Boating Décor – 5 Essential Tips to Balance Beauty with Functionality

There are many decorative styles, but they vary according to the boat’s design, size and its base port (conditioned by the weather), but if you use my tips, you cannot go wrong.

One project I just completed was decorating a yacht for a client in the Bahamas. Unlike a house or an apartment, the space on the boats is very limited, so you have to take advantage of every square centimeter and find a balance between beauty and functionality.


Space planning – boats come with a predetermined layout, but sometimes modifications can be made in accordance to your lifestyle. Make sure you have enough room to store provisions because space in the fridges on board is usually limited. The other essential point are the closets. You will need room to store anything from your pots and pans to your towels and clothes.

Monochromatic interiors – evoke a very calm and relaxing feeling. Use color palettes that blend well with the boat’s interior design. Blue, brown, white, beige or cream are the safest. Try not to use strong colors as they distract and stimulate in a place of rest. The secret of achieving a warm monochrome style is to make layers of shades, fabrics, different materials, prints and textures. The combination gives a cozy and fresh finish.

Surprise with color, but only in accessories and decorative accents – table decoration is crucial to entertain on board and is an excellent opportunity to incorporate a splash of color like coral, turquoise or yellow. For the exterior you can play with decorative cushions with blue stripes, as color creates depth and drama. Use beach towels with “ocean-inspired” motifs for unexpected color and decorative patterns.

A boat is not synonymous with a house or an apartment – the decor should be sober and practical. I suggest to incorporate fabrics for the exterior, well resistant to the sun and water. The interior space also tends to get wet. Integrate only furniture for navigation and not use something you would have in your house or terrace, as they clash with the nautical style and design of your boat. A ¨director´s chair¨ in a neutral color never fails to match.

Subtle minimalist sophistication – less is more on a boat. I suggest integrating the interior with the exterior. You don´t need many decorative objects since it is enough only to look outside and to incorporate the atmosphere elaborated by the nature that enters your windows. It’s like having a picture of Monet.

Check out my Pinterest Board for more Boating Décor ideas.

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