Nautical Cutouts & Their Symbolic Meaning

    As springtime hits its peak, many of us are looking forward to heading to the beach. Perhaps you're even thinking of dressing up the beach house. Want to add some killer curb appeal? Consider adding shutters with decorative cutout designs. They're quite popular with customers doing work on their coastal homes. Naturally, these seaside shutters tend to have a nautical theme. In our second installment of The Symbolism of #Shuttercuts, we'll delve into the meaning behind some of our most popular cutout designs—the well-loved nautical-themed #ShutterCuts.

    Whether you’re thinking of adding some extra detail to a beach home or simply love the ocean so much you want to have some aquatic designs on your year-round home, there are plenty of options to infuse your shutters with a bit of inspiration from the sea.

    The Meaning Behind Nautical Symbols: Shuttercuts #2

    DolphinDolphin shutter cutout

    One of our most popular designs, the dolphin has long been a favorite animal for many people. Known for their intelligence and playful personalities, dolphins also make many appearances throughout mythology and folklore. In Ancient Greek culture, dolphins were associated with curiosity, love, and liveliness. According to fishermen’s lore, dolphins represent good luck because they are visible in calm, safe waters.

    SailboatSail boat SHUTTER CUTOUT

    Sailboats symbolize journey and adventure. They also are associated with being carried along by the “breath of life,” as its primary form of momentum is gained through the wind in its sails. For these reasons, sailboats seem to carry a vivacious yet laidback “roll with the punches” theme—a perfect cutout design for shutters hanging upon the home of an adventurous spirit.


    It makes sense that seashells symbolize protection, as their primary purpose is to function as a barrier between soft-bodied aquatic life and their predators. But a seashell also represents hidden potential or treasure waiting to be found. A clever design choice for shutters on tucked-away seaside homes, or for anyone who loves the ocean and seashell designs.


    Seahorses are considered good luck and have a variety of other connotations drawn from their unique traits. They are some of the slowest swimmers in the ocean, content to ride the waves and be in the present—which reminds us to live in the now. When rocky waters sweep through, they hold tight using their curled tails, representing tenacity and persistence. These cutouts could easily be paired with some seahorse tiebacks to match the look!


    Anchors are widely known to symbolize stability. An integral tool for safe travel by sea, anchors tether boats in place during storms or when a destination has been reached. As such, they have come to represent reaching a goal and groundedness. Their heavy-duty durability has also earned them a connotation with strength.