Cape Cod Bedroom Decorating Ideas

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Design your bedroom around the bright, clean, maritime style of Cape Cod. Originally built for the fisherman of New England, this style of home saw a resurgence in the early 20th century. Combining the themes of east coast beach style with the class and sophistication of New England, create a Cape Cod oasis with a few pops of color, nautical collectibles and natural materials like wood, rope and cotton.

Cape Cod Furniture

In the Cape Cod style, furniture should be relaxed, simple and functional.

  • For the classic Cape Cod bedroom, select headboards, side tables, chairs and dressers in unfinished or distressed wood.
  • Though this bedroom theme is traditionally sophisticated, it is not stuffy or fancy. Let the natural grain and color of the wood add neutral hues to the room.
  • You may also paint wood furniture in the bedroom white or blue, then rub with sandpaper to give it a weather-worn look.
  • Antique trunks and chests make great tables, footstools and accent pieces, and are a good way to incorporate the maritime theme. If you can't afford an authentic chest, purchase a simple, unfinished wooden trunk and stain it to an antiqued finish. It can be used purely for decoration, or as a great place to store linens, books and various other bedroom items. Try adding metal accents like a lock and ribbing to resemble an old fashioned traveling chest.


Cape Cod Colors

The deep blue shade of the New England sea, paired with whites and neutrals is the most common color scheme for a Cape Cod Bedroom. Various shades of these three colors can be combined, but overall, your bedroom color scheme should be simple and clean. White is typically the dominant color, followed by additions of blue in bedding, accessories and paintings, and finally neutrals in wood furniture and flooring.

  • For bedding, use bright white cotton sheets, pillows and duvets with minimal to no color accenting. If you would like some color, stick to blues, browns or tans.
  • If you use cushions on chairs in your bedroom, use white or blue to contrast the neutral colored wood furniture.
  • Use bright blue and brown accent pillows to add a splash of color to beds, chairs and bedroom sofas.
  • Curtains should be white, light blue or beige and made of a light weight, flowing material. Think of a curtain that could easy billow in a Massachusetts summer breeze.
  • Add neutral colored rugs to soften a wood floor without making the room appear smaller. The larger the rug, the closer in color it should be to the floor color.
  • Walls are usually kept white, but can be painted a soft blue, tan or yellow to keep the relaxed neutral theme.

cape cod decorating bedroom ideas


Cape Cod Accessories

One of the most prominent characteristics of a Cape Cod room is the nautical theme. Use images and replicas of boats, as well as ocean related accessories to add the final touch to your bedroom.

  • Use lamps or sconces with neutral colored canvas shades. They should be reminiscent of a ship's sails.
  • Place seashells, starfish or other ocean related accessories on nightstands, tables and shelves. Pick a few key pieces rather than many, so as not to make the bedroom feel cluttered. Cape Cod style is relaxed, but chic.
  • Every Cape Cod themed room should have at least one small replica ship. Place it in a corner or on a shelf so as not to be knocked over or disturbed.
  • Use small boat ropes as decorative pieces around the bedroom. Wrap them around bedposts, coil them in decorative bowls, or use them as curtain ties. Authentic and sturdy, nautical ropes add function and style to the Cape Cod bedroom.
  • Classic paintings of ships, lighthouses, East coast beaches and other Cape Cod styled homes are traditional accents in this bedroom theme. Even within the painting, keep the color range between white, blue and neutral.
  • For greenery, place tall reeds resembling see grass in clear glass or neutral colored vases.

cape cod design bedroom decorating

cape cod design bedroom decorating

Creating a Cape Cod bedroom takes a simple color scheme, natural materials, and an eye for all things sea-worthy. Soft blues, tans and whites recreate the beaches of New England, while accents like collectible boats, ropes and shells add the final touch. Keep your design simple and elegant, using wood, cotton and canvas to design your own Cape Cod escape.

For more Cape Cod decorating ideas, see:

Last Updated: April 16, 2013
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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