Home Design Experts Explain How To Turn Your Home Into An Ocean Paradise With Mermaidcore

You may be familiar with the idea of incorporating nautical or coastal design elements into your space, carefully selecting materials and features that epitomize those aesthetics. However, the latest trend, mermaidcore, takes things a little deeper underwater — and if you haven't yet heard about it, it's time to dive into what the whimsical style is all about. Whether you decide to pay homage to mermaidcore with a few smaller accessories or to fully embrace the trend and switch out tiles or some larger design element in a space, this trending aesthetic is a must-try for anyone craving an ocean-inspired design influence with a twist.

There are a few design elements that characterize the mermaidcore look and set it apart from other design styles inspired by the sea and water, including particular colors, textures, finishes, and patterns.

"The textures used in nautical décor are much more matte and rustic, nodding to the driftwoods of the sea. Mermaidcore incorporates more shimmering, pearly textures that are reminiscent of the fairy-tale aesthetic we know so well, making it a more ethereal look," explained James Roberts, director of Sanctuary Bathrooms, in an exclusive interview with House Digest.

Johanna Constantinou, Tapi's brand and communications director, who also spoke exclusively with HD, added that mermaidcore is "slightly more whimsical than your traditional nautical trends, but is still done tastefully to feel sophisticated." Further, "It also ties in perfectly to the dopamine dressing trends we're currently seeing, with people wanting to inject more color into their homes."

Get inspired by a color palette from beneath the sea

When you envision an ocean-inspired color palette, you likely think of the shades of the water or beach. However, mermaidcore takes its color inspiration from further beneath the sea's surface.

As James Roberts explained in his exclusive interview with House Digest, "While a nautical look typically relies on pastel blues, neutrals, and whites, mermaidcore's color scheme is more typical of the array of shades you see in the coral reef." Similarly, Johanna Constantinou recommended mermaidcore enthusiasts "get inspired by looking into the colors of the coral reef and choosing five core shades that work well together, and build out from there."

While a coat of paint works wonders to refresh a space, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate a mermaidcore color palette, such as in textiles. "Nail down the color scheme by swapping out soft furnishings, such as cushions, towels, throws, storage boxes, and bottles," advises Constantinou. Or, consider a new area rug. "Dressing your floors with rugs that fit within this color scheme can then be a great way to pull it all together to create a cohesive look in your room," she added, in her exclusive House Digest interview. "Perhaps go more adventurous by choosing one in a deep blue shade to replicate the sea."

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with lighting hues. "Change your bulbs to a fun color-changing LED so you can add an ocean-feeling blue hue to any room," suggests Roberts.

Weave in design details and decorative accents

While mermaidcore is more about certain colors, textures and finishes, there is one design detail that pops up time and time again: scalloped edges.

"Accessories with scalloped edging are fitting for mermaidcore as they look like fish scales, so adding towels to your bathroom with scalloped edges is a subtle and sophisticated nod," said James Roberts, who recently spoke exclusively with House Digest about the trending aesthetic. If you're interested in incorporating this detail in a larger way, "look for a rug with scalloped edges," suggests Johanna Constantinou, in her own exclusive HD interview. Alternatively, for those interested in making a slightly more permanent change, you could include a scalloped border on a tile backsplash, scallop-shaped tiles, or even paint a scalloped trim along a feature area in the space.

One thing to keep in mind whenever you're weaving in mermaidcore influences, however, is that you try to keep it fairly subtle, lest your space seem like it was taken straight out of "The Little Mermaid." As Constantinou reminds us, "Mermaidcore is ethereal and elegant," so you want to incorporate relevant touches tastefully. 

When seeking out appropriate textures, consider accessories "made from a material such as sea glass or have a pearly finish," Roberts recommends. And in terms of shiny finishes, he likewise warns against going way overboard. "Good places to incorporate shiny elements are in fittings and fixtures (lights, taps etc.) and in ornaments, such as vases, trinkets, and mirror or picture frames."