We’re magnetized by old-world charm and the fascination of ancient adventures, aren’t we?
We just love the tales of brave explorers discovering and documenting new lands, uncovering unknown ways of living, and surviving despite the hardship of it all. Even though we know realistically it’d be really hard to actually enjoy such an adventure ourselves, we can’t help but long for it.
The stories of old-time sailors commissioned by their governments to set out and discover new lands and buried treasures hint of the kind of danger, adventure, and unknown like we’ll never experience in our own information age.
But just because we don’t get to actually live that adventure for ourselves doesn’t mean we can’t bring the feeling of that adventure into our homes and the places (like our dens) where we spend most of our time anyway.
Here’s three ways we can bring that old-world sailing charm into our modern dens:
- Wooden Accents
Because these old sailing and pirate ships were made of wood, making sure you’ve got plenty of visible, exposed, appropriately-colored wood in your den is one of the easiest ways to create a base for your old-world sailing decor to come alive.
Wood stains, shiplap wood, and wooden beams on your ceiling give the feeling of stepping into the underbelly of a ship every single time you step into your den.
Do you see how shiplap wood on the walls helps enhance the feel of being inside a boat? (Source: Home Bunch)
Wooden beams add a magical feel of being below deck. (Source: Kelly in the City)
I don’t think I have to tell you that pirates didn’t have overhead florescent lighting that blinded them every time they decided to turn it on.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite: they’d often have to squint until their eyes adjusted to the low lighting.
I’m not suggesting you put your eye health at risk. (In fact, please don’t!)
But I am suggesting that you not drown your room in artificial light.
Plenty of natural light during the day from the windows is totally fine, because just think of how much sunshine the sailors were exposed to on deck.
But at night is when you can really let that old world sailing charm come alive with carefully-selected lamps and light fixtures that add a subtle hue of light to let you see everything well enough to know what you’re doing and where you’re going… but also leave some darker, more shadowed corners to mystery.
So instead of strong overhead lights, try rustic, covered lamps, hanging lanterns, or old-world chandeliers.
In fact, wrapping rope around any lamp that’s already in your den is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to add a nautical vibe to any covered lamp. (Source: The Avarice)
- Decor Pieces
The right wooden accents and lighting will go a long way to creating that feeling of nostalgic charm you’re after.
But you can really put the finishing touches on the look and feel… and make the theme easily identifiable by your guests with decor pieces.
You can use large ship wheels hung as a statement piece behind your furniture, model ships on your shelves, rope to hang your decor, and “treasure chests” as coffee tables.
Here’s a captain’s wheel making a huge statement about the vibe of the room over a fireplace. This is a study, but you can imagine the same thing in a cozy den, can’t you? (Source: Classic Casual Home)
Even on shelves where you store a lot of non-nautical themed items you use in your day-to-day life, adding something like a model ship gives even functional parts of your room a magical, old world touch. (Source: Almost Makes Perfect)
Even a tiny bit of rope can go a long way to help give decidedly non-nautical decor items a nautical vibe to fit in with the rest of the room. (Source: Lake House Decor)
Shopping around for an old trunk like this one to use as a coffee table will add a fun ‘buried treasure’ vibe to the old world nautical feel you’re going for. (Source: Funky Junk)
Start Small & Keep Piling on the Charm
I’m a huge fan of starting in DIY home design. I often find that when I want to re-do a room, all I usually have to do is buy one decor piece I really love, place it in the room, and let inspiration take over to make one small change after another until the room is completely finished.
Which decor piece that we featured in the blog post did you find the most charming?
Alan Monday is the founder of Stylish Nautical Living and author of the DIY Nautical Room Guide, which walks you through how to redesign a room in one of three nautical themes for $550 or less.
Thanks for Reading!!!