I think Nautical Decorating might be one of the most misunderstood themes in the decorating world. Luckily, there are people out there like my friend Bridget who understand how to incorporate it with classic elegance! Follow along for a full tour of her beach house!
This home tour is one I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a while!
My friend, Bridget lives down on the Puget Sound here in Washington, and she does nautical decorating in a way I’ve never seen it done before! I find it so beautiful and timeless and I’m excited to hold her up as an example for you with some teaching tips on incorporating these same ideas into your own beach house decorating.
Unfortunately, beach house and nautical decorating have been misunderstood and overdone in recent times, and unfortunately some of the more mainstream design ideas push the beach and nautical designs away from classical timeless elegance that we love so much in the She Holds Dearly Community.
Before I jump into the full tour I wanted to share a few of my best tricks for making sure that your beach house and nautical decorating fall in line with the sophisticated aesthetic you’re after!
Beach House & Nautical Decorating Dos & Don’ts:
Number One | Focus on Creating Lots of Light!
Bridget does this well by adding lots of mirrors to reflect the natural light that she allows in through the un-treated windows.
I know not every home has the ability to keep their windows free of curtains or blinds, but if privacy isn’t an issue, I’d recommend removing window coverings as big first step in your designs for a light airy, summer time feel.
She also loves and uses lamps to her great advantage in every space to add more cozy and intimate light, even when the sun might not be doing it naturally (and we’re in Washington, so that’s pretty often).
I’ll even go so far as to say that you don’t need overhead lighting when you’re OK with having multiple lamps in a room! The light is so flattering and cozy.
Number Two | Bring in the Yellows and Whites
This is another way to brighten your space
I know blues and greys have really been in the fore-front of all beach-house decorating recently, so much so that I think they can quickly blend in with what everyone else is doing throughout the style.
Using a beautiful muted buttery yellow like Bridget chose is another way to bring the sunshine indoors. This color is called Downing Straw SW 2813 by Sherwin-Williams.
Number Three | Avoid Beachy Word Signage
Now, I know some of the signs are catchy and have cute puns on them, but when you’re on the look for elegant home decor, I think you can skip right on by those specific aisles at certain chain stores.
Pulling in mirrors, crystal, glass, lights & shells are great alternatives that really level up the sophistication and elegance.
Another great option for wall decorations that are are a nice mixture of whimsy and charm is to use wall hangings in nautical and beach related decorating themes.
I have a tutorial HERE for a DIY version I made that is very similar to this one that she has in her kitchen using Cavallini Wrapping paper sheets!
I also have to note that I love the way Bridget has used even the sides of her kitchen cabinets as a canvas to be decorated.
Number Four | Use Subtle Nods to Nautical Decor where You Can
There’s certainly something to be said about using undeniably beach themed pieces in your nautical decorating, but where possible, in order to keep the look from being overwhelming and overdone, you can add in subtle nods along with the more obvious ones.
I love this lamp as an example. On it’s own it doesn’t scream “I belong in a beach house”, but when you look at it next to shells and other sea-decor, you start to notice that the shape is reminiscent of some sort of sea urchin, and it feels right at home!
Number Five | Group your Collections Together.
The exciting thing about collections of items, like shells is that you’ve got a great variety in colors, sizes and textures. Grouping your items together as collections helps emphasize those individual aspects.
I know not everyone enjoys a mantle that’s decorated in a more maximum style, but there’s a time and a place for it!
These shells were all collected from different travels and contain special memories for Bridget and her family. What better way to enjoy them than to have them highlighted and on display.
Bridget also had a collection of sail boats grouped together in her office that I loved!
And now, let’s dive into the rest of the pictures of Bridget’s beautiful home.
Here’s the living room upon first entering:
Her beautifully decorated hallway leading into other sections of the house.
Her bathroom with a cute shell for a soap dish!
This counter top is made from onyx in a beautiful yellow, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used in this way before!
Her bathtub stopper is slipped in this little peachy colored votive holder, and more of the soaps for the bath are housed in another large shell.
In the master bedroom the colors and coziness continue, but the shells and outright beach themed pieces are scaled way back.
Then on to the home office.
These baskets were actually thrifted by her Mom!
I did notice that one of the main places Bridget strays from my earlier tip to avoid using too many blues and greys is in her art work! She has beautiful artwork throughout her house in both oils and water color with beautiful blue and grey tones.
And there are a few more rooms that I didn’t have a chance to grab pictures of! You can find the video that includes those here on my YouTube channel!
And in the meantime, I hope that you felt that Bridget’s lovely take on nautical decorating was a breath of fresh air in a style that sometimes get a bad reputation, and that you are going away with new inspiration and creative ideas for your own beach house decor!
Leave your questions and comments below and I’ll make sure Bridget gets to see them!
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Until next time,