6 Design Ideas to Steal From an Edgy Nautical Kitchen
Nautically inspired interior design tends to be traditional, so when we set our eyes on the modern and edgy maritime aesthetic of hot new L.A. restaurant The Anchor Venice, it had the wheels in our heads turning in a whole new direction. There wasn’t a blue-and-white stripe or a coral motif to be found. Instead? A custom rope light fixture, a one-of-a-kind wall mural by an acclaimed street artist, and subtle, thoughtfully placed anchor details.
We reached out to the restaurant’s interior designer Sally Breer, an uber-talented, young, and rising design star, to steal some ideas for how to get the look at home.
Scroll below for some inspired ideas.
Integrate Graffiti Art
Breer tells us she commissioned artist Gregory Siff to illustrate the white wall behind the bar. Siff drew anchors and other symbols that are meaningful to the restaurants owners, Kristen Ciccolella and Sandy Ames, in red, navy, and silver, giving the room an edgy, street-art vibe. “Gregory is bi-coastal, which was all too fitting,” Breer says in reference to The Anchor’s owners, who hail from New York.
Go Retro Cool
Many nautically inspired settings have a traditional East Coast vibe, but Breer opted for a retro look with black and chrome swivel bar stools. “We felt like they echoed a vintage diner feel, while still being completely comfortable and functional with a swivel and back,” she says.
Mix in Industrial Pieces
The modern feel of this space results largely from the mix of styles that Breer used. In addition to the aforementioned vintage aesthetic, she also created a bit of an industrial look with a concrete countertop and steel-and-rope light fixture. “Concrete is really an incredible material because it can take so many different tints and you can create different imprints as well,” she says. “It's like being at a candy shop when you're using poured concrete. I had to practice restraint, because the options are really limitless. But we wanted the bar to feel raw and industrial, so we just had them pour the natural gray that felt closest to something you might find on the street in New York.”
Make Subtle Nautical Nods
One look at this space and you feel like you’re hanging with an old sailor who’s been around the world and back again on the high seas. But the nautical vibe isn’t obvious. Breer installed anchor-shaped coat hooks under the bar—ladies, rejoice!—and she also had a light fixture custom-made with rope. But you won’t see any oars hanging from the ceiling or tired captain’s hats hanging anywhere. The look is inspired yet not overdone.
Bring in the Color of the Sea
No nautically inspired space is complete without a touch of blue, so Breer selected a deep blue-green for underneath the bar. Again, subtle. “I used Narraganset Green by Benjamin Moore. It’s one of the best blue-greens in my opinion,” she says.
Create a Unique Statement Piece
Rope chandeliers and other light fixtures are nothing groundbreaking; we see them in nearly every big-box home décor retailer we walk into these days. And they can also be costly, which is painful given that rope itself is so affordable. So in order to stay within budget, and also create a more unique focal point, Breer hired woodworker and artist James Melinat to weld steel frames that could hold a ton of weight, but that wouldn’t be a huge statement on their own. “I then sourced 2-inch thick nautical rope from a navy surplus store. Three Prius-trunk loads of rope (totaling 650 ft.) later, I started wrapping the metal frames that James had built for us,” Breer says. “I wanted it to feel dense but still loose and effortless. Slinging 650 feet of 2-inch thick rope over a 10-foot and a 7-foot span was a workout, to say the least. I think I earned my keep that day.”
Live in the L.A. area? Visit The Anchor Venice to see it all for yourself—and don't forget to order the lobster roll!
Do you like this edgy-modern nautical aesthetic? Would you like to try something similar in your home? Tell us in the comments below.