What Are the Different Types of Ocean Decor?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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Ocean decor helps bring a little of the sea inside, no matter how far away from the real thing. There are many different kinds of ocean decor, including tropical, coastal, and nautical themes. Nearly every element of interior design can lend itself to ocean-inspired decorating, including lighting elements, soft furnishings, and decorative objects.

Tropical decor can set a room adrift in a world of warm sand, palm trees, and crystal waters. When considering a palette for tropical decor, look for inspiration in the vivid greens of the rainforest, the clear turquoise of the water, and the flashes of brilliant color from tropical fish. Tropical decor can be excellent for an exotic bathroom or romantic bedroom, but may cause some problems in rooms that are seasonally decorated, such as a sitting room. Trying to work in a Christmas tree around oil paintings of dolphins and hula lamps may cause a bit of a decorative clash.

Coastal or seaside decor often relies on a cool, neutral palette to promote a sense of rest and ease. Colors common in coastal ocean decor include muted blues and greys, taupe, and peach. Decorative objects are important in coastal ocean decor, and may include “found” items such as seashells, beach glass, and driftwood. One of the advantages of coastal decor is the light-colored palette, which can make a small room feel more open and airy.


Nautical decor takes inspiration from the grand tradition of the sailing, and may focus more on ships and the life of the mariner, rather than the natural elements found in tropical and coastal ocean decor Popular colors for this type of design include navy, bright red, grey, and crisp white. A nautically-themed room can be an excellent choice for any boat fan or historian, and provides many opportunities for the display of seafaring treasures such as antique maps or beautiful leather-bound books.

Incorporating the style into small details of a room can help enhance the thoroughness of any type of ocean decor Lighting elements, such as a tropically-influenced hurricane lamp, can be a great way to increase the level of detail. Furnishing a seaside room in sheer, breezy curtains in sage or slate can add the impression that the beach lies just outside the window, while a sturdy wing chair embroidered with anchors can make any sea captain feel right at home. Carefully selected decorative objects, such as paintings, sepia-toned globes, or scattered seashells, can also add to an overall decor style without being overwhelming.


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