Maritime Wallpaper: The Guide
Maritime and nautical wallpapers can create a light and happy mood and awaken a sense of wanderlust. Be it the North Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic or Pacific - maritime designs spread a feel-good atmosphere that takes you straight to the shores of some far-away lands. You can almost smell, taste and feel the sea and the warm sand under your feet. Create the popular Mediterranean country house style with maritime wallpaper, let that sunny South Sea or Caribbean feeling come to life, or choose the elegant Scandinavian or New England style.
Table of Contents
- What are maritime wallpaper patterns?
- Which pattern motifs characterise wallpapers in the New England style of the American East Coast?
- Which patterns are typical for Scandinavian maritime design wallpapers?
- Which motifs are typical for wallpaper models in the Mediterranean beach house style?
- Which wallpaper patterns exude a Caribbean and South Sea flair?
- Which nautical instruments are depicted on wallpaper?
- Which rooms are suitable for maritime style wallpaper?
- What are common colours for wallpapers with maritime and nautical patterns?
- Why are maritime wallpapers so popular?
- Which wallpaper brands specialise in maritime wallpaper?
- Our tips: Ideas for maritime design with depth
The term "maritime" describes the sea and seafaring as well as shipping and can have individual or emotional connotations. The pattern motifs that characterise maritime wallpaper are primarily beach, sea, shipping and holidays.
Beach and coast are inseparably connected to the sea and large bodies of water. They form the transition from land to water. Beaches and coastal areas can come in many variations, e.g. sand, pebble, lava, green beaches or rugged rocky coasts. Sand beaches may be white, golden yellow or brown, depending on their composition.
On planet Earth, the sea represents the entirety of all interconnected bodies of water which surround the continents. It is divided into the five largest seas or oceans on the one hand, and into the categories marginal seas, inland seas and Mediterranean seas on the other. The ocean in all its splendid variety is considered the epitome of maritime patterns, usually combined with other elements.
It goes without saying that seafaring and the sea are closely connected. From a small fishing boat that bobs up and down on the North Sea to a luxury cruise liner that crosses the oceans - boats and vessels of all kinds as well as nautical symbols are represented on maritime-style wallpaper. These motifs are associated with adventure, pirates, history (e.g. the Titanic), freedom and a particular attitude to life.
Wallpapers that put you in a holiday mood come with a plethora of different motifs. These can be charming island landscapes in the wide ocean, a wooden beach house on the coast, a sailing ship on rough seas or seagulls circling in front of a lighthouse, to name but a few. Motifs that remind us of past journeys are also popular. In this context, shells in the sand or a message in a bottle washed up on the shore are worth mentioning.
New England is located on the American East Coast and one of the most beautiful travel destinations of the world. New England style wallpaper patterns boast motifs like sailing ships, stripes, lighthouses, knots, ropes, anchors and sea grass as would be found in the typical white wooden villas with their large verandas.
Sailing boats are typical for the picturesque scene on the American East Coast. In addition to sailing trips for locals and visitors, there are many international regatta competitions. On the idyllic coast of Connecticut, "Mystic Seaport", the most important shipping museum of the USA, can be found. As wallpaper motifs, sailing ships, regatta scenes and old construction blueprints reflect maritime flair.
Stripes in blue-white or blue-white-red are a simple yet elegant way of representing the maritime New England style with matching wallpapers. A particularly attractive variation is when the width of the stripes varies, e.g. wide blue and white stripes, with a very narrow red stripe/line in between.
No coast without lighthouses! In New England, these are white and stand picturesquely on rocky cliffs right by the sea. They provide fabulous vantage points from whence to watch the sunset in all its colourful glory and enjoy the endless views of the still water. Pattern motifs with lighthouses within the romantic landscape are perfect for the New England style.
In the seafaring world, "knot" is a term with several meanings. Every seaman, sailor or boatman must be proficient in the use of sailor knots before starting their first voyage. The word "knot" is also a unit of measurement for the moving speed at sea. Different sailor knots can be arranged on wallpaper, for instance in the form of a knot board or a symmetrical pattern.
In shipping, ropes are important elements of securing, salvage and transport. Marine ropes are used, amongst other things, for towing, lifting and mooring ships. Sailors' knots are also associated with ropes. Pattern designs with ropes are very imaginative - from photographic representations of ropes to sophisticated geometric pattern designs.
In order for a ship or boat to dock, the anchor must be dropped. This device with a chain or rope has special lateral barbed hooks to dig into soft ground. On New England-style wallpaper, the anchor can form a continuously repeating, symmetrical pattern or be part of a sequence of depictions of maritime or nautical elements.
Seagrass is one of the seed plants that thrive and - depending on the species - flower in the sea. This plant is important for strengthening the seabed, provides protection and food for small animals such as crustaceans and oxygenates the water. Seagrass is also used to make natural wallpaper and creates a cosy atmosphere with a maritime character.
The North Sea, Baltic Sea and Barents Sea make up the ocean landscape in Scandinavia. The charmingly rough character of this beautiful part of the world is also noticeable on Scandi maritime wallpaper models which come with a plethora of motifs such as stars, wooden planks, seagulls, clouds or mermaids.
In the far north, abstract and stylised design often sets the scene. And that's why Scandinavian maritime design frequently features stars that make a direct or indirect connection to the night-sky as well as to starfish. Even rare and visually curious representatives of the Brisingida species are depicted on wallpaper.
Boats & Fishing Cutters
Angling and deep-sea fishing are popular leisure and sports activities in Scandinavia. Boat and fishing cutters that drift calmly in the sea or occasionally get caught in a stormy wave are among the classic patterns for the maritime Scandinavian Style. Sometimes even the odd fish finds its way onto the boat.
Weathered wooden planks
Weathered wooden planks, occasionally with flaking paint, are often found on sun-beaten Swedish beach houses or small sheds by the sea. Even after the storm tide has taken some more paint away, they spread a fantastic harmony when they form an interesting stripe pattern.
Calming, of graceful elegance: seagulls and seabirds such as puffins or peregrine falcons are an ever-present part of the changing landscape of Scandinavian maritime regions. Seabirds take the spirit with them on their eternal journey. Wallpapers with seagulls etc. are particularly suitable for relaxation rooms.
Clouds & Wind
Above the sea, the clouds and the wind are always in motion, interesting shapes are forming or a scary storm front is taking shape. This dynamic movement can be depicted on maritime design wallpaper with the desired intensity.
Beach huts often shine in bright colours such as red, yellow or light blue and are made of rustic wood. They are usually lined up in a colourful row. Scandinavian beach houses directly on the waterfront or in island areas are immensely idyllic. Beach hut pattern motifs spread a Scandi holiday flair in the room.
In the Danish capital Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid bronze figure on the seafront promenade reminds passers-by of the world-famous fairytale figure dreamt up by Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen. Patterned motifs with mermaids can be depicted in a historical, modern, stylised way and their gentle, mystical character is often appealing to children.
Sun-drenched countries such as Spain, Italy, southern France or Greece are located on the Mediterranean and determine the Mediterranean beach house style. Popular motifs that convey joie de vivre and beach fun are shells, fishermen's houses, waves, driftwood and yachts.
Shells in all shapes, colours and sizes are among the favourite souvenirs brought back from a Mediterranean beach holiday. They are excellent for handicraft projects, and large, hollow specimens are said to carry the sound of the sea. Shells also trigger holiday memories, which is why wallpaper models with this motif are very inspiring.
Almost every large holiday resort in Spain and Greece has developed from a small fishing village. Picturesque fishermen's cottages in winding cobblestone alleys conjure up the sunny south with its fabulous lightness.
Sometimes gentle, sometimes wild and untamed - the swell on the Mediterranean Sea has many faces and its effect can be emphasised by additional elements, e.g. swimmers, water sports or ships. Waves can also stand alone as a pattern motif, often drawn accurately or freehand. In the free and colourful tie-dye version, they bring St. Tropez and Ibiza hippie flair to life.
Driftwood tells a hundred stories as it usually has a long journey behind it. It was exposed to the elements and the tides, drifted on the water and eventually landed on the beach. The striking driftwood look can be reproduced true to nature or in bright sea colours on imitation wood wallpaper models.
No famous summer resort is complete without chic and expensive yachts rocking gently in the harbour, waiting for a journey to the open ocean. Yacht construction blueprints on pattern wallpaper are ideal for technicians and engineers. For those who love modern and stylish looks, there are plenty of stylised and artistic yacht motifs.
Tropical holiday destinations on the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans are a diver's paradise and guarantee unforgettable dream holidays. Pattern motifs such as corals, surfboards, colourful fish or jellyfish create an atmospheric Caribbean and South Sea feeling.
Colonies of cnidarians, above all stony corals, form the fascinating, brightly coloured coral reefs that divers can't get enough of. They are part of an intact underwater world and provide a protected habitat for a multitude of marine animals. From photo-realistic to drawn and stylised corals: countless cool coral wallpaper patterns await you.
Uluwatu, Hawaii or Cabarete are hot spots for surfers from all over the world. Surfing motifs such as boards, equipment, super waves or sceneries with palm trees, sea and surfers as wallpaper patterns are not just for fans of the sport. They also convey the freedom and thrills promised by a wild ride on the waves.
Bizarre, unusual and colourful fish populate the tropical seas, including barracudas, angelfish, wrasse, damselfish and rays. Similarly to ornamental fish in a fish tank, underwater motifs with unique specimens have a very calming effect.
Jellyfish are amongst the oldest living creatures on earth. They are regarded as extremely adaptable and consist of 99% water. These transparent, fluorescent little animals, known to science as plankton, are unbelievably varied in terms of their appearances and characteristics and, as wallpaper patterns, give the room a touch of magic.
Calamars belong to the group of ten-tentacled squids. The name probably comes from their tubular tentacles. Like the eight-tentacled squids, e.g. octopuses, they symbolise maritime exoticism - a favourite motif of children's wallpaper with a tropical flair.
Anyone who wants to go on a great sea voyage and experience exciting adventures must be well versed in nautical instruments and accessories. Sea charts, compasses and steering wheels set the course for nautical motifs.
Individual sections of a nautical chart repeated as a pattern, or a chart that provides the background for other maritime motifs and illustrations can be the basis for maritime wallpaper designs. In addition, historical nautical charts and treasure maps as used by pirates, famous sailors and conquerors in the 17th and 18th centuries also play a role in wallpaper patterns.
The compass is an indispensable tool for determining directions and navigational routes. There is a huge number of possible motifs. The 15th century compass rose with 32 directions or the wind rose with 4 or 8 directions are amongst the most famous examples. Motifs and patterns depicting compasses often boast spectacular graphics and can be strikingly modern.
Steering wheel (tiller)
The captain holds the course with his steering wheel. Its classic representation on nautically inspired wallpaper is based on the traditional wooden steering wheels of old sailing and training ships: a circular shape with eight spokes including handles and an integrated compass clock. Sea charts and ship's bells often complete the pattern motif.
Maritime wallpaper models give every room that certain je ne sais quoi. They are particularly effective in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and children's rooms.
Enchanting water birds circle over the sea with its gentle waves, and the dune landscape invites you to relax and dream. Maritime wallpaper patterns depicting tropical shores provide a pleasant sense of peace and quiet after a long day. Shades of blue increase the restful atmosphere.
Wet rooms and beauty oases benefit hugely from maritime or nautical wallpaper patterns. A fascinating, colourful underwater world, a mystical mermaid kingdom or a surfing paradise in aquamarine colours - the choice is yours! Perfect for atmospheric water-related themes.
Fish and seafood are a main element of the Mediterranean and Nordic cuisine, and matching maritime patterns are particularly well suited to emphasise this fact. Motifs from deep sea fishing, from various fish species or crabs and lobsters in light or contrasting colours are amongst the favourites for maritime kitchen wallpapers. Wooden planks or classic blue and white stripe designs are also suitable.
Nautical instruments, old sea charts, colossal three-masters or boats of different shapes and sizes set in the most beautiful places in the world create the backdrop for great cinema evenings in your own four walls. The perfect setting for boat-related cult movies such as The African Queen, Mutiny on the Bounty, Pirates of the Caribbean or Titanic.
For children, maritime wallpaper motifs are an infinite source of playful joy and fascination. The options for motifs and themes are almost endless, e.g. submarine views of the mysterious seabed, pirate adventures, beach life themes such as Robinson Crusoe or the Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and imaginative water vehicles and vessels. Even simple individual motifs such as anchors, seagulls or steering wheels inspire the imagination.
Blue is the colour most often associated with the sea and therefore at the top of the ranking of maritime and nautical pattern hues. Red, white, turquoise, green and grey are also often used for ocean-related designs.
Blue stands for a number of maritime associations. In its multi-faceted nuances, including azure or navy blue, the various shades of this colour can be calm and deep like the sea, bright, wide and light like the sky, fresh and clear like an ocean breeze. Blue has a calming effect and lifts the mood. In lighter shades, it makes the room appear larger, in darker hues it makes it look deeper.
Signal red is the classic lighthouse colour and an inherent element of any beach atmosphere. The colour of love and passion is a visually stimulating highlight, especially in combination with other maritime colours such as blue and white.
Clarity, purity, freshness - all this is symbolised by this neutral colour and fits perfectly into the maritime or Mediterranean style. In countries such as Greece or Spain, deep blue and brilliant white are ever-present in houses and outdoor facilities.
In the most beautiful holiday destinations on the planet, the turquoise or aquamarine sea provides a breathtaking contrast to white or black beaches. Turquoise is also an extremely invigorating colour that soothes tired minds and boosts creativity. Even a plain wallpaper in turquoise fills the room with Mediterranean flair.
Depending on the position and strength of the sun, the sea can shine in fascinating shades of green, which is partly due to the sea flora. This creates a captivating sea green that can be subdivided into gemstone colours such as jade green or emerald green. There is also a symbolic connection to nature, landscape, growth and renewal.
The neutral colour grey, especially in light and faded shades, is perfect for nautical or maritime pattern designs. It makes blue and green or even red shine twice as much and creates a delicate, elegant contrast.
Maritime wallpaper models can feel like a cool breeze which invigorates your thoughts. Create fascinating underwater landscapes or a holiday ambience at home.
A cool breeze
A cool sea breeze clears your head for new thoughts and ideas. A breath of fresh air and an inspiring vastness to free us from the shackles of everyday life and strengthen our individual creativity. An ideal basis for escaping from stressful and boring routines.
Fascinating underwater worlds
Maritime wallpaper designs open up fascinating underwater worlds and conjure up dreams of diving straight into them. Anyone who is enthusiastic about the unique beauty that emanates from corals, exotic fish, jellyfish or shipwrecks will get their money's worth.
Holiday home ambience
Staying in a holiday home offers a completely new perspective of the hitherto unfamiliar environment. That's why a holiday home is a special oasis of beauty and cosiness - which can be recreated in your own four walls! This allows us to expand our horizons and discover new things amongst our familiar surroundings.
Maritime wallpapers are incredibly varied these days, because every individual has his or her own taste. For those looking for high-quality, extravagant wallpaper brands, we have exclusive models by Ralph Lauren, York Wallcoverings or Sanderson.
Since 1967, the name Ralph Lauren has stood for preppy American sports clothing in the luxury segment. Today, the world-famous company's range of products also includes home accessories, home textiles and wallpapers with a preference for the maritime New England look in blue and white.
York Wallcoverings is considered the largest wallpaper manufacturer in North America and looks back on a tradition of over 125 years. The company is known for its creative style combos and iconic patterned wallpaper designs. The cooperation with top-class designers has resulted in exquisite maritime designs with unique aesthetics.
Tradition carries a certain sense of obligation, but it can also be a whole lot of fun, as English Living Design company Sanderson, founded in 1860, proves. Its fabulous artistic creations are predominantly inspired by nature. The striking maritime wallpaper designs are always new and exciting, very British or abstractly interpreted.
- Submarine safari in children's rooms: A side attachment modelled on a submarine, equipped with several portholes, is added to the child's bed. The wall behind it is beautified with a wallpaper model depicting a colourful underwater scene. If both sides of the bed are designed in a submarine style, different motif wallpapers are an option.
- Bedroom for globetrotters: Explorers sleep particularly well in the fairways of the great circumnavigators such as James Cook, Ferdinand Magellan or Christopher Columbus. Historically inspired wallpaper models with impressive sailing ships, world maps and nautical accessories, perhaps with a matching gold shine, are particularly suitable.
- Dining room in the classic New England style: A wallpaper with wide stripes in navy blue and white fills the dining room with maritime flair. Furniture in solid wood with white chalk paint and long white curtains and blue or white chair covers complete the elegant country house look.
- Bathroom or guest toilet as Blue Grotto (Capri): Deep ultramarine blue, perhaps combined with sea green, are the perfect colours for the walls. The motifs can be anything from an iridescent mosaic look to gentle sea waves emphasising the intense colours. White, rock grey and lemon yellow are used as contrasting colours for ceiling, floor and accessories.