Repainting the Kitchen with a Nautical Theme

There is a myriad of ways to transform your kitchen with a nautical theme.  Many paint colors are associated with nautical elements—the sea, ships, boats, the beach, etc…Putting together a color palette and choosing decorative nautical items is the first step to making over your kitchen with this inspired and timeless theme.

Nautical Rope

The Golden Age of Sail
Browsing through classic seascapes from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will acquaint you with a wide array of color schemes and hues that defined this glorious time in the history of ships.  A basic, yet utterly classic sailing color palette might include a deep navy blue signifying the stormy sea, the blue stripes of uniforms, the midnight blue sky; the white of sea foam, naval uniform whites, the off-white of sail cloth; and the gold of epaulettes, officers’ buckles, the golden hues of rope or a freshly scrubbed deck.  These colors matched with a hard wood floor and rich wooden cabinetry can help complete a nautical kitchen based on old sailing ships.

To complement this particular theme, add other finishing decorative touches such as sail cloth curtains, anchor-shaped drawer pulls, and prints for the wall of old sailing ships and naval heroes like Admiral Horatio Nelson.  Install lighting fixtures that are reminiscent of old ship lanterns and bench seating that recalls sailors at their mess.  Incorporate other decorative items such as a mounted figurehead fitted with a kitchen clock, a waste can decoupaged with shipping charts, or a small life boat hanging from the ceiling that functions as a holder for pots and pans.

The Lighthouse Keeper
Expanding the nautical color palette to include a lighthouse theme is a great way to add bright colors to the kitchen.  Often, lighthouses were painted with red and white stripes so that they would stand out along a rocky coast.  Lighter shades of blue and black have also been used to paint lighthouses.  These colors along with a sailing ship palette could be used to paint your nautical kitchen.

To enhance this lighthouse theme, consider adding spotlight fixtures above the table and sink.  For wall décor, mount traditional lighthouse keeping items such as implements that check barometer and temperature, a compass, and old coastal maps.  Consider adding a custom item like a floor to ceiling spiral staircase that acts as shelving for dishes or food items.  You might also add prints to the wall of actual lighthouses and purchase a set of dishes with a lighthouse pattern for daily use.

Marine Life
You can also expand your nautical theme and color palette to include ocean life.  The salmon color of coral or the mustard shades of starfish can be a lovely enhancement to your nautical color palette.  A gunmetal blue floor paired with shades of coral for the walls is an update to more traditional nautical palettes.  The deep greens of seaweed paired with the metallic colors of fish scales, for instance, is another way to update a traditional palette.

To add decorative marine décor, consider adding antique prints of sea fauna like crabs, fish, and whales.  Dishes with sand dollars or starfish as well as curtains or a table cloth decorated with sea life could also be used to enhance the scenic nautical décor.

A nautical theme can also include island colors or decorative items reminiscent of the beach.  A color palette based on lagoon colors matched with shades of sand and shell make for a beautiful and sophisticated nautical palette.  Items like old postcards of historic ports or antique items from authentic ships’ galleys could also be used to decorate the kitchen.  You can achieve a kitchen with a distinctive nautical look by considering all the items associated with ships and the sea.  There are many commercial products designed in the nautical style, so finding the right look for your nautical kitchen should not be difficult and can go as far as your imagination and taste can take you.

Guest post contributed by Tanya, on behalf of The Coral Cove Nautical Decor Store. Tanya is a freelance writer and interior designer, specializing in nautical décor.

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