For every theme I work to, there is a trail of inspirational clues I follow before I reach a conclusion...
When I was working out the finer details of my Tradewinds palette, the markers included these favourite things.
A decrepit blue-boxed collection of dragonflies and butterflies found in a Paris flea market.
I arrived at the neutral colours when contemplating the fittings on the boat: decks, brushes, pulleys, rope, ladders, sails, barrels of whisky.
Seaglass and trade beads. Also evil-eye beads (in so many shades of blue) – sailors were a suspicious bunch.
All these elements came together quite naturally. As you lay out the key pieces you want in your scheme or look, you'll find yourself journeying down the rabbit hole and finding unexpected elements that cement your look. The key is keeping your mind open and your eyes peeled.