Simple Ways To Update: Part 1

Make décor changes without breaking the bank

April 2015 Feature Katie Burke

There are two different kinds of interior decorating. First, there is building a brand new houseboat and hand-picking everything you like, which is nice. Then there’s redoing what you have and adding new elements to make the architecture work. Both projects can lead to great satisfaction for the boat owner.

But the bottom line is that there is nothing that dates a boat worse than bad décor. Thankfully, it’s easy to change out if you approach it the right way. Revamping your boat décor needn’t always be a major project and you don’t always have to spend a king’s ransom to finish it up. Here are some quick tips to achieve a fresh look, without breaking a sweat or your budget.

Arrange fresh cut flowers. Yes, it can be a pain to haul these to your houseboat, especially if you are on a far dock, but even a few daisies look charming in a small jar. If you find life-like fake ones, they too can be a perfect center piece. You can also dry flowers out. Roses, birthday bouquets and lavender can add a simple touch. Another idea is to set a potted plant in the windowsill.

Gather seashells and other knickknacks. Take a walk on the beach and pick up interesting (and free) seasonal accents for your home. A tray filled with pinecones, a tall vase of dried pampas grass stalks, or a bowl of colorful pebbles, beach glass or shells all make eye-catching décor pieces.

Display great coffee table books. This can add a spice to your current décor and is easy to switch out with something new.

Pick up a can of paint. A can of spray paint can do wonders to just about any old home décor item.

Find frames for pictures. Picture frames are abundant in your second-hand stores and plentiful in the clearance section of any craft store. You can also display your kids’ or grandkids’ artwork by framing it.

Update the look of your lamps with new lampshades in more contemporary styles or simply fresh white shades.

Display old mementos from past houseboating adventures. Hang up a memory board and keep mementos from your travels like: photos, tickets stubs, etc.

You can trick a small boat into feeling bigger by using transparent tables in small spaces, which will give your boat an uncluttered feel.

Add tactile and visual interest to the living area with a patterned rug. This pop of color will give a neutral room emphasis. Adding a table runner to an end table can fulfill the same effect.

Make a room appear brighter and larger by positioning a mirror to reflect light and the view of the lake.

Take a neutral couch that will stand the test of time and make it look current with accent pillows with material that follows the current trend. When the trend is over, you can easily switch out the pillows for something new.

Rely on a statement piece. Make a statement with a larger-scale wall piece, like a contemporary mirror or wall hanging.

Shop for double-duty pieces. Anytime one object can do two things, it’s a home run on a houseboat. Most commonly, you can buy a couch that doubles as a daybed. But you can also use an end table or couch with drawers to double as storage.

Re-tile kitchen backsplashes. Most backsplashes require only a few square feet of tile, so you can go all out with a more expensive tile to accent plain porcelain tile.

You can bring your houseboat back to life without buying a new boat. Update the colors. Get new furniture. Basically give your boat a new look by improving the design elements. It can be as simple or as complicated as you desire.

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