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11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style

by Kevin O'Gara

Nautical interiors are popular any season of the year, but they really explode when the weather’s warm and more people spend time by the ocean. Instilling that carefree, coastal lifestyle into an interior can often boil down to the color palette and materials used in the room, and there are some essentials to stick by when it comes to this look. From blue and white to rope accents, each element has its inspiration in the sailing tradition of large ships, and can easily translate when it comes to home decor. My favorite elements might be the subtle lines of shiplap walls and the combination of striped patterns, but it all looks good when it comes to beachside living, really! What are your favorite nautical decor essentials? —Kevin

11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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A blue-and-white color scheme is the staple of any nautical interior, but this French bedroom nails a high-contrast look with dark navy pillows on the white bed.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Driftwood can be a sculptural accent or even act as wall art, depending on the size and shape of the piece. This Venice home uses the material in a fish planter as well as a large piece on the wall.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Rope is one of the most prominent materials on a boat, but it can be hard to find ways to bring this texture into a home. Lighting is one great way, and this DIY pendant lamp project is both easy and inexpensive.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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The now-trending shiplap wall treatment fits the nautical theme perfectly (hence the name), and provides a bespoke texture to walls or ceilings, like in this kitchen and dining space designed by Joanna Gaines.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Lantern lighting -- like this vintage piece in an Ontario bungalow -- has a nautical flair that makes a great accent to any tabletop or corner. Used indoors or out, lanterns provide ambient lighting while extending the decor.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Hammocks are great outdoors, but they make a huge statement inside your home. This Virginia home balances between beachy and modern styles with this piece in their living room.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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This seascape wallpaper from Mini Moderns comes in four different colorways, allowing your color palette to expand without losing a strong seafaring element in the room. With ships sailing through the rolling stripes of the waves, it's the perfect nautical pattern!
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Sailing paraphernalia can make great accent pieces -- like this side table -- and bring a vintage element to a living space. This Ontario home boldly embraces a sea-inspired look without losing its modern style.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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Sailors are known for their knot-making, and this sisal wall hanging takes an intricate, sculptural twist on the age-old tradition.
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This Savannah home mixes striped patterns on the sofa, a staple pattern for nautical spaces, and completes the look with a ship model in the background. This easygoing pattern has a casual look that effortlessly mixes with similar or contrasting patterns.
11 Key Elements of Modern Nautical Style - Design*Sponge
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The salty, humid air of coastal regions creates a weathered look on the wood that flanks boats and docks. Using reclaimed or dark, weathered wood adds a similar effect, like in this bathroom in a Philadelphia home.

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