|Thomas Paul pillow|
There is something really intriguing to me about nautical spaces because they suggest the spirit of exploration and adventure (or maybe I love it because I live in the desert). The ocean symbolizes mystery, so when elements that are connected with the sea are brought into the home they carry with them an enigmatic charm. Nautical also appeals to both genders, young and old, and can be used in contemporary or rustic homes. The look is often crisp, and in modern spaces only a nod or reference to nautical is needed, such as in the Colleen Duffley dining room: the armillary chandelier and conch shell are really the only elements that say "ocean;" everything else is simple and understated. In more rustic spaces such as designer Gary McBournie's, a literal take on nautical is employed through the placement of lanterns, ship paintings and flags to create a collected, traveled vibe.
There is also American and British nautical to consider: Bamboo furniture has a British colonial reference often used in nautical spaces, while American nautical sometimes has a red, white and blue scheme. There are no rules though, both can be mixed.
It is easy to add a nautical look to any room by just placing a pillow (like the fabulous Thomas Paul anchor, above), a collection of themed oil paintings, a jar of shells; you can do a little or a lot, but on thing is for sure: nautical style is here to stay.