Warm Up Your Houseboat in the Cold Winter

Published in the January 2016 Issue January 2017 Feature Nicole LoCicero

At first, the winter air might be refreshing. After a few months, it's just cold! This is the price we pay for living in a houseboat.

What if we could redecorate our houseboat to make it feel a little warmer?

Sometimes, just having things that look warm and inviting is enough to make the whole interior of the houseboat feel a little cozier. There are also things you can add that will actually physically heat up the houseboat for the cold months, while still looking stylish.

You don't have to spend a lot of money. The things you buy can be used again and again every year. Not only will they look good, they will create an inviting, appealing aura for your guests, making your houseboat the preferred place to visit among your friends even when the weather gets cold.

1. Heat

Add some heaters that look and sound like fireplaces. You won’t find a lot of fireplaces onboard a houseboat, but that doesn't mean you can't get the cozy, wonderful look and feeling of one. There are medium-sized space heaters that use radiant heat, making them safer than traditional space heaters, and they look and sound just like small fireplaces. They have screens in front and faux logs behind the screens. When you plug these heaters in and turn them on, they make a fireplace "crackling" noise, and come with light controls you can use to make the logs and the faux "fire" appear dim or bright, as you choose. Put one in one room or in every room on your houseboat for ideal winter decorating.

2. Go for Rugs

Put rugs down in all the rooms that are used the most often, such as the living room, dining room, bedrooms and even the kitchen. Use warm colors, such as reds, oranges and a variety of earth tones. This will give the place a warm look, which can translate into a warm feeling for the room. It also helps keep you from walking on cold floors when you put them down.

You can take it a step further and even hang decorative rugs on the walls to make the place seem even more warm and inviting. Plus, rugs on the walls actually will warm up a room by insulating it and keeping the heat inside.

3. Heavy Drapes

Heavy drapes in warm earth tones will also create a virtual feeling of warmth in your houseboat while also insulating it, especially at night when the curtains are drawn. A lot of heat is lost through the glass on windows, and the heavy drapes will help keep the heat inside the boat where it belongs during the cold winter evenings.

4. Throws with Nautical Themes

You want your houseboat to be nice and cozy, but you don't want to forget you are actually on a boat. Buy several warm, plush throws to put on the backs of your sofas, chairs and other furniture. Make sure they have nautical themes to keep the houseboat theme going strong through the winter season. Whenever anyone is cold, they can just wrap up in one of these throws, and know they are snug and cozy on the water.

5. Outdoor Lights

You don't want to forget the deck of your boat when winter comes. The days are shorter in the winter, and the nights are longer. Decorating the outer parts of the boat, including the roof of the living quarters, the outer walls, and the railing on the deck with strings of blue or while lights is perfect for keeping things well-lit outside while conforming to a winter decorative motif. When you use blue or white lights, you are signaling not the celebration of any holiday, but the acknowledgement of winter in general. And, as a bonus, it really makes your boat stand out from the others that may be docked around it.

These simple decorating tricks will get your boat through the winter and make it perfectly comfy, cozy, and comfortable for anyone who lives there or visits. Stock up on hot cocoa or any of your other favorite winter beverages, decorate using these tips, and your houseboat will be ready for you to enjoy the winter season while living on the water.

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