With Ashore Thing less than two weeks away, we turned to the experts at Chicago-based event-planning company Kehoe Designs for tips on how to throw a modern take on the traditional nautical-themed party.
Navy and white are the backbone of a sailing-inspired look, but to bring in the unexpected, play with chevrons to give a modern and playful twist to the classic stripe. Mixing patterns is also a hot trend. Always consider using solid-colored pieces with lots of texture to give a big pattern the spotlight.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color—Chartreuse and Royal Blues, Pops of Yellow
While the sky and sea always remind us of tone-on-tone blues for nautical themes, don’t be afraid to pump up the volume with a burst of color. Chartreuse, royal blues, and yellows are punchy accents that can really transform any space. Mixing these looks with lots of patterns can energize a space and bring life to your party.
A Little Bling Goes a Long Way —Crystal on Palm Leaf Chandeliers, Gold Coral Table Trays, Gold or Silver Sea Urchins/Coral
A touch of sparkle, shimmery window treatment, metallic finish, or shiny accessories can really make a room feel more alive. Shiny, shell-shaped serving dishes and elegant touches in the serving-ware may be accents, but they bring a serious element of glamour to the nautical theme.
Lots of Tropical Greenery/Palm/Monstera Leafs —Monstera Leaf Placemats, Leaf-Lined Platters, and Leaf Table Runners
A great way to incorporate these into your cocktail party is to accent your arrangement(s) with lily grass, sheet moss, and monstera leaves. Tropical, fresh leaves make an excellent placement, platter liner, or even table runner to dress up your event and give brightness to the table setting. Another tip is to add palms to create a tropical oasis of lush greens that will really bring your event to life, giving your guests an authentic nautical feel.
Use Rope in Your Décor —Rope Knots in Cloches, Rope on Tables
Stowe Ice Bucket, Jayson Home ($235). 1885 N. Clybourn Ave., 773-248-8180
A monkey's fist knot tie back is a great way to add a small nautical touch to your cocktail party or a simple rope accent into your home décor. Add an element of luxury to a classic summer nautical party with this ice bucket, which juxtaposes elegant polished chrome and natural rope.
Display Reclaimed Wood and Driftwood—Driftwood Centerpieces, Weathered Wood End Tables and Coffee Tables
Freeform Console Table, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ($1,652). mgbwhome.com
Embellish your beach theme decorations with elements such as driftwood to incorporate the natural feel of an outing by the sea. Using reclaimed materials is not only earth-friendly but also gives each piece its own unique look. All the scratches, dings, dents, stains, and holes give it its own personality. Paint these in a metallic finish to play with the refined look.
Light it Up with Lanterns —Especially Modern White Ones
Caleb Lanterns, Pottery Barn ($169). 1000 W. North Ave., Ste. C, 312-944-0467
Lanterns are a beautiful accessory and perfectly combine with any color scheme and design style. Candles always warm a space and create a decorative, simple look without appearing fussy. Chrome, wood, or metal lanterns are also the perfect touch to create a nautical-style feel.