Bedding With a Nautical Theme

Written by angelique de la morreaux
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Bring in your love of the sea when you dress your bed in a nautical theme. Nautical themes reference sailors, navigational instruments and ships, and are different from an ocean or beach motif in terms of colour, design and patterns. Coordinate your bedding with other nautical items you may have in the room to create a cohesive design.


Most nautical-themed bedding comes in the primary colours of blue, white and red. The blue may resemble the light blue of the sky or the ocean, or a navy blue similar to the shade found on naval ships and uniforms. Red ranges from a bright red to a deep maroon colour. You may also find tinges of yellow, such as those found in nautical flags, or tans that resemble the colour of the wood found in sailing masts and ships.

Boats and Ships

Nautical-themed bedding often has images of ships or sailboats. Some bedding may be imprinted with an ocean liner motif, showing the front of the ship cruising through the ocean with the classic round portholes on the side, while a quilt may feature a sailboat with three full masts, its sails filled with wind as it glides across the tops of the waves. A duvet cover may show a scene of several sailboats in a calm sea or one of a sailboat regatta racing along the ocean. Naval ships are sometimes woven into a tapestry or throw.

Nautical Instrument Themes

Consider a nautical instrument design for your bedding. A captain's wheel, which is a wooden circle with eight handles that aids in steering a boat, is a frequent theme. Anchors are also a popular nautical design element. Another option is a captain's bell, used to summon the crew for an emergency or meals, or the life preservers used to rescue a sailor or mate who has fallen overboard.


Nautical themes include a variety of patterns. A vertical-striped blue and white pattern is a common look in nautical bed sheets and bed skirts, as is a red, white and blue vertical stripe. This stripe may be incorporated in a blanket or comforter with other items, such as an anchor or captain's wheel. Colour blocking, where large squares of different colours share space in a comforter, may include nautical items inside the blocks. Another motif found in nautical bedding includes red and white horizontal stripes and semaphore flags.

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