Navy and Gray Nautical Boy Bathroom

I finally finished up all the little details in my son’s navy and gray nautical boy bathroom, so today is the big reveal! This bathroom looks nothing like I thought it would now that it’s done, but I love it.

Lake House Nautical Boy Bathroom

Sometimes projects just go like that once you get started (case in point my newly painted wet bar cabinets from last week that ended up a putty color after an impromptu decision at the paint store).

lake house bathroom navy and gray

I had envisioned wallpaper and gray paneling (you can check out all the top wallpaper contenders in this post here) and nixed the wallpaper once I got started on the tongue and groove planks.

navy and gray boys bathroom

Then you all unanimously voted for gray paint on the vertical planking, but I had one cute little 8 year old boy begging for navy walls. If you saw his big blue eyes, you would have given in too :)

Navy vertical planked walls bathroom

I’m so glad I did because this space is SO him! He told me it feels just like the captain’s room on a boat. I mean, I feel like Captain Jack Sparrow could totally have penny tile on the Black Pearl right?!

Navy and Gray Nautical Boys bathroom

The dark paint color is so fun and not dark at all thanks to the big window and light floor tile. I will say that the large window sure makes for a tricky photo shoot though. Shooting the almost black walls vs the crazy bright sun reflecting off the snow made for a frustrating contrast situation. Not too mention that it’s a tight space to try to get a whole room shot. It’s so much better in person, but most things are.

gray vanity navy planked walls bathroom ideas

Let’s back up and check out the blah before again.

A white bathroom with gray tile

And after!

nautical boys bathroom

Such a fun change! Once I decided to go dark on the walls – Polo Blue by Benjamin Moore – I decided to go light on the vanity – Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams. I basically flip flopped the whole room, but it feels so fresh. If you missed my post last week, I detailed all my cabinet painting tips and I used the exact same method for these cabinets, check it out here.

light french gray cabinets


One thing I think I would do different is using MDF for the planks vs pine. However, my son and the Mr. love the way the pine looks. The knots and wood grain really add to that cottage feeling, but it was a pain to work with. Most of the boards were warped or busted on the edges. I bought this tongue and groove pine at Lowes in packages of six and I would say four out of every six boards were useable. It was a bit frustrating. If you attempt this project, I would definitely opt for an MDF product that would be a bit more consistent. The Mr. thinks I’m nuts because he loves the pine, but he also didn’t have to deal with putting it up ;)

navy planked walls

I attached it with wood adhesive and my brad nailer. I marked the studs in several spots being sure to hit a few, but because this is tongue and groove they interlocked as well. I finished the top with a piece of trim after painting to keep my lines nice and neat. I also added a piece of 1/4 round to the bottom trim to finish it off nicely.

nautical wall art society 6

My son picked out this art (after I curated a choice of 8 pieces for him to choose from) from Society 6. I love letting him have a say in his space and he was so excited when he got home from school to see his choices hanging up on the wall. I really let both my kids put their stamp on their spaces and while a lot of the time they aren’t necessarily my fave or what I would choose, I love that they have a sense of ownership over their space. Someday I can decorate it any old boring way I want when they up and leave me. Although my son says he will live here until he is 34, which I’m super ok with. I’m feeling all the feels this week as my daughter just turned 12 and time seems to be going way too fast!

nautical shower curtain boys bathroom

Ok off my sobby mom tangent and back to the room. We kept his same shower curtain that he is obsessed with and added new striped towels. I also hung up this large peg rack behind his door in the hopes that this summer a good 6 out of 10 wet bathings suits per week find their way there. A mom can dream!

navy planked walls boys bathroom

I put a hook with easier access to the shower over on this wall with this cute fishing bear print above.

nautical boys bathroom

fishing bear wall art

Oh and I swapped out the lights! The ones I had here before were a bit too large and also required those Edison bulbs, which didn’t provide the best lighting. These new black and chrome ones bring in the black hardware and countertops. I still would love to swap the counters out someday soon, but I think they work so much better with the space now.

black and chrome bathroom vanity lights

All in all, this was a fun project and I think my DIY itch is scratched for a while…although I have been toying with the idea of painting the kitchen island now too….

A bathroom with a mirror and sink

SOURCES:– This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you. Just click on the BOLD words.

Wall color – Polo Blue – Benjamin Moore

Vanity color – Light French Gray Sherwin Williams

Penny tile – Lowes

Stool – Ballard Designs

Towels – Garnet Hill

Whale Art – Society 6

Wave art – Society 6

Bear art – Society 6

Hanging Art  frame – Target

Lights – Shades of Light

Shower curtain – Urban Outfitters

Birch wood wall rack – amazon

Foaming Soap Dispenser – amazon

Toothbrush holder – amazon


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  1. So fun! Handsomely beautiful. May I please ask you the sizes of the bear print and the black frame? Thank you. Love your posts!

  2. Perfection! I for one, think the navy walls were the right choice. Your son has great taste, like his mom. All the details are beautiful.

  3. Love it all!! Really cool that your son was so involved, too. Is the cute wooden stool, with the interesting carved seat, available anywhere?

  4. I LOVE IT!!!! It turned out so good, great choices in colors. And as frustrating as it surely was with the pine boards, it is BEST that you did not use MDF boards. Our builder used a lot of MDF in our home to cut costs, and any that are exposed to even the slightest bit of moisture have resulted in the boards swelling and looking terrible. We now have A LOT of trim needing to be replaced – all trim around exterior doors, trim in the bathrooms, and the window trim above my kitchen sink. When we finished our basement on our own, we opted for spruce carsiding for the ceilings in the 2 bedrooms, and it gives that awesome rustic, knotty look, and it’s holding up beautifully. Just thought I’d mention that option for ceilings & walls for your readers.

  5. This room is absolutely beautiful and the new vanity color is so much better than that shade of blue. Love, love the new vanity light fixtures.

  6. Love it all! The dark walls, the light gray vanity, the art work and lights! Beautiful job! He is one lucky boy to have such a talented mom.

  7. It’s lovely:) As a native of Plymouth, MA, and now an Army wife:) I will say it makes me homesick…. I love anything nautical and navy:)
    a great job!!
    can’t wait to have our own house…oh, and my 9 year old son has assured me he will be living here forever as well!hah!
    all the best
    veronica:) aka ronnie rooney:)

  8. LOVE everything about this room. I love dark colors in smaller rooms…especially with white woodwork. The wall color and the woodwork POP. The color ties his blue bed in perfectly. I think the vanity counter top looks fine…no need to change.
    Isn’t it great when last minute change of plans work out the best!

  9. Looks FANTASTIC!!!!! I do have a question. Did you remove the trim around the door and window when you installed the pine or did you just butt it up against it?? I agree with most everyone . . . I thought the dark would make the room look small but boy was I wrong!!! The big window and the light floor balance it out beautifully!!! I need you to come to MY HOUSE and decorate LOL!!! Blessings from Missouri!

  10. I love how this came out! Love the dark paint on the panels. Quick question about your cabinets. Are they all wood or are the doors constructed with MDF? The panels on my cabinet doors are MDF and after 1 year I am already having issues (I believe due to poor painting) where moisture has gotten in and expanded the MDF fibers on some corners. I’m curious if your cabinet doors have MDF panels because I’m really nervous to attempt to repaint mine!

  11. Wow, spectacular! Kelly, you’re an incredible designer – and DIYer. Your son must be so proud of his new bathroom… and of his mom. :-)

  12. Perfection! I never responded on the original post but my initial thought was, if any other room probably white walls but boys bathroom make it nautical. That Polo Blue color is gorgeous!

  13. Wow! It looks amazing. I wasn’t sure either about the dark and how it would be in the bathroom, but like you said with that window it doesn’t seem to make that space look small at all. Awesome job!! Love it, I’m sure he does as well!

  14. Outstanding!!!!! Originally I thought the dark walls would really close in the space, but it doesn’t. Your attention to each detail is remarkable. The shower curtain and art give it such personality. Truly a reflection of a little pirate!

  15. Love, love, love it! I’m contemplating vertical shiplap in our bathrooms as well and pondered how MDF would hold up to the moisture in a bathroom. I’m not an expert, but I’d guess you went in the right direction. Lucky little man.

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