Infusing a home with a nautical spirit involves more than just sticking a ship's wheel on a wall, or using a navy and white colour palette. An interesting new design trend focuses on taking elements involving sea life and weaving them into an interior. The result is jaunty cushions, artwork inspired by nautical knots and glass works informed by marine plants.
Scottish textile designer Angharad McLaren (angharadmclaren.co.uk) incorporates nautical ropework and her experiences with windsurfing and sailing into her elaborate rugs and wall-hangings. Her pieces are soft and textured and feature marine colours such as coral and sea anemone. Inquiries about custom design can be directed through her website.
New York-based bedding retailer Warm Biscuit (warmbiscuit.com; ships internationally) has created a nifty and unusual doorstop from heavy knotted ships' ropes. Fun wall clocks are trimmed with the same effect; both would look as good in a spare or child's bedroom as on a boat.
New York-based Trove (troveline.com), a maker of high-end wall coverings, recently unveiled Sargasso (above), named after the only sea in the world with no coastline. The pattern is in washed shades of pale blue and white, conveying calm and tranquillity.
For Kartell (www.kartell.com ), designer Mario Bellini has created Dune trays (below right); the blue is inspired by ocean waves, creating a gleaming, fluid effect.
Artist Stuart Garfoot has created Brainwave, a glass bowl 'inspired by the rich, colourful, natural forms found in marine life ... the texture and flow of coral reefs and other sea creatures'. It sells for GBP1,700 (HK$20,000) through British glassmaker Bruntnell-Astley (bruntnell-astley.com).
For more accessible pieces, turn to online retailer Wisteria (wisteria.com), which has white cotton cushions featuring interesting graphics reminiscent of naval themes. Mainstream retailers such as Target and Pottery Barn are doing their version of the trend, including outdoor nautical bar stools and rugs imprinted with nautical flags (target.com) or napkins and place mats embossed with shells and snack bowls in the shape of conches (potterybarn.com).
At The Land of Nod (landofnod.com), an online retailer that specialises in children's items, a lamp made from a buoy as well as throw pillows in the shape of life rings, are a great way to bring sea life indoors.