Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

May 24, 2016

Decorating Our Sailboat Interior: Inspiration

The boat survey for our new sailboat came back and, although there are a few things to fix/repair before we set sail, there was nothing to deter us from moving forward with buying the Ticon 30 we found.  We are making things official - as in, officially draining our bank accounts - tomorrow!  It's currently stored in a boatyard, where we hope we can keep it while we tinker.  I'm not sure how long it will be before we can sail it home, but as soon as the boat is ours (and I can remove the tarp shelter and give it a good scrub), I'll share a full tour.  I'm so excited!  In the meantime, I wanted to chat sailboat interior decor...

The interior cushions are trashed, so I'll be having new ones made and I'm currently trying to narrow down my long list of fabric contenders (I'm looking at the marine upholstery fabric from Sunbrella).  The problem is, there are a few aqua fabrics and they're calling my name!  I love, love, love the interior of this retro houseboat and it was originally going to serve as my inspiration, but the houseboat (below) has huge windows and a lot of white, which looks fresh and cheery with the bright aqua and orange.

Colorful aqua and orange houseboat tour from HGTV
HGTV
Aqua boat upholstery
HGTV
Our boat, on the other hand, has a beige fabric headliner and beige fiberglass.  As much as I desperately want to pick out some striking aqua for seat cushions, I'm actually leaning more toward a warm grey, smokey blue, or even - gasp - navy!  The beige interior is calling out for a cozy, muted scheme - something to make all that beige look intentional and earthy (not old and 80s).  

In the lakehouse, I've eschewed a nautical vibe (navy stripes, anchor motifs, and chunks of coral) and pulled my colour inspiration from the water, layering in subtle textures inspired by the surrounding nature ("beach glass" finishes, soft white and wood stains, etc).  Combined with mid-century modern teak and walnut, the overall look isn't your typical lakehouse decor.  With the sailboat, however, I'm leaning toward a slightly more nautical palette of blues - with some classic coastal touches, because I'm sure our yacht club membership will be revoked without at least one requisite anchor motif (ahoy!) 

I created a secret Pinterest board for boat stuff and I've been pinning any rooms/images/colors that in some way evoke the look I'm after.  Unless I cave and just buy aqua upholstery (no promises), this is what is inspiring me right now:

Earthy modern dining room in shades of blue and grey
MyDomaine
Grey blue and teak dining room decor
MyDomaine
Grey and cream bedroom with earthy touches
MyDomaine
Uncluttered bedroom with soothing color palette
HGTV
Amber Interior Living Room // Love the Live Edge Coffee Table
Amber Interiors
Emily Henderson bedroom
Emily Henderson
New Darlings Boho Bedroom
New Darlings
Modern living room with dark grey rug and TV built in
Stories
Earthy living room with neutrals and blue
New Zealand Design Blog
So what am I teasing out from all of these beautiful spaces?
  • Teak and walnut wood tones (check - we've got lots of beautiful teak woodwork in the boat)
  • Beige and earthy hues (a departure from my love of white walls!)
  • Rich blues and greys (maybe a pop of cobalt, definitely some indigo)
  • Lots of natural elements (think: rattan baskets, jute runner, macrame fruit basket)
  • Brass (yup, I'm embracing brass on the boat)
  • An uncluttered, mid-century feel
  • Textiles with a watery, organic feel (tie dye, shibori, ice dyeing, velvet...?)

I just love these pillow by Rebecca Atwood (that gold zipper detail is perfection):

Rebecca Atwood pillows
Rebecca Atwood
Rebecca Atwood Shibori pillows
Rebecca Atwood
It's a seriously different look for me!  I'm excited to try something new - and kind of trendy - but I'm also incredibly tempted to get bright turquoise upholstery.  Seriously.  I know I keep harping on this, but it is a struggle for me to choose a non-aqua something, when aqua is available.  I think I might need an intervention here...

Hubby, meanwhile, is thrilled by my newfound desire to embrace nautical design - he's even eyeing up our mantle in the lakehouse for a miniature version of our new boat.  So maybe I should forget the aqua and just get fully on board (pun intended) with this new look:


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15 comments

  1. I love the grey - blue - navy - beige combination - mix in some burgundy and the occasional pop of muted yellow and you've got my entire wardrobe :)

    The inspiration pictures remind me of your ice died linens - the colour combo of the turqoise / grey palette. Mixed with a dark, almost charcoal ikat or stipe would look cool. but maybe too dark?

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    1. Your wardrobe sounds so sophisticated and chic!

      My ice dyed napkins were definitely a trial run for making some pillows. I'm going to give shibori a whirl, too. I love the suggestion of a charcoal ikat!! I think dark will be okay - it will feel cozy (I hope)...

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  2. So many great ideas, I'm sure whatever you do, it will be amaze-balls! x

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    1. Awww, thanks! I think that even a good clean and new upholstery will do wonders! It has such lovely woodwork, which will be the star.

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    2. I agree - be sympathetic to the features it already has and enhance them and let them shine through :)

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  3. The image from Amber Interiors has my heart. I love the idea of mixed wood tones combined with indigo and brass details to brighten things up. And "yes" to the beautiful shibori patterns! Good luck holding out on the aqua - you certainly know how to rock it!

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    1. Isn't she so talented? I think I've pinned every space she's designed a million times. Her style is so different from what I've wanted to achieve in the lakehouse, so I'm excited to finally put to use those inspiration rooms I've pinned from her portfolio!

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  4. Loving this colourful inspiration. I've sent this post to my boyfriend. :)

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  5. You turquoise traitor!! How dare you desire another color! Haha. I like the pic of the bed and night stand with the big lamp. The light grays and the color of the pillow (steel gray?) with the turquoise detail. Will all my being I HATE brass, ugh. Don't forget about that turquoise stove though from Instagram lol.

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    1. Lol, I feel guilty!! :)
      I AM a traitor because I've always been very pro brushed silver but, on a boat, gold feels right because so many nautical instruments and doo-dads are gold. I keep dreaming about that stove. But I have yo work with what I can't change. But a little pop of aqua will surely appear...

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    2. Yeah that is true about the instruments and doo-dads. If ya can't change it, work with it. Hahaha I read typonese, there was one in my comment also that I just spotted With* no will lol.

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  6. I just love the dog in your lead photo. It looks like an Italian Greyhound like mine! Or, at least a mix. I look forward to seeing how you manage the new (beige and wood) elements in your boat, because I know whatever you do will look fantastic.

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    1. Awwww, Italian Geyhounds are the cutest! I see one walking in my city often and when it's cold, he positively has spring in his step (and a huge winter coat, lol)

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