Bring the nautical allure of portholes into your home with these tips for integrating porthole style. From subtle accents to bold statements, portholes lend a dash of maritime spirit.


Porthole windows are iconic features of ships and boats, allowing light and air flow while maintaining weatherproofing. Their round shape, thick frames, and brass accents evoke images of ocean voyages and adventures at sea. By incorporating porthole design elements into home decor, you can capture that sense of escape and exploration.

Porthole style ranges from subtle hints to dramatic features. A brass porthole mirror or wall art echoes traditional portholes without major renovations. Or make a bold statement by framing actual portholes as interior windows. There are many options for embracing porthole style with varying budgets and commitment levels.

No matter your preferred decor aesthetic, porthole style can find a home. The look works in traditional spaces, but also pairs well with modern and eclectic rooms. Porthole accents feel right at home in beach houses but can also lend a touch of charm to urban apartments.

If a nautical vibe speaks to you, explore these tips for bringing porthole style into your home. Subtle touches or dramatic transformations, this look makes any space shipshape.

Accent Pieces

One easy way to test porthole style is with accent pieces. Paintings, mirrors, lamps, and decor items with a porthole design provide an instant maritime feel. Here are some accent piece ideas:

Porthole Mirrors

Mirrors framed with rounds mimicking porthole windows make excellent accent pieces. Opt for a classic brass frame, or try creative options like driftwood or rope framing. Hang a large porthole mirror in an entryway or use a few smaller versions in a bathroom or bedroom.

Porthole Wall Art

Like mirrors, wall art and canvases can feature porthole-style frames or illustrations of portholes. Black and white prints of ships work well, or colorful abstract designs. Group several small porthole art pieces together for impact.

Porthole Lamps

From table lamps to pendants, lighting fixtures can incorporate portholes. Look for shades with cutouts mimicking porthole shapes. Or select fixtures with brass detailing inspired by actual porthole frames.

Porthole Decor Items

Choose vases, clocks, candles, centerpieces, and other decorative items with porthole-inspired shapes. Brass accents and nautical blue and white color schemes emphasize the porthole theme.

Display these types of accent pieces together to create a cohesive porthole style moment. But even solitary porthole items can provide pops of nautical spirit.

Furniture & Cabinetry

Beyond decor accents, bring porthole flair to larger furniture pieces and built-ins. A few approaches for integrating porthole style into cabinetry and furnishings:

Porthole Cabinet Doors

Swap out standard cabinet fronts for doors featuring circular porthole cutouts. This works especially well in kitchens and bathrooms, like giving vanities and hutches a maritime makeover. Opt for carved wood doors or try brass-framed glass portholes.

Windows in Cabinetry

Without replacing entire doors, add small porthole windows to cabinet fronts and drawer faces. Cut rounds in wood panels and frame them like porthole windows. Or install mini brass portholes to create the nautical effect.

Porthole Furniture Accents

Incorporate porthole-inspired detailing into furniture. For example, a dining table with a porthole window in its apron or a bench with porthole cutouts along the seat back. Similarly, a headboard with brass portholes brings style to a bedroom.

Salvaged Pieces

For one-of-a-kind porthole furniture, use reclaimed wood with real portholes. Salvaged ship parts, like old deck planks and hatch covers, also provide authentic nautical charm. Distressed paint finishes reinforce the vintage vibe.

Rethinking cabinet facades and furniture elements opens expanded possibilities for porthole style. Even small touches make shelving, tables, and other pieces feel pleasantly maritime.

Lighting Fixtures

In addition to porthole lamp shades, consider installing lighting fixtures displaying round porthole forms. Porthole ceiling lights, sconces, and pendants illuminate rooms with dramatic nautical allure.

Porthole Pendants

Hang pendant lights over kitchen islands, dining tables, and other gathering areas to infuse porthole style. Opt for metal or wood frames in classic brass or polished chrome. Choose single pendants or group multiples together for greater impact.

Porthole Sconces

Mounted on walls to flank beds, sofas, and entryways, sconce lights present another opportunity for porthole fixtures. Seek out adjustable sconces to control the direction of light.

Porthole Chandeliers

For a bold statement, install a custom chandelier with cascading porthole cutouts. Position over a stairwell or in an entry to impress guests. Brass detailing and Edison bulb filaments enhance the vintage maritime aesthetic.

Recessed Porthole Lighting

Incorporate recessed can lighting framed with porthole-style trims and bezels. Illuminate hallways, kitchens, and other spaces with these subtle yet impactful built-in lights. Choose brass or nickel finishes to match the overall decor.

With the right lighting in place, even landlocked homes can channel a ship’s cabin. When the lights come on at night, porthole fixtures cast a cozy maritime glow.

Windows & Doors

For whole-hog embrace of porthole style, consider rounding out windows and doors. Though ambitious, portholes provide character and uniqueness unmatched by standard rectangles.

Interior Porthole Windows

Install interior window treatments modeled after ship portholes. Opt for carved wood frames with crossbar accents or go for polished brass. Get creative with porthole window arrangements – try circular staircase landings and accent walls. Salvaged portholes add authenticity, or purchase new porthole window kits.

Exterior Porthole Windows

An exterior porthole window refresh truly transports a home to the high seas. Consult local codes, but portholes often work for basement and attic conversions. Smaller porthole windows also update garage and shed doors. New or salvaged, exterior portholes lend oodles of curb appeal.

Round Entry Doors

Make a dramatic first impression with a rounded front door mimicking a ship’s hatch. Panel the door to look like multiple stacked portholes. Paint or finish the wood to reinforce the maritime spirit. For bonus points, add brass hardware and fittings.

Porthole Interior Doors

Interior doors represent another opportunity for portholes instead of rectangular cutouts. Bathrooms, closets, pantries and more – every room benefits from a touch of porthole style. Accent the rounds with contrasting paint or finish.

Though porthole windows and doors require planning and investment, they yield amazing transformations. Curves replace squares for spaces exuding nautical charm.

Finishing Touches

Finish off your porthole decor with select accessories for authentic maritime ambiance. Layer in these special touches:

Rope Accents

Incorporate rope details like trim borders, towel racks, curtain ties, and wall art. Opt for natural twisted rope or jute in thick textures. macramé wall hangings also bring organic coziness.

Marine Maps

Mount framed navigational maps and nautical charts to reinforce the sailing motifs. Display maps actually marking notable ports for added meaning.

Model Ships

Perch model ships on shelves, tables, and in display cases. Select authentic replicas like tall ships and famous vessels or opt for artist renditions. Group multiples together for greater impact.


Scatter a few decorative compasses around the home – on side tables, bookshelves, and walls. Compasses remind visitors of wayfinding voyages and adventures.

Signal Flags

Use colorful nautical signal flags and banners as artwork and textiles. Fly flags from porch railings or incorporate patterns and motifs into pillows and towels.

Salvaged Parts

Incorporate salvaged nautical relics like steering wheels, anchors, and ship names. These reclaimed elements provide authentic maritime heritage.

Apply these special details thoughtfully, allowing porthole style to shine. Then bask in a home dressed to impress Poseidon himself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some budget-friendly ways to add porthole style?

Some less expensive options for achieving porthole style include choosing accent decor like mirrors, art, lamps with porthole designs. Also, paint or apply vinyl porthole shapes onto existing furniture and walls as faux trim.

How can I add porthole style to a rental home?

For rental spaces, stick to removable decor like framed porthole art, pendant lights, curtains with rope tiebacks, and themed textiles. Avoid any permanent changes like installing new windows or doors.

What rooms work best for embracing porthole style?

Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and bedrooms are great spaces for porthole windows, mirrors, lighting and hardware. Nautical vibes also suit entryways, dining rooms, living areas and offices.

What colors complement porthole style?

Navy blues, sea greens, sand beiges, and white serve as classic nautical color pairs. But portholes also pop against bold hues like cherry red, sunshine yellow, and deep gray. Have fun and don’t be afraid of color!

How do I mix porthole style with my existing decor?

Blend portholes with modern and eclectic spaces by limiting rounds to accent pieces only. In traditional rooms, go bolder with porthole cabinetry and lighting. The style is flexible enough to coexist with varied aesthetics.


Porthole style transports any home to the vast blue sea. Start by incorporating accent pieces with porthole shapes and nautical inspirations. Then expand the look through furniture, lighting, and architectural details. Layer in special finishes like rope, maps, and model ships. With creativity and boldness, embrace porthole style for a uniquely charming home sailing right into harbor. Say “ahoy!” to possibilities!