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Get The Look: Nautical Bathroom

Learn tips from the experts and put their advice into practice with 8 nautical bathroom trends

There’s no need to comb the beach with a metal detector in search of tips for designing a beach-inspired bathroom because we tapped Rick Wilson at Radius Architectural Millwork and Joanna Vagelatos at JV Design Group to get the “how-to” on all things nautical. Think crisp linens, rustic exposed-bulb pendants, bleached oak, or a vintage sailboat print framed in white—this summer, the beach will come to you.

Rick Wilson, President and Founder of Radius Architectural Millwork:

First things first: what does nautical mean to you? Or more specifically, how nautical do you want to go (rum on the beach with a savvy Captain Jack Sparrow or all-inclusive resort?). Wilson learns the answer to these questions before he launches into projects with clients. “Nautical can be broad,” he says. “Are they looking for a sleek European yacht look or are they looking for a tall ship, more rustic?” Wilson suggests Houzz as a reference to narrow down what look or style you want. Another great source to look at is actual boats – observe the sails, curved hulls, interior finishing’s and complicated shapes – then start to think about how you want to make use of your space.

Joanna Vagelatos from JV Design Group:

Start with a fresh colour palette to keep things natural and airy. Think beach (less Gilligan’s Island and more Bora Bora) with neutral linens and light-coloured walls to inspire elements of the ocean. Don’t go full nautical—avoid blue and white stripes, anchors, seashell soaps or bottles of layered sand. Try to present a sea-like vibe instead of recognizable pieces. “It’s cool to give a nod to the nautical theme,” Vagelatos says, but do so with vintage prints, glass bottles, woven baskets or a large chunk of driftwood. To add colour, try softer elements like blue edging in towels or paint tones like “Simply White,” “Gray Owl,” “Stonington Gray” or “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore—but colours that don’t contrast against the neutral palette you’ve created.

Here are a few of our favourite pieces for putting together the look:


Want to a include rustic, lighthouse element? Try out West Elm’s Glass Jar Pendant ($99) lights.


If you’re located far from the ocean then we suggest the Sea Salt ($24) candle at Plum Home + Design for a hint of brine and sea breeze.


Want an authentic, sailboat theme? The Sailor’s Mirror ($58 and up) from Anthropologie resembles a porthole without the rocking waves.


Antique-chic but not outdated, Pottery Barn’s Ocean Currents Map ($299) offers historical elements while still paying homage to the nautical theme.


Bring a soft hit of colour with CB2’s Frosted Green Bottle ($10), the perfect play off of sea-glass.


We know not to go full nautical—but the Poplo Trinket Dish ($22) from Anthropologie is too cute not to include.


The Caged Bubble Vases ($19 and up) from West Elm work for both a message-in-a-bottle or horticultural element.


Reminiscent of woven sea grass, the Hyacinth Basket With Lid ($125) from 18 Karat is perfect to hold bath towels and linens.



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