You wander through a flea market or store, and your eyes fixate on a little decor treasure. It’s a tiny figurine of a ship, but you’ve never seen one so detailed. You’ll add this little treasure to your collection when you get home. If you love nautical things, it’s time to design your nautical themed bedroom. Whether the room is for you or your child, these nautical bedroom ideas will help get you started
1) DIY Treasure Chest
Your bedroom is going to need storage, and when you think of nautical storage, one of the first things that should come to mind is a chest or trunk. If you’re a pirate fan, try making a treasure chest like this one. Otherwise, get an old trunk or build one, then stain it to look beaten and weathered. A sailor’s trunk went with him to sea, and it took a beating that you should reflect in your imitation.
2) Porthole Mirror
You can design your nautical bedroom like a ship’s quarters. Sailors often sleep below decks, so portholes are a logical addition to nautical-themed quarters or any ship-themed area. While you can’t have a real porthole in your room, this mirror from Walmart looks just like a real one, making it perfect for your nautical bedroom. Most bedrooms will have a mirror somewhere, and a mirror is useful whether you planned to have one in your room or not.
3) DIY Sailor’s Knots!
Ships have a lot of rope. Sometimes it looks like sailboats are held together with nothing but tangles upon tangles of rope. One of the first and foremost things a sailor learned are knots, and those knots are a great way to create a nautical theme in a room. This video goes over the common types of sailor’s knots, so you can practice them to use for decorations. Try using a thick rope for a curtain pull, and tie one of these knots at the end of it.
4) DIY Mini Boat Decoration
While a nautical bedroom doesn’t have to be filled with boat decorations, model boats are a time-honored tradition. While this is no ship in a bottle, this little boat decoration is a cute nautical-themed decoration that’s not hard to make. While it’ll take some time to make, you can do it with tools you already have in your house. The final product looks lovely as a decoration, but you can also use it as a shelf, or lay it down so it really looks like a boat.
5) Coastal Map Wallpaper
When you looked up nautical bedroom ideas, you were probably expecting to find some little decorations and nautical furniture, but your entire room is part of the nautical decor. This includes the walls. For a long time, ships were the primary way people saw and discovered the world. Ship crews added to maps, creating and shaping the world, and slowly encroaching on the territory of the dragons at the edges of the map. This nautical wallpaper looks like a coastal map, bringing to mind the times when sailors were discovering the world.
6) DIY Boat Shelf
Pallet wood projects are popular right now, so it’s only natural to provide one here. This project is a boat shelf. Boat shelves are always cool to have, and boats belong in a nautical bedroom. Watch this video to learn how to put together a boat-shaped shelf from reclaimed pallet wood. If you don’t have pallet wood, you can get pallets for free and break them down, or buy lumber to use instead. Once you build the shelves, paint them blue, or give them a worn look that fits with your other nautical furniture.
7) Lantern Lamp
Back when sailors were discovering the world, they used lamps for light. While your room will probably have electricity, you can still give an old fashioned nautical feel to your lighting. This lamp has an antique style lantern for a base. The lamp base looks old and weathered, like something you’d expect to see on a ship. The glass is pitted to give the illusion that it’s wet and worn out, and the finish they used for the metal creates a similar look. The lantern base even has a visible light bulb in it.
When you think of the ships and the sea, you can likely picture the clear blue waters reflecting the sky back at you. The blue of the skies and the sea are reflective of the freedom sailors experience, and they’re a significant part of a nautical theme. If you want to feel like you’re near the ocean, add some touches of blue to the decor. Try using blue sheets and curtains like the ones in this picture. While you can paint the room blue also, this creates a more subtle blue look.
9) DIY Epoxy Resin Diorama
The captain sits at his desk, carefully assembling little bits of wood in a bottle. After some time, he slowly pulls a string, and a ship comes to life inside the container. Ships in bottles are an old tradition, and they’d make great decorations for your room. If you don’t have the time or skill to make a real ship in a bottle, don’t worry. There are other ways to capture the ocean and the vessels that cross it. This video shows you how to make a ship diorama in a bottle using epoxy resin.
10) Net Lamp
Knots and rope are a big part of nautical decors, but so are nets. Fishing is one of the main reasons people go out to sea, and fishing nets are excellent craft materials for making decorations. In this case, you can get this fishing net lamp from Amazon, so you don’t need to do any crafting yourself. This lamp’s base looks like a fishing net shaped into a globe, making it a neat light source for your nightstand.
11) DIY Twine-Wrapped Decorations and Vases
Rope and knots are a staple on a ship, and they’re essential to keeping a ship running. They’re used in fishing nets and traps, so they’ll likely make an appearance in your nautical bedroom. Twine is a simple way to create a rope-like look without buying expensive rope. It’s also smaller, so you can do more with it in an indoor space. This tutorial shows you how to wrap twine to decorate a wine bottle, but you can use it on anything to make it look more nautical.
12) Area Rug
If you have hardwood floors, that fits a ship theme well, but it can be uncomfortable when you wake up in the morning, and your cold feet touch the boards. An area rug can keep your feet warm, but it’ll cover those floors that fit your theme so well. This rug has a nautical theme, so it won’t take away from the effect of your hardwood or hardwood-looking vinyl, but it’ll create a soft and warm surface for you to walk on.
13) DIY Creative Knot
While sailor’s knots are traditional and bring out a nautical theme, any knot will make people think of boats to some degree. If you don’t want to use old sailor’s knots, you can get creative like this knot maker. Create knots in shapes you like, and pin them to walls and other areas of the room. You can even tie them into your curtain cords or add other ropes around the room to tie interesting knots in.
14) Oar Hook
If you don’t have a big entryway, you’ll need somewhere in your room to hang hats, jackets, and keys. You might want a place to hang robes and other clothes, or you might want to hang some of your nautical decorations. This hook set looks like an oar hung on the wall, but there are small hooks in it that you can use for clothes or keys. You can also hang ropes or nets from it, and use it as a purely decorative hanging.
15) Wavy Design
When you imagine the ocean, you likely see waves in your mind, The gentle push and pull, or the harsh breaking of waves, controls life at sea. Include wavy patterns in your nautical bedroom to hint at the wavy ocean and tides. Try things like this curved bed rail to create subtle hints of the sea. If you want to be less subtle, such as in a children’s bedroom, you can paint these designs with light sea green or ocean blue.
16) DIY Mermaids
While you may want to capture a mermaid and keep her in your room, that’s not what we’re suggesting here. First of all, a real mermaid could be dangerous. Second, they’d want a huge fish tank that might not fit in your room. Instead, use this tutorial to draw a mermaid anywhere you want. How does this benefit you? Once you draw it on a wall or piece of furniture, you can paint it and add mermaids to your nautical theme.
17) Captain’s Quarters
Your room could be one of the crew’s quarters, but that’s not the most glamorous option. Instead, make your room the captain’s quarters. Hang this sign from Walmart on your door to let everybody know that that captain’s quarters are on the other side of the room. Doing so brings the nautical theme into the hallway outside your room, allowing you to express yourself in an area others might see. It also tells people that it’s a private space, accessible by invitation only, just like a ship captain’s quarters.
18) Nautical-Themed Lights
Some lights are practical, like a bedside lamp or overhead light, but some of your bedroom lighting will be decorative. These string lights are decorative, but they provide a glow that can be soothing at night. They’re blue, and each light is shaped like a sea creature or sand dollar. Hang these on a wall or wrap them around a decoration or bedpost to create a healthy blue glow reminiscent of ocean waters. The lights have a remote, so you can turn them off before you go to sleep.
19) DIY Compass Rose
The compass rose appears on all maps, and the compass has great significance for sailors. While sailors often used star charts, they’re the ones who discovered many of the things we see on maps. Add a compass rose anywhere in your room by drawing it using this tutorial. You can sketch it on a wall or furniture, then paint it in whatever colors you like. It would make an attractive centerpiece, or you could put it behind a net wall hanging so it’s barely visible.
Nets are a big part of sailing and nautical themes because sailboats bring them out to fish. You can use nets like these in many ways to accent a nautical theme. Try hanging one on a wall with some art behind it, since the net is see-through. The artwork should be simple, so you can still make out all the details through the net. You can also use a mesh curtain for a bunk bed, and maybe hang it in front of solid cloth for a more effective privacy curtain.
21) Ship in a Bottle
Ships in bottles are very old and traditional decorations. If you watch pirate movies, you’ve likely seen a wall or two of them. Few people know how much time and dedication it takes to build a ship in a bottle, but the ship in a bottle in this lamp is a little different from traditional ones, anyway. Build a ship in the bottle, whether it’s a traditional one or not, and use it as a decoration. Try making a lamp base with a premade model ship in it as a decoration and light source.
22) Sea Glass String Lights
Sea glass is harder to find, as fewer and fewer people grow up collecting it, and many people are unable to tell it apart from regular glass. Real or fake, sea glass shows the beauty of the sea, and it’s a good thing to include in a nautical-themed room. These string lights look like tiny shards of sea glass twinkling and glowing in your room. Hang them up or weave them into a fishing net to make an unrivaled nautical display.
23) DIY Build Buoy
If you don’t have old buoys around to repurpose into decorations, you can build your own. Use these instructions to make your own buoys, and hang them around the room. You can also make lobster buoys like this as lamps or other practical decorations with a lamp kit, and with some modifications to the original designs. Decide what you want to use your buoys for before you make them. If you’re unsure, hanging them or using them as shelf decorations is a great idea.
Ships are designed to fit the greatest number of people into the smallest space possible. That means they have bunks. While bunk beds are rarely comfortable for adults, if you’re working on a child’s nautical bedroom, you can build bunk beds into the wall. If there’s only one child in the room, they can use one bunk for sleepovers or as a place to read or play. Add a rope ladder like the one in this picture to make your child feel like they’re on a real seafaring vessel.
25) Nautical Hamper
Sailors might have worn the same crusty clothes for days, but your nautical theme doesn’t mean you have to. Store your dirty clothes without losing any clout as a sailor with this nautical-themed hamper. The hamper is a beautiful ocean blue with tiny anchors covering it in a pattern. The light blue is streaked in such a way that it also reminds you of weathered wood, like the wood on a ship or beach house. The hamper is collapsible and has handles, so it’s easy to carry and use, in addition to fitting your nautical theme.
26) Turtle and Seahorse Prints
Your room could use some nautical prints. Sculptures and nic nacs are great, but your walls are starting to look bare. These turtle and seahorse prints are light blue and fit a more oceanic nautical theme. If you have a pirate theme, you’ll want darker prints. These are bright and gorgeous, with a light sea blue that’ll go with many blue and distressed wood decorations and furniture. If you like the mystical side of nautical stories, these are the kind of decorations you want.
27) Hammock Chair
Sailors often slept in hammocks on ships. Since they hang from above, they handle the sway of the ocean waves well, and if you like to imagine you’re on a boat, a hammock is a good start. Unfortunately, sleeping in a hammock may be less comfortable than the bed you’re used to. Instead of sleeping in a hammock, get a hammock chair like this one to sit in and read or relax during the day. Then, when it’s time to go to sleep, retire to the comfort of a big, solid bed.
28) DIY Anchors
Anchors are a big part of ship steering and stopping. They exist on every ship, so including them in your nautical-themed room just makes sense. Like a compass rose, they make great wall decals. Instead of paying for an anchor stencil, getting one that isn’t quite the right size, and just making do, use this tutorial to draw an anchor. This way, you can put it on any wall or furniture in any size, then paint it in the colors you want.
29) Curved Beams
You can include little ships in the form of dioramas, ships in bottles, and many other decorations, but have you considered turning the whole room into a boat? While making the room into a real sailing ship might be a bit drastic, you can certainly make it look like a real ship. Add beams like the ones in this picture to make the ceiling and walls look somewhat curved without changing the architecture of the room. Since the beams don’t support anything, you can simply carve and attach some wood pieces to the wall.
30) Vintage Map Clock
Vintage maps are a big part of nautical and sailing themes. They appear often, and they add a neat historical element to your decor. This clock looks like part of a vintage map, making it a classic nautical decoration. It’s also a good idea to have a way to tell the time in your bedroom. While a lot of wall clocks are digital, and this is an analog clock, the old fashioned clock style just adds to the nautical feel of the space.
31) Distressed Wood
Sailing is stressful, and not just for the people on the ship. The wood exterior of an old sailing ship takes a beating, as does the furniture and the interior of the vessel. If you’ve watched enough pirate movies, you can imagine that nowhere is safe from the harsh weather. To reflect that, don’t use furniture that has a freshly-painted look. Instead, buy distressed wood furniture, or paint your furniture to look like weathered wood that’s been on a ship for a while.
32) Rope Curtain Rod
Ropes and knots are a big nautical theme, and while it’s easy to add them to your curtains. You can go further. These curtain rods from Amazon have glass balls at each end covered by rope in a net-like pattern. The small bit of twine isn’t a highly noticeable addition, but it’s neat to look at, and it adds to the overall theme. If you have rope decorations in a few places, these will fit in well.
33) DIY Nautical Bed
Whether you’re designing an adult or child’s room, you can make a nautical-themed bed. This ship-themed bunk bed is definitely fit for a child, with a ship’s wheel decoration and a design that makes you think of a wooden vessel. The creator had a neat idea, hollowing out the center of the ship’s wheel to turn it into a window frame, so the child can peek out from their bed. While an adult’s bed probably won’t have these neat features, you can use a gray color and pattern like this for your headboard, and build in a ship’s wheel decoration.
34) Compass Rose
If you aren’t an exceptional artist, or if you’re not confident drawing on your walls, you can still have a neat compass rose design for your nautical theme. You can put this decal from Amazon on your wall. The bright color makes it best for a dark wall, such as a navy blue or deep brown. You can hang ropes, nets, and other see-through nautical decor in front of it, but it may be hard to see. Try hanging a net across part of a wall, then letting it dip down to frame this compass rose decal.
35) DIY Seashell Candles
You might not be a fan of candles, but this seashell candle DIY project is attractive even for people who tend to avoid candles. Eileen from Yes Missy gives step-by-step instructions on how she made candles inside of seashells. These tiny tea light-style candles have a distinct nautical or beach theme. And they’ll fit with any nautical decor. Even if you don’t light them, they’re a pretty decoration to put on a table or shelf.
36) Custom Nautical Decals
If you’re designing a room for a little sailor, try making them a custom decal. While you can try to paint this yourself, this decal from Amazon is a good starting point. The sticker has an anchor and ship’s wheel to blend into their nautical theme, and their first name can go in the center to tell everybody it’s their room. You can also add their initial or another letter of choice, and choose what colors you want their name and initial to be.
37) DIY Portholes and Ship’s Wheel
If you don’t have the expertise to build fake rafters that imitate the curve of a ship, we don’t blame you. This do-it-yourself project is an easy way to make your whole room look and feel a bit like quarters on a ship. In this tutorial, Melissa Woods shows you how to make ship portholes that look surprisingly realistic, even though they’re made from cardboard. She also shows you how to make a ship’s wheel, but the wheel in this tutorial looks less realistic than the portholes.
38) Wall Art
Amidst your customized and handmade nautical decorations, you’ll want some simple wall art. Simple art like this four-paneled nautical wall decoration should be incorporated into your other displays. Drape a net diagonally across a wall, and hang this in the uncovered corner, or hang this in the center of a wall and sprinkle little sea star wall hangings around it. You can string lights around wall hangings like this, or drape lights, nets, or ropes over them.
39) DIY Ship Wheel Decoration
If you want a ship’s wheel in your room to complete the feeling of being on a ship at sea, you can use this blog post to make your own ship wheel decoration. While the wheel isn’t to scale, it’s a fun decoration that includes some rope to add to the nautical theme. The weathered grey wood finish makes it look like old ship wood so that the room will have an authentic color scheme, and the decorations will match any weathered furniture you have in your room.
40) Mariner’s Knot Organizer
If you’re decorating a child’s room, they might have a dresser and toy chests, but you’ll want to replace those or redecorate them to fit the theme. These small folding cubes are great ways to store toys, clothes, and more. You can replace existing cubes or add these Mariner’s Knot cubes into the room. The Mariner’s Knot cubes have a knot tied in front that combines with the dark blue color to give them a nautical look.
41) DIY Boat Children’s Bed
If you’re making a nautical bedroom for a child, you’ve got to at least consider a pirate ship bed. While it can be a lot of work, it’s a dream come true for many children, and this article will help you figure out how to do it. This bed isn’t as complicated as some, since it’s a small boat, so if you aren’t sure of your carpentry skills, this may be a good choice. If you want to try something bigger, you can make a loft bed with a sailing ship playhouse underneath.
42) Distressed Wood Nightstand
Distressed wood has a more nautical look than clean and freshly painted wood. Wood on a ship doesn’t stay pristine, but weathers and ages harshly in the salt water and wind. Your furniture should match that look. This nightstand from Amazon looks somewhat worn, and the drawer has a rope handle that reminds you of the rigging on a ship. The nightstand is a dark brown, so it’ll go with any darker treasure chest toy boxes or weathered trunks.
43) DIY Driftwood Seahorse
Driftwood washes up on beaches all the time, and the wood’s odd shapes give inspiration to the imagination. While it’s often used for a beach theme, driftwood can fit any theme if you create the right art from it. With this tutorial, you can learn to make a seahorse from driftwood. Create your own seahorse decorations from what the ocean provides you, or create a different design. Try making your own driftwood anchor, or get creative with a driftwood mermaid or ship wall decoration.
44) Sea Creature Hooks
It’s the hooks! That’s right; your bedroom will need some hooks. They’re convenient for hanging jackets if you don’t want a cluttered entryway, and you can put your favorite hats there for easy access. This set of hooks is cast to look like seahorses are holding up your coats or hats, and it has an undersea background that you might see from a fantasy ship’s portholes. The light traces of blue paint gives it a weathered ocean look that matches a lot of distressed and ocean-themed furniture.
45) Life Preservers
At some point or another, you’ve probably watched a movie scene in which somebody fell off a ship, and another passenger or sailor had to throw them a life preserver, or lifesaver, as some call them. Besides being the inspirations for some great candy, life preservers are a fixture on ships and beaches. They’re essential to safety on the water, and they’re a neat thing to use as a decoration. Since you don’t need a real one like the one in the picture, you can make a cardboard or plywood cutout and hang it on a wall.
46) Treasure Map
Treasure and the sea often go together, as many treasures were lost at sea over the centuries. As they were lost or buried, maps were made to real or fictitious treasures, and treasure maps became a common theme when people thought about the sea and ships. Hang a treasure map of your own with this 60 inch by 71-inch treasure map tapestry. This could take up most of a wall and may be a centerpiece in your room.
47) DIY Seashell and Rope Candle Holder
Ropes and shells are common nautical themes, and this do-it-yourself project combines the two to make a tasteful nautical decoration. If you want more subtle decorations, this is a good idea for you. This do-it-yourselfer made a candle held with rope wrapped around the base, and a star-shaped shell attached. You can pick your favorite seashells for this project, and tweak the design until it looks right to you. Try making a few candles with varying lengths of rope, then arranging them by size.
If you want a nautical look, but you want more practical curtains, you have a few options. You can hang brown or gray curtains that resemble the weathered wood of an old ship, and hang a net over them for a more nautical look. If you don’t want to spend all afternoon hanging your net and curtains just right and mess them up every time you open them, simple curtains like these blue and white room darkening ones will work for you. The blue and white color fits a nautical theme, and you’ll have practical curtains you can actually use.
49) DIY Repurpose Lobster Tray Buoy
When you gaze out at the ocean, you see a few ships here and there, along with some smaller boats, but there’s something else you almost always see: buoys. Many of the buoys you see mark the locations of lobster traps. When they wear out, they end up in garages or at flea markets, and then they can end up in the hands of do-it-yourselfers or renovators like yourself. Find some old buoys like these and repaint them with the original colors, then hang them or put them on shelves as decorations.
50) DIY Seashell Letter
Spelling your name in your room is a nice way to make it feel like yours. You’ve put a lot of work into it, so it’s okay to feel possessive. You can also put your child’s name up if you’re working on their nautical bedroom. These instructions will help you create letters from seashells. You can use these to put your name or your child’s name on the wall or write messages on it. Try putting up nautical words like “sea” or “ocean.”
How does your nautical bedroom look? Did we miss any nautical themes that you hoped to see? Please let us know in the comments below.