How to Decorate to Look Like a Cruise Ship

Whether you like the Las Vegas-inspired glamor and glitz of the Carnival cruise line or the more stately, modern design of luxury cruise ships, you can replicate some cruise ship elements in your home decor.

Jaunty stripes have a nautical look.Jaunty stripes have a nautical look.
Cruise decor makes your home feel like a vacation getaway, with elements that allude to travel, exotic locales and life on the open sea.

Paint walls with hues that evoke the ocean. Deep Mediterranean blues and greens fill rooms with saturated color, while muted robin's egg blue and sea foam green have a more neutral look. White or cream accents on window frames, door frames, molding and ceilings have the crisp, streamlined look of a cruise ship.

Embellish one or two accent walls with an ocean-themed wall mural or with wall decals. Blue waves, golden sand, cresting waves, underwater scenes, a tropical sunset or famous beach locales provide fanciful imagery for a wall mural.

Outfit rooms with lounge-style furnishings. Low profiles, minimal adornment and angular frames lend interiors a clean, contemporary look favored by many cruise lines. Honey-hued wood has a Scandinavian modern look, while dark teak or rosewood furniture frames have a tropical aesthetic.

Establish a cruise-themed focal point. Make a reading corner, daybed or bed look like a draped cabana. Attach curtain rods directly to the ceiling, framing the area you want draped. Cascade lightweight gauze, mosquito netting or canvas over the curtain rods, allowing it to nearly touch the floor. Ribbon tie-backs allow you to gather the fabric.

Integrate nautical elements throughout your cruise-theme interiors. Maps, globes and wooden models of ships have a classic seafaring look. Line windowsills or floating shelves with shells, coral, sand dollars, driftwood, river stones and sea glass.

Extend the theme to your outdoor spaces. A wooden deck or patio provides the ideal setting for cruise decor. Umbrella tables, cafe tables and chaise lounges may surround a fire pit or a water feature.

Things You Will Need

  • Paint
  • Wallpaper mural or wall decals
  • Furniture
  • Textiles
  • Hanging hardware
  • Nautical accessories
  • Outdoor furniture

Tip

  • A porthole-shaped window adds whimsical charm to a cruise-theme interior.

About the Author

Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.