May 4, 2011

NAUTICAL INTERIORS

NAUTICAL ROOMS
And, what makes them nautical!

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A "nautical room" is one that looks and feels like someone who actually knows a port hole from a bung hole lives there.  It can be in the architecture, the accessories or even the vista's.  Ralph Lauren's quasi-successful attempt at the "nautical" interior is always over tweaked, over romanticized...and to real sailors it looks especially twee.


Best In Show
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(Gary McBournie)
A nautically inspired home is also different from a home at the seashore; it's saltier, less chintz - more canvas, less floral - more durable, less feminine - more masculine.

As a lifelong sailor myself I've always been attracted to anything "boat-ish;" an errant oar in a corner of the porch or the use of old time-worn charts applied as wallpaper, those are things that feel comfortable to me.   NOT the fishing nets on the wall with the colored glass "float balls" tangled in the along with a Styrofoam starfish and a tin cutout of a mermaid...

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 Here are some photos of Nautical rooms which I've been collecting as I think they give the essence of what I'm talking about.


LIVING ROOMS

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Isn't this an awesome room? Everything about it is perfection!  The rich blue walls with the large-scale nautical charts, the mahogany furniture and simple textiles all contribute to a very smart looking room.


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(Joseph Paul Davis)
This is a room I decorated for House Beautiful Magazine  a few years back and I chose a nautical theme.  The telescope, framed chart ($50), sailboat photos and the brown "Tall-Ships" transferware are all modest acquisitions.  There are four different check-patterned cotton fabrics, simple painted floors, and sloppy slipcovers on everything creating a totally chillaxed look.



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(Coastal Living)
What makes this small townhouse (somewhat) interesting is the "star compass" on the floor, otherwise, it would be a another plain blue and white room.


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(Joseph Paul Davis)
This home I did for a couple who own a marine supply chain. We added a few pieces of "nautical" decor to give this Maryland house a Nantucket feel.  The large globe-like fixture is a nod to Ferdinand Magellan; the wall sconces have large scallop shell backs; the ships wheel centered on the balcony (or bridge) above adds charm and makes the home specific to the owners.


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(Coastal Living)
Duuuude,  I'd freekin' live on this porch!


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This bad-ass mish-mosh is made of all sorts of bits and pieces from here and there. The old surfboard and the blue palate make it feel nautical and beachy.  A place that screams don't worry about your sandy feet.


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(Joseph Paul Davis)
This was actually my own boat, a 1939 Trumpy motor yacht which I restored to like-new condition. For the interiors I didn't want the "red, white and blue thing" that most boaters choose, so I went with red, white and tan which complimented the black walnut panelling throughout.


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(Joseph Paul Davis)
This is the library of a "boating" client of mine.  One day, whilst laying on the above sofa on my own boat I looked up and it came to me for the design of his library - making it specific to his lifestyle.  For the ceiling I used narrow tongue-and-groove with the mahogany caps.  For the walls I used horizontal (ship-lap) mahogany wainscoting with flush mount brass pulls and accented it with the hand carved mahogany rope detail on the chair railing.


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(Herlong Architects)
This bitchin' Family/Billiards room feels as if it's inside the hull of a glorious sailing vessel. The beautiful teak and mahogany panelling paired with the holly and teak floors are stunning.


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(Lisa Creegan)
The is the perfect, casual, seaman's house!
Casual, bright and not overdone.


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Nautical not only means "old salty" Mainers.  Here's an old house done up with a nautical theme for a sport fisherman. The horizontal wood and the crisp (fin) blue are perfect backgrounds.


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(Keller Donavan)
This handsome Nantucket home feels nautical and simple. Keller used the beautiful faux-wood wallpaper on the walls giving a drift-woody effect to the space. The use of solid, clear colors is what works here. Pastels suck for implying "nautical."


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(Suzanne Kassler)
This wonderfully fresh version of nautical is so welcome!  You don't have to "do" old-fashioned when you "do" nautical.


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(Gary McBournie)
OMG, this is the best nautical kitchen I've ever seen!
The grate-fronted cabinets, mahogany tops and knobs are authentic and practical.  Don't you totally dig that ceiling left exposed?  Sooo cozy!



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(Ralph Lauren)
This is the aforementioned Ralph Lauren advert and a perfect example of what I mean by "too twee," it just isn't genuinely nautical as it's way too feminine and too staged looking.  Ain't NOTHING worse than a "staged" nautical look...!


DINING ROOMS

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(India Hicks)
Inexpensive furniture in a crappy room - Perfection!  India took an old beach shack, painted everything bright white and stained the floors teak color.  Then, she used an inexpensive online/catalogue table with el-cheapo directors chairs, and hung charts on the walls of the local Bahamian waters. 
Geeeeniiiiuuuus! (Oprah voice)


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Here we have the chic sport fisherman's home.
The elegant, yet casual feeling is accomplished by using classic elements in a casual manner;  the Irish console painted white, the English dining chairs in a canvas stripe, and so on.



BEDROOMS

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(Domino)
Anyone who knows me will know I luvs me a room that looks great and doesn't cost anything, and this one kicks-ass!  Old charts as wallpaper, yard-sale furniture and wall-to-wall carpeting (which is always cheaper than refinishing floors and buying a rug) Dontcha wanna spend the weekend here?  aiight then.


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(House and Home)
I love the crispness and clean look of this space.  Remove the small toy cars on the wall shelf and it's perfect for any age.  You can invite all your friends over for 4th of July in your bedroom....


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Wouldn't this reclaimed swing-skiff-bed be killer in a pergola or porch? Or, how about a covered dock?? 


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(Patrick Sutton)
This room utilizes white walls and striped carpeting.  The formula doesn't get any easier than this;  strap a kayak to the ceiling, hang up some oars and bing-bang-boom, you're done!  No cutesy lighthouse lamps, or boring, fake boat prints on the walls...


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I've shown this image before, it's so freeking perfect for a nautical theme!  Mahogany framed beds with white tongue-and-groove panels are a shipwrights Viagra!


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Love the row-boat on the ceiling with the oars. The rest of the room is boring - whats up with that floral bench at the foot of the bed? eewwww


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(Phoebe Howard)
This ship-shape room implies an antique patina by using the dark Victorian style beds, but its totally freshened up with the textiles and accessories.


BATHROOMS

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This wicked-cool sink has a top made from a mahogany ships wheel. It's awesome with the chrome accents.  A brass sink would look like hell as it never looks clean.


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(Sig Bergamin)
This Tommy Bahama number is definitely working for me.  It doesn't scream nautical - but nautical shouldn't scream nautical anyhow...so there!


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Arrrgh matey, I'm gonna take me wooden leg off and soak me personal parts in this loovly mahogany tub while lookin' at me frigate thar yonder in na harbor


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Porthole in a shower...cool as shit, riiight?


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Ahhh yes, a dinghy to soak yer dinghy!
This, while being totally over the top is also way cool. Notice the backgrounds are kept simple to allow the tub center stage.


BAD(!) NAUTICAL ROOMS

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Dontcha think this is just a slight bit too staged looking?  Nice view, but all those made-in-China gift shop accessories are nasty! 


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Really???
 Stamped pony-hide zebra and pre-teen throw pillows??  Let's hope this is a rental unit somewhere.


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Let's do a 30 minute sweep through Pottery Barn and we'll be all nautical lookin'.....riiiight, as if...


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Little Jimmy's nautical bedroom...in Idaho.
OK, just how totally dorky can you get???


ACCESSORIZING  NAUTICALLY

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The use of yachting trophies and awards are always fun; a collection is even better.


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(Joe Nye)
An American holiday table dressed to impress the Commodore, indeed!

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These andirons are such a good way to add some nautical flavor to your room.


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What a cool way to give a little maritime flavor to your home.  The "lines" could be a bit thicker but the idea  with the brass cleats is great.
Notice ALL of the details
The carpet is simple and installed properly; the mahogany newel posts; the painted ship-lap walls.


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(Designer: Phoebe Howard)
This boring hallway is made interesting by using brackets to show a series of model boats


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This is bordering on too twee, but it's still a good look.
19th c. sailors away on fishing trips would make artworks to bring back to their sweethearts made from shells and whale bones.
The carpet, pillows and beach-glass are all too much, the wall plaques would be enough.


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(Coastal Living)
This scrappy, old room with the tired knotty-pine paneling is fun and beachy with the use of some lobster-pot buoys, a Sailfish and a few found shells sitting around.  Honest and charming.


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Simple is as simple does!


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(Stylebeat)
Just the addition of a fixture like this will add a fun touch. If you're crafty you could easily make something just as smart looking.


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Accessories like these pillows can be great fun in a kids room or on a porch, but will look totally lame in the living room


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I wish you clear skies and smooth sailing!


You can do it, I'm here to help!

Ph: 202.669.8669
E: jpdsodpb@aol.com

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