How to Give Your Home A Nautical Make Over

by KaitlynDeMetro

A beach themed home offers a perfect sanctuary of relaxation and ease; a hidden paradise created in your personal space where the tranquil spirit of the ocean harbors.

You can live thousands of miles away from the ocean and still take the beach home with you. A nautical theme is timeless and nearly effortless to create. I read that 5 minutes in ocean water can undo a weeks worth of stress. While you may not live close enough to get your weekly dose of ocean water, a seaside theme may be all it takes to let all those stresses drift away.

Lets Start With the Basics

Listed below are some of the most basic, and subtle nautical accessories. We'll go through each piece and see just what it brings to your peaceful, ocean space, along with some fun facts here and there. Then, we'll go through the bolder sets; the pirate ships and iron cast mermaids to give a strong, fantasy feel like something out of classic folklore.

Anchors Aweigh

Anchors are a beautiful touch necessary to complete a beach themed home. Bonus? They are totally in season with fashion right now.

Anchors are the perfect home accessory to declare that this place, is in fact your home. Its the place you anchor your life; the place in the wild world where you can hold on and ride the waves. It's the nautical version of locks and keys.

Fun Fact: The ancient Egyptians made "anchors" out of lead-weighted logs.


Lighthouses go perfectly with anchors. While anchors keep you from drifting away, the lighthouse will always be there to guide you home. A lighthouse candle holder has the perfect combination of homey warmth and the genuine feel of a lighthouse shining bright to passing ships.

Fun Fact: the first light house on record was the Pharos of Alexandria in Egypt. (Before this, sailors used the glow of volcanoes.) Built around 280 B.C., it stood at 450 feet tall and an open fire was lit at the top for sailors to see from far distances. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century. Attached is a photo of one of the statues from the ruins, beautifully resting on the ocean floor.


Seashells are the most used accessory of all nautical themes. They are an endless supply of shells along any beach, which makes them super inexpensive to buy. You can use them in a mini weave basked (as I have at my apartment) You can string them up and turn them into a beautiful wind chime. You can fill them into a clear vase with a white candle and create a beautiful, nautical center piece. Pinterest is FULL of DIY crafts featuring seashells so definitely check that out if you are looking for a more authentic nautical feel.

Shown below is an abalone seashell that serves dual purposes; its not only stunning with its metallic colors but it is known to be used in sage cleansings.

Seahorses, Starfish, Turtles- Oh My!

Bringing in the creatures of the sea really embraces the concept of being "under the sea." It livens up each room with the sweet, delicate nature of the beach.

Seahorses have a beautiful and exotic feel.The best thing to add to a nautical make over is a seahorse or two. They're perfect for a beachy escape.

Fun Fact: many Seahorses mate for life and the male seahorses give birth, not the females. Females insert her eggs through an oviduct into the male's brood pouch. The male wiggles to get the eggs into position. Once all the eggs are inserted, the male goes to a nearby coral or seaweed and grabs on with his tail and awaits to give birth to his children (Arnold Schwarzenegger style.)


The netting is great for an eye catching nautical look, filled with starfish and seashells or anything else you might want to add. Combine the net with the starfish lights in a dark hallway or out on the patio for a new kind of starry night.

Fun Fact: Starfish technically aren't fish. They are Echinoderms, more similar to sand dollars and sea cucumber. There are 2000 species of Starfish, some of which have way more than 5 legs, like the Sun Star for example, which has 40 legs! Even weirder? Starfish don't have blood.

Thats a lot of legs!

Sea Turtles

Turtle decor enriches your home with an innocent, quirky vibe.The key box holder is great for hiding a spare key on the front porch or maybe outback in a garden where the turtle will blend as a nautical gnome replacement. The jewelry box is quite stunning with its rich colors, and especially sweet with a little baby turtle on its back. Perfect for a mom. 

They are especially great pets if you want an even more home-beach feel. Kids love them as well so why not take an opportunity to be a turtle parent and teach your child some responsibility of caring for a living animal?

Fun Fact: the gender of a Sea Turtle depends on the temperature of the nest. The mother lays her eggs on a beach, in the same spot year after year. The eggs incubate from 45-70 days. Warmer weather creates more females, which will hatch closer to 45 days. In cooler temperatures, they'll incubate closer to 70 days and tend to hatch more males.


The free spirited and loving characteristics of dolphins will completely transform a room

Dolphins are a bit less subtle than turtles or starfish but they make a bold impact for a reason: they're gentle, beautiful giants. Taking them into your home will create a strong and inspiring space, as will whales.

The music box is an excellent piece to have to create a wonderful trip-of-the-mind. Mesmerizing music with a gorgeous dolphin print on a keepsake box for all your little treasures will certainly be a powerful piece in your nautical home.

Fun Fact: Dolphins sleep with one eye open. 0_- They can go a long time without sleeping and when they do sleep, they're only resting half of their brain at a time. -_0

The Fantastical Sea

Now lets look through some of the bolder aspects mentioned above to give your nautical space a true ocean folktale vibe. Pirates, mermaids, sea monsters- everything needed to get lost in a darker, deep ocean space:

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Pirates Life for Me!

Pirate ships are a great way to add some history and fantasy to your nautical home

They take us on a journey of fantasy and legends far beyond the great Captain Hook. They bring a literary feel, especially great for brightening up a bookshelf or a study, especially those gorgeous bookends!

Fun Fact: Pirates lived by their own code. Each ship had rules and regulations and the pirates could be severely punished for lying, stealing or fighting on board. This sounds very familiar..Sons of Anarchy prequal; Pirates of Anarchy, anyone?
The punishments weren't 'walking the plank' as we classically believed. Instead they were things like being marooned on an island, whipped, or even “keel-hauled,” a vicious punishment in which a pirate was tied to a rope and then thrown overboard: he was then dragged down one side of the ship, under the vessel, over the keel and then back up the other side.


Mermaids inspire a sense of enchantment and magic to your serene ocean space

The great mystery of mermaids has lingered in folklore since the start of the written word. Pirates and mermaids go together for a truly mystical ocean feel.

The cast iron make not only has a beautiful, classic appearance but it also looks like treasures and trinkets you could have found in a sunken pirate ship.

Fun Fact: "Mermaid" literally means "women of the sea." The earliest mermaid legend formed in Syria around 1000 B.C. The legend says a goddess, Atargatis jumped into a lake to become a fish but only her bottom half changed.

To get a broader understanding of my mermaid obsession, check out my review of "Lost Voices," a wonderful mertale novel by Sarah Porter.

Sea Monsters

It is impossible to have pirates and mermaids without legendary monsters of the deep. Everything from giant squid casts to real megalodon tooth fossils completes the storybook essence.

The megalodon teeth and fragments shown below are especially amazing. I placed an order for myself and quickly received a complete fossilized tooth plus smaller pieces. I'm planning on putting them together in a shadow box.

The "Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps" would make an excellent coffee table read, full of maps and monsters of the open sea passed down generation through generation of classic folklore.

Now You've Got Your Tools for a Nautical Masterpiece

With a few touches of beach themed accessories, it is super easy to create a beautiful nautical home. Add in some drift wood, braided rope, a tropical shower curtain, plastic kitchen lobsters, some real goldfish or beta and you've got a magical paradise awaiting just beyond your own front door.

Main source of Fun Facts-
Beach - Morning
Divi Divi Tree - Tom Makie
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Updated: 08/11/2014, KaitlynDeMetro
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aswriting on 07/31/2014

Clutter would only happen if a person just went overboard trying to diplay lots of items in a small space - a few nice pieces wouldn't do that. Love the theme.

JoHarrington on 07/26/2014

Ah! Bah humbug, CS! I wouldn't call these things clutter. They look very lovely.

KaitlynDeMetro on 07/10/2014

Most people don't seem home decor as just "clutter." People take in everything in their environment, so they want to create a space that's going to surround them with positivity. A nautical theme may not be for everybody but it works wonders with a lot of people. When creating themes, most don't just add cutesy things, they take down what they have and replace it with whatever the theme is that they are going for. This is why most of the things I mention won't take up added space and they serve a purpose as well. For example, I listed a lot of things that could hang on the walls, therefore not taking up space or creating clutter, and you won't be left with empty blank walls. Then there are other things like throw pillows, jewelry boxes, book ends, wall hooks, candle holders, and even salt and pepper shakers. These are things that almost everyone uses. I'm simply showing them what they already use, just with a particular theme. I appreciate your comment and I hope that I provided a thorough explanation.

CSMcClellan on 07/09/2014

Excuse me if this isn't the response you were hoping for, but I fail to see how cluttering up your home with cutesy fake everything is supposed to be relaxing or make you feel that you're at the seaside. Besides all the extra dusting.

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