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Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

by | Jun 11, 2009 | Decorating Inspiration, Details

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Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Ever inspired by nautical style, I am finding myself
drawn in to summer by red white & blue.

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Inspiration: top two images Country Living

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Inspiration: Coastal Living

Such a fresh, fun and summer-at-the-coast-inspired
color scheme. It all works together in a
carefree mix of patterns, stripes and solids!

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Inspiration: Land of Nod

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Going Nautical with Red, White & Blue

Inspiration: above 3 from Coastal Living

Loving the red white & blue!

Hmmm….maybe I should change my chairs to blue.
What happened to my love of green?
I do have a blue & white antique quilt with a wave pattern on it.

Does anyone else have trouble committing?
(to color schemes, that is?)


  1. Puna

    I really am longing for a beach home, so I can go all nautical!

  2. abeachcottage

    loving the second image, Cath Kidston wallpaper I believe

    gotta love that for a bit of beach cottage nostalgia


    abeachcottages inspiring blog post..Flowers, Vintage, Sunshine & Snubs

  3. Jasmine

    Oh, I really have a trouble with committing to a color scheme. In fact, I decided to paint our house in one neutral color (light cream) for every room, with only 2 feature walls in the whole house (which are both the same color; a light walnut).

    I’m a color-introvert and really afraid of going all out with color on the walls…only because I see a style or color palette in a blog or magazines and think, ohh, that’s nice. Maybe I should try that.

    Can’t make up my mind! But I guess that’s where accessories come in. Neutral walls make it easy to pick mostly any color scheme in accessories and decor for each room.

    But I do like the nautical theme you have here, Melissa. (See, I’m doing it again!) :-)

    Jasmine @ The Suburban Sentiments inspiring blog post..Inspiration today: 11.05.09

    • Melissa

      I agree, I prefer more neutrals for the main furnishings and walls and then I can change things for the seasons if I want to. I actually have a variety of shades of colors so it isn’t too hard to give into my cravings for summer colors or fall colors just by bringing in variations from what I already have.

  4. Astrid

    I’m definitely with you on being noncommital to a color scheme! We painted our living room svelte sage two years ago and I’m thinking it needs to go. (it looks sickly it different kinds of light). I like blue and white….very lovely and fresh!

    Astrids inspiring blog post..Fourteen Years ago today….

  5. Melinda

    These are all beautiful!! I especially love the boys rooms. My son use to have a nautical room!! I love it!

    Melindas inspiring blog post..Birdcage Inspiration…I need some…and my first GIVEAWAY!!!!

  6. Stacey

    I am a total color-flirt!! I have learned that it’s best for me to go pretty much neutral and change out accent colors when I get a new “love”!! Right now, I see touches of navy & brushed silver…but that may change in a few months :)! hehe!! Luckily it doesn’t cost much for the little touches!

    • Melissa

      Yes, I think I have “seasonal allergies” that make me crave new colors!

  7. The Old Post Road

    I love those pennants/flags along the ceiling. Wonder where I could find those for my son’s room???

    The Old Post Roads inspiring blog post..Porches and Views

  8. Kristen

    I love the kitchen in the first picture. It looks so light and open and airy. Rather than having trouble committing to color schemes, I tend to get stuck in them. I suppose I ought to branch out a little…thanks for the encouragement!

    Kristen @ Beautifully Imperfects inspiring blog post..Right Now I’m Watching…

  9. Jane

    blue & white is the way I go. I love this combination. I read once that you can put up to 22 various shades of blue together and it will look great.
    I love to mix stripes and checks and floral patterns.
    Textures in the different shades and lots of crisp snow white.
    Sheer white billowing curtains.

    The red digits on my clock, a butterfly, and now my new red trench coat add the dash of other colour.

    Janes inspiring blog post..where were they stopping?

  10. Suzann

    I have a horrible time committing to color. That’s why I’m now the neutral girl. Because, like you, right now I am desperately craving all white with punches of Red and Blue. But, perhaps in the fall it will be something like rust and chocolate and olive green.
    So, for me, the walls trim and cabinets are shades of white. The furniture will also be shades of white (eventually) and you’ll know my favorite color of the day when you walk in the door by the pops of it everywhere.

    Suzanns inspiring blog post..A Fantastic Giveaway!!

    • Melissa

      Yes, you hit the nail on the head. It is seasonal for me! :-D

  11. French furniture

    I love the white and blue stools in the kitchen (1st photo). Very vibrant colour. Are they grease proof? They’re in the kitchen, so I guess you can’t use any fabric to upholster them.
    I also love the original basin as a sink in the bathroom. Really good idea.

    • Melissa

      So true, as soon as the weather changes, I’ll be thinking about coziness again. :-)

  12. Astrid

    I was browsing through your photos of your old kitchen (from your last house). You said you painted it Antique White from SW sample. Would you happen to have the numbers from the lid so that I could have a sample reproduced? I’m really thinking of painting my yellowing maple kitchen cabs white this summer. The one thing I’m nervous about is that some of my major appliances are white (fridge, oven and dishwasher and they’re in great shape…darn it!). Would it look silly to have white cabs with white appliances? The fridge we’ll probably change out some day. I think I could put a panel on the dishwasher but the oven stays. Most of the photos I’ve seen of white kitchens have ss appliances. Thanks for any input!

    Astrids inspiring blog post..Fourteen Years ago today….

    • Melissa

      Hi Astrid, I will find the numbers on the lid for you (I’ll have to email that later). I took the Antique white from the SW card and brought it over to Benjamin Moore store and they matched it.

      The Antique White will look different than your white appliances, it will be much more yellowy creamy so if you don’t mind that contrast (I had a pure white sink and I thought it looked fine, but appliances would be more noticeably different) then I don’t see why you couldn’t have white appliances. You’d want to be going for that “lots of shades of white” look in the entire room so it looked intentional and not like a mistake, but it can be done!

  13. Deanna

    I love the photos! I do love the look of blue and white and my favorite color of red!

    It looks fresh and cool!

    Deannas inspiring blog post..Can You Hear My Sigh Of Relief?

  14. Bryan

    I’m partial to nautical after having spent 16 years in the Navy but I’m not too wild about the reds and blues. Even though it’s not nautical, I like the hat rack in the boys room. Looks like it’s made out of the tails from some skateboards. The engine speed pillow is nice too.

  15. Michelle

    I love Costal Living, it makes me want to move to the beach! Have a great day!

    Michelles inspiring blog post..H20+SUN+FRIENDS=FUN

  16. Mary Lou

    I’m finding myself revisiting blue again. I just bought some home dec medium denim to slipcover my family room furniture.
    I love these photos. They feel so fresh. Thanks!
    Mary Lou

    Mary Lous inspiring blog post..Thankful Thursday!

    • Melissa

      Hi Mary Lou, yeah, I was thinking about how I avoided blue for so long (after the gray blue and mauve phase in the 80s). Now I am loving the idea of more blues.

  17. Blakely

    Our master bedroom is Blue and White with touches of red. Somedays I think it is going a little nautical and then I remeber that my husband and I both love the beach so it is just okay. I can’t wait to redo our bathroom. It also will have a nautical look to it.

    Blakelys inspiring blog post..Yard Sale Fun

  18. Swapna

    Hi Melissa,
    Love the blue and white combination. My living room wall has the lightest of the blue shade and windows n doors are white. Earlier my cutains where blue with yellowish tulips and even the sofa had printed blue. It was very summary. Now i have changed the furnishings to a tofee and warm chocolate shade to bring in little coziness.

    Swapnas inspiring blog post..Mango Tree

  19. Cheryl

    I love this post. You have some great pics for inspiration. I especially love that red circular pillow on the bed. Too cute.
    I have loved the casual look of country for many years. But just recently am drawn to the beach cottage look. I have found in the past that keeping a neutral color on the walls and having neutral color furniture will allow me to change out accessories to achieve a different look without breaking the bank.

    Cheryls inspiring blog post..WE’RE BACK…

  20. MoneyFunk

    Those are some great inspirations pics. Glad to have found this blog as I am about to redo my daughter’s room. :)

    MoneyFunks inspiring blog post..What’s in Your Wallet?

  21. Carrie

    I really like the clean, light, beachy feel of these rooms. I really like the combination of light blue and white.

    Carries inspiring blog post..Garage Sale Finds

  22. sandy

    I’ve always been drawn to r/w/b … now you’ve got me thinking w/y kitchen … the only problem is I am getting rid of my white cabinets.

    Great post, as always! xo

    sandys inspiring blog post..Help! Our Kids Quit Music Lessons!

  23. teresa

    Oh yes! It drives my HD crazy. I think I like too many different styles- Is it okay for every room in the house to have a different theme? =)
    Have a great day.

    teresas inspiring blog post..An almost new Kitchen for $104

  24. Susan

    Yes and Yes – I am a patriotic-er all the way! I was born on the fourth of July, so it comes naturally. Also – I can-NOT commit to any colors. So, I have forced myself into a life of neutrals, and only pop in colorful small objects on whims.


    Susans inspiring blog post..The Big Reveal

  25. Pam D.

    Blue and white are so refreshing to me! I have a small home that’s kind of a cottage bungalow type, but the living room/dining room is one large room with cathedral ceiling in the living room area of it and lots of windows, all bright white window frames, doors etc. I painted all the walls in there a beautiful soft colonial blue which is fabulous with all the white trim, and even my warm brown wood tables, hutch etc. One wing chair is pretty similar in color to the walls, but has sprigs of white flowers that kind of remind me of dandelion whispys. Another club chair is white with softer blue floral. I had to put a beige loveseat pull-out twin bed couch in there because it wouldn’t fit thru other doorways, and wasn’t sure how I was going to pull that color into the room except by adding some blue,white,green pillows. Then I had an ottoman made, and the designer recommended bringing in a plaid that has some soft browns (picking up on my warm brown furniture pieces), soft cranberry red and blue in it. I never would’ve thought to choose that, even though I wanted to add some cozy warmth — I loved the blue and white because it is just such a spirit lifter to me whenever I walk in But now that addition of soft browns with a few pillows and the ottoman, some cranberry in the throws and pillows on my couch, make the room even more cozy and still refreshing with blue and white! So now the room really has red, white and blue in it, but doesn’t really look patriotic, just cozy. I also have blue and white toile curtains in there — it has a nautical feel because I love that Nantucket look of ship models, and the blue and white always remind me of the sea, sky and white fluffy clouds, but it doesn’t really look beachy.
    My kitchen runs sort of galley style off the blue room and already had all white cabinets and appliances, and some ugly wallpaper. I re-did that room with bright white beadboard wainscoting, and softer white (barely a tinge of soft yellow in it) for all the other walls, white subway tiles on the backsplash with an accent of blue tile line across it. I also changed three cabinets to glass front and added a corner glass front cabinet. Just recently put in a pretty hickory floor – kind of a warm reddish brown. I love the white appliances with all the white (to answer someone’s question above.)
    I’m going on and on here… but I do have a question for you Melissa… I have a lot of blue accents with blue and white plates etc in the kitchen. I want to have that classic English look to the kitchen — not so much beachy casual, but English cottage. What do you think of the idea of painting the inside backs of the glass front cabinets the same soft colonial blue of the living room (or maybe an even lighter shade in same color family)? Do you think it would look too “kitchy” or would it add a nice pop of color to all that white? I have some blue and white staffordshire plates (the few I have) in two cabinets, and some white plates with rose touch and clear glassware in the other. Do you think painting the inside backs of the cabinets blue would bring it out or just look silly?

  26. Katie

    I *love* all things nautical! It is so evident these days since I just had a baby boy…just about every piece of clothing he has is red, white, blue or navy and has a nautical theme! It’s so summery to me. In fact, with the exception of some green limelight hydrangeas and some pink peonies and roses, all of my other flowers in my garden are either red, white, or blue (well, deep purple really…but it gives the effect!). I’m so drawn to that photo of the yacht flags you posted above…so great!

    Katies inspiring blog post..I Fought the Law…and The Law Won

  27. Gina

    I love the blue-but when fall comes around I’ll be looking to replace the blue with something a little more cozy-it’s definately seasonal for me! Right now my home is scattered with touches of blue and seashells…good thing it’s easy to switch things out when another color strikes my fancy!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Adventure Saturday

  28. Pat

    Pretty images, Melissa. They remind me of one of the guest rooms at the lake. Love the red white and blue coastal theme.

  29. Kacey R.

    Oh I SO have a hard time commiting to color! Luckily, green & blue are my two favorites and they work well together. I saved the green you chose for your chairs because it is a PERFECT shade of green! ;D

  30. cata

    Hello from Italy!
    I have my kitchen in red but reading your post I have been thinking about put some blu as well.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    catas inspiring blog post..Pittura decorativa

  31. Bonnie Mattson

    I think most people that love design also enjoy a lot of colors. That includes a lot of neutrals also. I, like you, like to keep my furnishings in the neutrals and then change the accessories with the seasons. I just did a cottage redesign a few months ago in Navy and Lime…I fell in love with that combination. It is so crisp and refreshing and summery. Beautiful, inspiring post, as usual, Melissa.

    Bonnie Mattsons inspiring blog post..The Kitchen is Finished~At last!

  32. Claudia

    I have gone round and round and back and forth.

    I love your selections but so agree that I really cant go back to the 80’s again. Ugggh the mauve and teal. It makes me tired when I even think of it. My entire house what that. Talk about over kill..

    Now i love the fresh crisp look of white and blue. Pops of red always cheer me up… but why when i put all together do i feel like I a walking into my mother’s home? *sigh*


    [email protected] inspiring blog post..Sam Kitty– Guest Blogger

  33. Ella

    We’ve been steadily DIY remodeling for the past few years and I’m now ready to paint and put finishing touches on much of the house. I’ve been leaning towards natural tones and have been gradually trading out furnishings to those that are very neutral in colors and patterns.

    You’ve so hit the nail on the head in my home. I’m addicted to interior decorating. I have 3 children at home and am constantly reminded to change things up decor-wise. It’s imperative that we do something at the very least with each holiday (or I’d never hear the end of it). I recently was thinking how I could fuse more of the holiday decorating into a seasonal transformation around our home inexpensively. Then the kids could actually take on the “holiday” decor more and feel more included.

    Our base neutrals are creamy whites, creamy beiges, varying shades of chocolate browns and black. My thoughts so far are… Spring: add fresh soft naturals of robbin’s egg blues, sage/celadon greens, peach/apricot toned pinks and hints of butter yellow… to me these tones are indicative of the natural beauty of the spring blooms and the nesting birds. Summer: very much reads blue and white with accents of red, easy to “beach” up, plus it’s a natural extension of the holidays of the season (Memorial Day, 4th of July & Labor Day). Fall: reflects the deepen tones of nature- coppers, bronze, olive greens, plums and russet reds. Winter: this is where I depart a bit from the usually anticipated colorways. I keep the coppers/bronzes adding glints of gold and good doses of icy blues and silvers.

    Seasonal is definitely the way to go for me. I tire of specific color combinations too quickly otherwise.

    Ellas inspiring blog post..SO SAD, but so Happy!!!

  34. Holly Blocker

    I absolutely love anything and everything pertaining to a beach! All of the colors are just so relaxing and calming! Ive longed to own a beach house or at least to decorate my house beachy…but beings we live in KY, it may look a little strange to decorate my house beach theme, LOL!! Nothing wrong with dreaming right!

    Holly Blockers inspiring blog post..Summer-time Honey Chicken Salad!!!

  35. Brenda Kula

    I just love bright colors. So I always have a touch or blue and red and white or cream. Green for my deep love of nature. I just have a little of all this in every room. Then when I want to “shake things up” I just move things to another room to spice it up a bit. Bring out your quilt, girl! Nothing so cozy as a nice quilt.

    Brenda Kulas inspiring blog post..Four & Fun Thursday

  36. lylah ledner

    Do I have trouble committing to color? YES….that’s one of my problems….I love so many and then get tired of them….ahhh….such is the feminine soul’s sage :-) love the nautical themes…

    lylah ledners inspiring blog post..The Future of Food

  37. LeAnn

    Hi Melissa,

    I love this post today and I am going to go back and read all the comments. I have had a huge problem sticking with colors…BUT…. once I painted my living room and dining room walls “Whole Wheat” by Sherwin Williams, I found that since I have a cream slipcovered sofa that I could easily switch out accessories. Right now, I am love love loving navy blue, tans, browns and a punch of orange. I bought the linen slipcovered pillows in orange from Pottery Barn and mixed them with some tan and navy striped ones from Pottery Barn that I got on eBay and it is all working together so well. For the first time in a long time I am very satisfied. I also think that with the colors I’m using, it will be an easy transition for fall. I am definitely over my pinks, aquas, pastel phase.

    Also, check out my porch redo, I went with the blues and reds. I would love your opinion.

    Sorry didn’t mean to ramble but I just found this a very intriguing post day and your posts always lift my spirits.

    LeAnn :)

    LeAnns inspiring blog post..My love affair with paint…..

  38. Renae

    Not usually my favorite colors but you did them fabulously!
    Great fresh rooms….

  39. putrago

    this very nice…thanks

    putragos inspiring blog post..Susan Boyle Dari Biasa Menjadi Luar Biasa

  40. Patrice

    Blue is my favorite color but you made them beautifully by combining the colors blue, white and red.

    Patrices inspiring blog post..Antiques Are to Love

  41. Annie

    Just wanted to say I stopped by your blog from a link on another’s blog and I love it! I too love color, but am having a hard time choosing a palette for my home. I have a little time as the remodel is not complete yet, but your blog is a helpful inspiration.

  42. Vee

    Do I have trouble committing to color schemes? Oh yes! And that’s why I hesitate to do anything so often. (I am already very tired of my red jelly cupboard. Very. There’s just no help for me. ;> )

    Vees inspiring blog post..Thank You for Praying and Thinking of Us

  43. Maria

    I love your decorating. I just did 2 bedrooms in shabby chic and now going to do the family room in blue, white and red. Thanks for the inspiration


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