See how we transformed a dark, dated bath with fresh new nautical bathroom decor. Take a tour of our fresh, modern nautical bath refresh.

With a beautiful navy blue vanity, rattan mirror and charming decorative touches, you’re sure to leave feeling inspired.

A nautical bathroom decor with navy cabinets and a gold mirror.
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Get all the sources you need for a nautical bathroom refresh you’re going to love.

With fresh rattan and brass elements like charming boat cleats, this is the prettiest hint to nautical inspiration for bathrooms.

The guest bathroom at our modern lake house was charming and in good working condition (click through for the full before and after tour of this home).

However, as we updated the spaces around it with new lighting, carpeting, paint and modern decor, I felt it too needed a little refresh.

Nautical Charm

I wanted it to be lighter, brighter and a bit more modern, which has become the theme for updating spaces at the lake house! When designing a space, I consider the spaces around it.

The lower level modern living room and Coastal Modern Living Room upstairs both have pops of navy, while the adjacent guest bedroom has pretty florals in periwinkle hues. If you make it all the way to the end of this guide, you’ll see this bathroom in stages of renovation from the very beginning!

A nautical-themed bathroom with a white shower curtain and a blue rug.

Nautical Bathroom Decor

The first step to a nautical bathroom is finding the right blue hue! Blue is the quintessential color associated with all things nautical. Living lakeside, it’s the perfect fit for our lake cottage bath. It’s a timeless classic!

Painting a cabinet like this can make such an incredible impact with very little time and investment. Be sure to read my comprehensive posts on furniture paint and how to paint without sanding!

Four our nautical bath, we chose a classic white for the walls – Benjamin Moore Simply White. For the vanity, we painted it in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy for a deep contrasting choice that speaks to our love of the water and classic lake style!

A nautical-themed bathroom with a blue rug and a round mirror.

Nautical Bath Decorating

I take a “less is more” approach. A few nautical nods go a long way – especially in a small space such as a bathroom. Here are a few nautical bathroom accessories to consider.

  • Boat Cleats – they make great towel hooks! They are available in both solid brass and stainless. A nautical bathroom with two towels hanging on the wall.
  • Classic white towels always work well in a nautical bath, but stripes are always right, too! In our bathroom we chose scalloped home decor like towels and a bath mat, to mimic waves.
  • Anything with an anchor on it!
  • Nautical Rope – incorporate this easy DIY Nautical Rope Vase, a toilet paper holder made with rope or add a rope knot door stop.
  • Rattan – from rattan mirrors to bathroom sconces to vases, candles, and even accessories like toothbrush holders, trays and more! A nautical-themed bathroom with black cabinets and a round mirror.
  • Anything in brass, chrome or basket weave tends to lend itself well to the style as well.
A nautical-themed bathroom with a white shower curtain and a blue rug.
Read more about Brass Shower Curtain Rods here!

Nautical Lighting

There are so many fun nautical lighting options – in fact, I struggled choosing just one! Luckily, you can never go wrong with brass, chrome or copper for nautical lake or beach style.

Select anything that looks reminiscent of a ship or nearby ports. Some examples include a beacon sconce, passageway lighting, navigation lights, etc.

A nautical-themed bathroom with blue cabinets and a round mirror.


brass boat cleats for nautical bathroom decor

Brass Boat Cleats

Such a great way to add nautical charm to your bath!

Brass Shower Curtain Rod

a brass shower curtain rod
A nautical-inspired blue and white towel with a blue trim, perfect for adding a touch of coastal charm to any bathroom decor.

Scalloped Towels


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More Bath Inspiration


Our Guest Bath Before

I love working with what we have when at all possible! We updated to create a nautical bathroom without reworking electrical or replacing the vanity. In fact, it was paint that offered the biggest transformation.

This nautical bathroom makes a great refresh for any builder grade bathroom. Painting the overlay cabinet vanity is quick, easy and inexpensive and makes it pop! Check out this gallery of images from the “before” of this bathroom.

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  1. I love the new nautical look! Especially the towel hooks! The new design flows so well with the nautical family room next to it. I love supporting local businesses like your Ace store where you’re like family and can always find someone to help! And the sweet models are my favorite part of all!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Yes! They’re incredibly helpful. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wandered in there lost and they’ve had me out with everything I needed in minutes!

  2. Lovely. Entire rooms done in only whites/creams are getting a bit overdone these days and are becoming boring. This blue is perfect and the entire room looks fresh and beautiful.