sized – they are available in all kinds of sizes and styles.
Maximalist International Nautical Wheel 16 inch
If you’re looking for a more maximalist ship wheel then the above is nicely gilded with brass figures. Made from premium solid wood and tarnish resistant brass this one could be hung up outside or inside your property no problem. Add as a separate wall piece or as a powerful addition to a gallery wall.
#3 Ship Wrecked
This section riffs on the themes of being cast away, being shipwrecked, driftwood and beaches. Ideal for a coastal or beach themed room or shack. There are pieces in this section which would suit any style of décor and furniture, whether you wanted a couple of décor and furniture pieces representing beach life in your house or apartment; or, if you wanted to go full blown Tom Hanks talking to a volley ball after just 4 years (personally, I think It would take me longer than 4 years to start talking to a volley ball).
Cast Away Mood Board
Back of the Net
Bilipala Rustic Nautical Decorative Fishing Net Wall
Hanging up a nice rustic net (there are many to purchase) is a nice and different accent piece for a beach theme. Check out some of the photos, many people have been using them to peg up photographs – which is a cool take on a gallery wall. You can buy this one which has ornaments added, which are a bit corny quite frankly, but you could always just chop them off, or buy one without.
Drift wood coffee table
A drift wood coffee table would work well in any rustic masculine living space. They are pretty pricey as you can imagine, but if you can afford it then this is a wonderful conversation starter and certainly not something people are used to seeing. An ideal piece of furniture for a cast away vibe.
You’d probably rather go in store to see these pieces as each one is likely to be different, however, there are some available from Amazon as well in case you can’t find a store which stocks them – or can’t even get into the store due to Covid.
Driftwood Glass Coffee Table
This table was designed from natural, unfinished teak driftwood sculpted into a sturdy table with a clear glass top by designer Matthew Williams. This particularly side or coffee table has a few reviews which are largely positive and even some photos from happy customers.
Finian 2 Piece Boat Bookcase
Wayfair do a great collection of these awesome wooden boat shelving units. These dark wood canoe-esque wooden boat shelves are a cool and decorative way to add nautical furniture to your living space. The dark stained, boat shelves come as a set of two, with sturdy metal frames and a metal anchor hook at the top. These require no assembly as they arrive completed. Ideal for a rustic cabin or beach house décor. There’s a whole bunch of these over at Wayfair so check them out.
#4 The Nautilus
The Nautilus is the high-tech (yet somehow still very Victorian) submarine boat from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Below The Sea. In this section we’ll focus on some more sci-fi, deep blue sea, monsters of the deep themes. The following décor would work really well in a room with a moody navy blue accent wall, for example. Or even, add some darkness and moodiness all on there own, in a brighter room. Mixing the below styles with a mid-century modern living space would add some nice flare whilst still remaining congruent in feel.
Nautilus/Deep Blue Sea Mood Board
Kana Himalayan Salt Lamp
Comes with two spare bulbs and is touch-dimmable. Each one is hand carved from Himalayan salt and so each one is slightly varying in shape. This provides a soothing warm iridescent orange glow which can be used as mood lighting. These mood lights are an emerging trend in the cool male living space sphere. These rocks will inspire thoughts of the deep blue sea within your room.
Old River Outdoors Decorative Swimming
Octopus Toilet Paper Holder
Key Hangers for Wall, Retro Octopus
These inexpensive, yet effective, octopus bathroom wall pieces would make leave a characterful nautical theme for your bathroom, or anywhere. I mean, obviously you couldn’t put the toilet roll holder anywhere but the octopus wall hanger could go anywhere. See them in action below.
Faux Shark Jaws
Shark’s Jagged Jaws Statue
Faux bull shark trophy jaws constructed from resin. This impressive sculpture is cast in quality designer resin, and is set on a black metal museum mount. This is a dramatic décor piece would work amazingly on top of a unit.
This is an easy one, for a nautical themed living space, or you could say for a cool masculine living space inspired by the ocean. That was a lame attempt at a keyword for my article. Anyway, LEDs are everywhere now all over Amazon and abound like this one. Which also has other various colors you can switch it to for fun during movie night. Blue for Jaws, red for the opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan and off for the last season of Game of Thrones (because it sucked).
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