Nautical Design for the Modern Bathroom


While it might not be a cutting edge interior design inspiration, nautical themes and bathrooms are the peanut butter and jelly of the decorating world. They go together so intrinsically that it is hard to keep the coupling fresh and modern. Fear of dated décor doesn’t need to keep you away from embracing the nautical trend, however. Here is how to do nautical for the modern bathroom.

Tropical Colours

‘Nautical’ instantly conjures up images of cold blues and reds in stripes and geometric blocks. This lighthouse and sailor take on the trend has been overdone and is best left in the eighties. Instead of taking colour inspiration from a windswept British seaside, think more along the lines of a sunny Caribbean island. Choose blues with green hues – turquoise and aqua, teamed with bright whites and emerald greens for that ‘palm tree against the ocean’ colour palette.

Natural Textures

Replace white gloss tiles with matt rustic tiles in natural sand and stone colours. Better still, use pebble mosaic tiles alongside painted walls. Avoid the ‘all over’ tile trend – this might look sleek but it is too sophisticated for this look; modern nautical is all about relaxed and beachy instead.

Opt for wooden accents – your soap dispenser, storage drawers and bathmat should be ‘raw’ wood. Keep wood as close to its natural state as possible, avoiding glossy paint jobs in favour of waterproof wax.

Warm Lighting

Strip lighting and fluorescent bathrooms lights are the kiss of death to a modern bathroom. Harsh, unflattering lighting is not only semi-blinding when you have an early morning, it is the antithesis of relaxing ambient lighting. Think ‘sunshine’ instead of ‘spotlight’. Opt for dimmer downlights such as these from with a warm yellow toned bulb. Keep candles on hand, ideally in oceanic fragrances, for times when only a candlelit bath will do.

Accents and Accessories

Stay away from navy motifs such as lighthouses and anchors. These are dated and clichéd. Stick with natural design inspiration such as shells, starfish and sea birds. The trend for hand painted signs is perfect for this look. Etsy has hundreds of handmade signs, or you can easily make your own with a plank from the hardware store and a couple of tester pots of paint.

Accessories with glass, rope and untreated stones and shells. If you are good with crafts, Pinterest is rife with nautical craft ideas – just remember to pick the ones that use neutral tones and materials.

Image Credits: Martha

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