When deciding on a “look” for the new half bath in Castle O’Lemon, the charm of a rustic lake or shore house kept popping into mind. Our home has definitely taken on a farmhouse feel to it as I work through our decor, and the bathroom felt like a space that needed an old nautical feel.
As with most theme-inspired decorating, it’s very easy to take it over the top to Tacky Mountain. I love a coastal and beachy feel to a room, but I think it’s important to stick with one or two carefully selected simples and build around those. This is why the nautical theme works well in smaller spaces, like hallways and powder rooms.
I’ve come across some pretty fun, funky, and fresh ideas to help achieve the perfect ship-wrecked, by-the-sea vibe. These are my favorites:
While not a color I see myself adding to our house, I love this turquoise wall color. If you’re looking to embrace the colorful charm of Key West or the Caribbean, this bathroom nails it out of the park.
The color makes you feel like you’re in an underwater, tropical paradise. The light fixtures bounce the light off the jewel-toned walls, helping to further the under water effect. I also love the birch-colored shiplap and mirror. It keeps the look rustic and primitive rather than over-the-top glamorous.
This gorgeous bathroom in Bologna, Italy combines traditional elegance with beach decor. The shelves in the wall are a great way to showcase starfish and seashells collected from beach vacations over time, and stand out against the dark wood and peach-colored walls. The coral sculptures along the vanity are also a nice touch.
(*The Husband” would like to make the disclaimer that this is clearly a half bathroom, because that is not nearly enough counter space for a woman. Don’t be mad at him. He’s totally right.)
Blue is a go-to color for any coastal room makeover, and this grayish blue vanity is no exception. I adore those starfish and flip-flop drawer/cabinet pulls that add such a fun, beachy charm. Changing out minor details, such as drawer pulls, can add a personalized touch to even the most basic builders’ grade vanities.
My favorite part about this beachy bathroom is the light fixtures. Modeled after glass floats and wrapped in knotted rope, they add a great coastal feature. The rope also blends well with the round mirror, which is somewhat remniscient of a ship’s porthole. I’m also really liking the concrete sink…It adds an industrial touch without becoming too modern and changing the theme of the space.
Let’s just take a second to admire the beauty of the tile work in this bathroom.
The tile on that wall is simply exquisite. I can’t decide whether it looks more like the scales of a mermaid’s tale or gives the illusion of the walls being wrapped in a fisherman’s net. Either way, the end result is beautiful and beachy. To complete the look, this decorator used the octopus and starfish, but I think you can choose from a lot of different accent pieces. Figurines made of sea glass, pieces of coral, or a vase filled with small shells would all work well in this space.
I love when a room takes on a theme without being too obvious about it. This half-bath, for instance.
Executing a timeless nautical theme may require you to pull out all the ropes…like this super cute rope framed mirror. But my favorite accent pieces for this bathroom are the knobs for the toilet flusher and sink. They remind me of the fixtures attached to the pipes on naval ships. Accompanied by the textured navy blue walls and bead-board cabinetry, and we have a classy half bath fit for a ship captain.
This half bath is a great example of using one or two staple symbols for a theme and using what you have to do the rest.
The walls in this half bath could very easily be brand new, wide planked bead-board. They could also be that ugly paneling in older, mid-1900s homes that many first time homebuyers may find in their newly purchased properties. With freshly painted walls in bright white, and easy thrift shop finds like the porthole mirror, driftwood whale wall decor, and antique boat paddle, this coastal theme is much easier than one would expect.
Here’s another bathroom that uses a round mirror to hit the nautical nail on the head.
What I love most about this mirror is that its hung by a thick ship rope over a large knob, almost like one you may find onboard a ship. Industrial accents like the lantern light fixtures with Edison bulbs and washtub sink keep the look trendy and simple. My favorite part is that intricate telework on the floor not one completes the room, but reminds visitors there are no shenanigans allowed on wet floors.
This half bathroom embraces its colonial heritage by paying homage to the naval ships that once docked in its ports. While I’m not a huge fan of wall paper in general, this seems to work when combined with the glossy wooden countertop and beadboard vanity.
Once again, I love the little accent pieces that complete the look and coastal charm. The rope knot drawer and cabinet pulls are a fun change of pace from anchors or compasses. The trendy Edison bulb light fixtures also offer a naval twist on this beach-house bath.
While not necessarily the rustic look I will be going for in my own bathroom, I like how this one blends the natural elements like rope and coral with the hard lines in the vanity.
These powder rooms have given me a bit of clarity in what I want to look for in my own half bath decor. Knobs and pulls are easy change outs, and many stores now carry unique designs and shapes to use. Using vases with shells and beachcomber finds is also a great way to preserve sand samples, sand dollars, and seashells found on family vacations over the years. Soothing colors like whites, corals, and blues are no-fail options to capture your coastal feel.
Any suggestions or advice I may have missed? Feel free to share your ideas and inspiration!