Most people choose to live in a house, apartment or condo, but a few more adventurous souls decide to do things differently and embark on an altogether different sort of life: in a house boat.
Life on the water is not for everyone. Water moves around a lot, even if there is very little current, so if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on dry land a house boat probably won’t be for you. There are also a lot of other issues to think about, such as where you are going to moor your boat, but once you have sorted these out, the next item on the ‘to-do’ list is look at decorative schemes for the interior and exterior of the boat.

 
Tricky Design Issues

Boats come with their own set of design problems. Most boats are long and narrow, so space is an issue. This can make it difficult to find suitable furniture so you may end up paying for made to measure pieces to ensure they are a good fit. Water is also a problem on boats. No matter how careful you are, water will find a way in one way or another, so you need to be prepared for this eventuality. But once you get your head around these problems, the rest is easy.

Buy Sturdy Furniture

Boats don’t sit still on the water. They move, and if they are moored on the open water, they can move rather a lot if weather conditions are rough and the sea is choppy. Because of this, you have to choose your furniture carefully. In sea-faring boats, furniture is usually tied down one way or another to prevent it slamming from one side of the boat to the other. In a house boat this may not be necessary, but you should make sure that whatever furniture you choose is sturdy. So stay away from glass if you want to avoid nasty accidents.

Make the Most of the View

Part of the fun of living on a house boat is that you get to enjoy the Great Outdoors from the comfort of a boat. Assuming your houseboat is moored somewhere scenic, you really need to make the most of the views. To this end, install some attractive seating on the deck or roof of your house boat, and in the summer, supplement this with large, colorful floor cushions so your guests can relax and enjoy the view with you.

Let There Be Light

Boats can be quite dark once you step below deck, so lots of lighting is essential. Windows do need to have blinds on them for privacy, but try and fit blinds that retract fully so you can let as much light in as possible during the day. If you choose table lamps for below deck, make sure they are fixed down to avoid accidents. Solar string lights can be used to decorate the exterior of the boat – not only will your boat look super attractive but it will also be easy to find in the dark!

Lastly, don’t forget to keep lots of lifejackets handy for guests as well as yourself – boat safety is paramount when on the water, even if the boat is permanently moored.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

3 thoughts on “Design Tips for Decorating a House Boat”
  1. Hello Erica,

    I have also my own house boat, but never try such decorative ideas. So I am excited to use your tips on it want to change the looks of it. These house boats are wonderful.

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