It’s almost summer. The skies are bright, the sun is smiling, and just off the coast of Cape Cod, thousands are flocking to Nantucket for a restful, sun-soaked retreat. From the halcyon harbors to the dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque lighthouses, Nantucket is a scenic sanctuary chock-full of historic charm (fun fact: the entire island is a national historic landmark)—so it’s unsurprising that the setting inspires some of our favorite interior designs. In fact, this quaint small island town is the inspiration for our Nantucket Nautical lookbook where you’ll find white skirted sofas, blue and white pillows, and beach-y nautical decor that’ll make you feel like you’re standing with your toes in the sand, breathing in the cool, salty air. So, what makes for the ideal Nantucket cottage home? Whether you’re a Nantucket native or just dreaming of the ocean, these nine necessities provide the seafaring style you need.
#1 – A Natural Jute Rug
When picking out a coastal beach style rug, jute is our go-to because of its durability and gorgeous natural look. Bringing natural materials indoors is also a great strategy to harmonize your home with its coastal surroundings. The light and neutral underfoot blends beautifully with the white decor and adds contrast to the washed out features of this waterfront look.
Design Credit: Black Band Design | Photography: Tessa Neustadt
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#2 – Lantern Lighting
Light a quaint kitchen breakfast nook or a relaxing reading nook with coastal and glass lantern pendants. These lights are frequently used on Nantucket beaches to guide light the walkways up from the beach, and they’re reminiscent of the island’s lighthouses. This is a great way to bring a little piece of culture and history into your home (and a bit less on-the-nose obvious than lighthouse decor).
Design Credit: Marie Flanigan Interiors | Design Credit: Kate Jackson Design
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#3 – A Blue & White Palette
We’ve stated our love for blue and white rooms over and over again, but can you blame us? Blue works great in coastal rooms because it draws its hues from the ocean and lends a sense of serenity and ease to a space. A fresh coat of white paint and all-white furniture also breathes freshness into a room for an open, airy, and organic look.
Design Credit: Victoria Hagen Interiors | Photography: Pieter Estersohn
#4 – Rope Furniture & Accessories
In Nantucket, the boating world is a huge part of the culture and community, so nautical rope is found everywhere…including the home! Use rope accessories as decor for your bookshelves or the coffee table for a fun, beach-inspired vignette. Choose a rope pendant or other rope-inclusive furniture for a chic nod to the nautical.
#5 – Statement Wall Art
The Nantucket boardwalks are well known for their shabby chic nostalgic appeal. Integrate some of that rustic goodness into your Nantucket style home with statement wall art that evokes images of the beach and the seafaring lifestyle prevalent amongst these coastal cottages.
Design Credit: Workshop ADP | Photography: Donna Doton
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#6 – The Captain’s Mirror
Too much nautical-themed decor can come off a little gaudy, even in a coastal look like Nantucket Nautical. We believe in elegant spaces that look natural and timeless. But one nautical piece that looks relevant and chic in any coastal entryway or powder room is the captain’s mirror. This mirror brightens up your space and gives your home the perfect amount of sea-inspired style.
Design Credit: Muskoka Living
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#7 – A Slipcover Sofa
The white slipcover is a coastal staple, and we encourage it because it’s endlessly versatile and can work in both more contemporary and more traditional coastal looks. If you’re going for a more laid-back beach-y vibe, choose breezy linen slipcovers or a white skirted sofa (maybe even a ribbon-tie if you’re thinking shabby-chic). For a cleaner look, opt for a simpler, more structured shape.
#8 – Natural Elements
One of the most notable aspects of Nantucket architecture and interiors is the use of natural elements. From the natural wood shake siding of houses and businesses to the cobblestone streets to the hand-painted, distressed wooden signs and furniture, natural elements like wood and stone inspire this coastal cottage look. We really like distressed wooden dining tables to gather around, or a weathered white bookcase as a shabby chic storage solution.
Design Credit: Victoria Hagen Interiors | Design Credit: Muskoka Living Interiors
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#9 – Nautical Decor
Because of Nantucket’s proximity to the sea, it’s unsurprising that nautical elements like ship wheels, lighthouses, and coral are brought into the decor. But don’t go overboard! (Get it?) Layer in florals, books, and even blue and white chinoiserie for a much more sophisticated and well-rounded look.
Design Credit: Driven by Decor
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Kathy Kuo Home Design Services
Are you feeling inspired and need to update your coastal style home? Are your spaces in need of an update? In addition to being a source for high quality and beautiful products, we also have a team of certified interior designers that will help you source the perfect pieces for your home, assist with floor planning and envision your space before you buy. This service is completely free when you purchase products from Kathy Kuo Home. Get started on designing your space by learning more or scheduling a free consulation call today!
What is your favorite part of the Nantucket look? Share with us in the comment section below!