Bring the relaxing nature of the sea to your home with a nautical front door wreath. The versatile nautical wreath fits any style without detracting from your design vibe.
Give your front door some therapy with nautical design
You can certainly go with a cute, thematic front door wreath, but nautical-inspired wreaths fit a range of styles from preppy to rustic to modern. Evenso, they all invoke a feeling of being near water and its natural features, such as sand, sun, and teeming aquatic life.
As humans, we crave nautical environments. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that living or even visiting blue spaces, such as rivers, lakes, and oceans, provides a mental health benefit.
And here I thought I just liked the nautical style. I certainly love to add nautical designs to spaces within my house, such as calming wall art for my bathroom or a fun nautical doormat.
What is nautical design style?
Although nautical style is often referred to as another term for coastal or beach style, it has distinguishing features of its own. By definition, nautical is a word associated with sailors, navigation, and ships. A synonym for nautical is maritime.
What do you associate with nautical? You might think of things like anchors, ropes, life preserver rings, and ships. All of those items and more can be incorporated into a nautical front door wreath.
The good news is that nautical decor is always in season and never goes out of style. Plus, nautical style is so versatile that you can add touches of your personality to a nautical wreath.
For example, I love this handmade, exterior grade nautical rope wreath by Mystic Knotwork. I live near Mystic, Connecticut, and love to visit the Mystic Knotwork shop when I’m in town. When I leave the shop, I walk across the drawbridge to downtown, which is always bustling with activity and more shops than you can see in a day!
Jessie’s favorite is the anchor wreath. Growing up minutes from the U.S. Naval Academy (Go Navy!), she is obsessed with the navy blue color, and loves how it mixes with the burlap. This is a fun wreath that would definitely grab attention!
Our design consultant, Julie, likes this White Seashell wreath because of the elegant look of the white on white look. “The seashells are gorgeous, and the white branches give it a timeless style,” she says.
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What are nautical colors?
Blues and whites are the mainstay (a nautical term!) colors for nautical decor. Muted and natural colors interplay with shades of blue and accents of white.
For a timeless nautical color scheme, use a rich navy blue contrasted with bright white. You can add in shades of sand, driftwood, and other colors of the sea.
If you love bold colors, don’t shy away from bright yellows and reds accented with black. Along with navy and white, these are the typical colors seen in maritime flags.
A classic blue has been trending in design this year ever since Pantone announced it as the color of 2020. “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era,” Pantone announced.
The paint company Sherwin Williams also announced a navy as color of the year, which they call Naval.
Learn the ropes: Nautical symbols and meanings
To give an authentic feel to your nautical front door wreath, try staying with natural elements and symbols most often associated with maritime culture. For example, think about the environmental habitat, which could include sea grass, sand, shells, coral, driftwood, and rough textures such as burlap.
I don’t usually associate Idaho with maritime decor, but the mother-daughter team at WildRidge Design offer an amazing array of rustic, natural wreaths, including a few coastal designs.
Their coastal wreath is created on a natural twig base and filled with lots and lots of faux pip berries, creating the lovely pops of white. All of their wreaths are sprayed with a protective finish, but they still recommend keeping the wreaths away from moisture. Use on doors that are protected from the elements. Added bonus: They can add a scent to your wreath!
Peace be with you. At least that’s the message I’m receiving from this handcrafted driftwood wreath. High quality driftwood wreaths can be difficult to find. If you’d like something more traditional, Darice carries this 18-inch natural driftwood wreath.
If you want to add symbolism to your nautical front door wreath, here are meanings behind some of the most common maritime emblems.
Compass. A compass is all about direction. When you add a compass-like figure to your wreath, you’re pointing all who enter in the right direction. It’s all about making good life choices and staying on the right path.
Nautical rope knots. Sailors know dozens of ways to tie a knot, and all of those ways serve a purpose. In all, knots symbolize stability, security, and loyalty. Knots bind and connect us. In Chinese culture, knots are considered symbols of good luck.
Ship’s wheel. A ship’s wheel is often worn as a talisman of good luck, but in a deeper sense, the wheel is a symbol of responsibility and leadership, as in a captain who remains at the helm of his ship. Similar to a compass, it also means staying on the course, no matter how turbulent seas might toss you about.
Anchor. A nautical anchor represents an invincible bond in your relationships. You are rooted in a type of strength that is not easily steered off course. For Christians, the anchor came to represent the hope for salvation they have in Christ.
Lighthouse. Lighthouses are our guiding lights, signaling the presence of humanity and safety.
Dr. Kevin Blake, a geographer who has studied the cultural symbolism of lighthouses, says that these structures are key icons of the American landscape. “The lighthouse landscape conjures deep meanings tied to nostalgia, permanence, faith, transcendence, and the value of personal connection to place in an increasingly globalized world,” he writes.
Starfish. On our aquarium visits, we often stop by the interactive children’s pool to touch the type of marine life that doesn’t bite back. Among the maritime specimens, we always see a starfish, also known as a sea star. Do you remember one of the really cool things about the starfish? They can regenerate a limb! It’s no surprise that starfish have come to symbolize healing, renewal, and regeneration.
Use in sheltered location
Real, sun-bleached starfish and sun bleached clam shells and mixed seashells are delicately nestled among green Salal leaves, wheat, Nayela and Gordolobo.
Fish. A fish is often seen as a symbol of Chistianity, most often represented by the Greek ichthys. A dolphin can mean patience and mercy; whereas, a whale represents obedience and gratitude.
In Syrian culture, the fish symbolizes life and happiness. In some ancient traditions, the fish was a sign of female fertility. Norse people believed the fish stood for determination.
Lobster. Although there are many meanings associated with the lobster, most agree that the crustacean symbolizes independence and regeneration. I just know they are great to eat. The fresher the better!
Seashells. One of the most calming activities for me is to walk along a beach and collect seashells. Shells have mesmerized me since my first childhood outing to the beach.
Living in landlocked Oklahoma for most of my life, I had to make do with the library to learn all about sea shells. We often vacationed by the ocean, and over the years, I amassed quite the collection.
Hawaiians believe in the healing power of sea shells. “The shapes of shells are believed to be important as well,” writes Barbara Ingram of Soul Shells. “Where shells in the shape of a spiral tend to create change and increase energy, shells with radiant lines, such as scallops, help more with clearing energy blockages.”
Trying to find the perfect winter front door wreath but not sure where to start?
She sells seashell wreaths
From the state of Washington, Ellie’s Collections is known for over-the-top gorgeous seashell wreaths that are loaded with shells. One of my favorites is this 21-inch Seashell Wreath on Birch Twig with exotic sea urchins and 20 varieties of seashells. It comes in five designs.
Located near the beaches of Lake Michigan, Sheri of Beach Grass Cottage uses raw materials like shells and sea glass to handcraft exquisite seashell wreaths. One thing to keep in mind, these are indoor wreaths only.
In addition to shells, she also creates wreaths out of sea glass. Hard to imagine? Take a look yourself! Here are two of my favorites from her collection:
Make your own nautical front door wreath
If you are a do-it-yourself person, you can have so much fun discovering nautical ribbons. I may not be able to stop myself! Here’s just a peek at the many options available to you! Click on an image to learn more.
When it comes to decorating your nautical front door wreath, I like to use Christmas ornaments, such as fish or lighthouses. Of course, I have seashells by the handful but you can order those as well. Here are a few examples:
- Hanging fish in sea glass
- Rustic red, blue, and white anchors
- Mini ornaments, lighthouses and sailboats
- Starfish and sand dollars
- A mix of seashells
Nautical front door wreath ideas on Instagram
To find more ideas for creating a nautical front door wreath, we turned to Instagram.
Adventurer and photographer @breezy2u2 has a burlap nautical front door wreath perfect for Farmhouse or rustic styles. Her wreath is even lighted!
We found inspiration for shells and sea glass for our nautical front door wreath from this photograph by Selkie Sea Wear, an Ireland-based jeweler specializing in handmade creations made from the sea.
Nautical rope comes in so many varieties – new and old. I have no problem finding it here in Connecticut, but you can easily find nautical rope for crafting online at places like Amazon. We found inspiration from this photo from Kathryn @hopeforsurprises.
Next, we found this incredibly beautiful photo featuring an old anchor. Perhaps too large for a wreath (haha), but we just love the artistry in this capture by Diane, a French travel addict who posts on @diane_escapes.
Where do you find your inspiration for decorating? We would love to hear all about it in the Comment section below.