Fun Ways to Decorate Your Houseboat

Published in the December 2015 Issue December 2016 Feature Nicole LoCicero

Whether you are using it as a vacation home or call it your permanent residence, having a houseboat is a luxury. For those who love the water, it really doesn’t get much better than this. You also have the opportunity to decorate this unique space, and it is important to make your houseboat feel like home. But you should have some fun and take some risks with your decorating. A houseboat is already an unconventional living space, so you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to get creative with your décor as well.

Play Up Your Nautical Surroundings

While it may seem a little cliché at first, incorporating a nautical theme into your space is a natural choice. However, you can do this in a way that is subtle and classy. Decorate with vintage pieces like a wooden steering wheel from an old ship, boat oars or maps. Incorporate nautical rope into your design as well. This can be done by simply putting some of it in a glass vase or jar, or you can even find furniture like ottomans and side tables that are wrapped with nautical rope. Don’t forget about the natural elements that surround you as well. Seashells and starfish are always a nice touch to include when you are living on the water.

Go Bold & Modern

A modern houseboat with clean lines and minimal décor is a refreshing addition to the water. Give the exterior of your houseboat a modern refresh by taking a simplistic approach with materials like wood and metal. Incorporate a modern look on the inside of your houseboat as well by using neutral colors and keeping things simple. Purchase a sleek sofa for the living room and consider having open shelving in the kitchen. Modern design focuses on form over function, so let the structure of your houseboat speak for itself.

Make It Luxurious

Just because you are living on the water doesn't mean you cannot enjoy the finer things that many traditional homes have to offer. Splurge on your bathroom and make it a real retreat, since you are already in the most perfect location to relax. Go ahead and install a gourmet kitchen too if your budget allows for it. Everyone always wants to hang out on a houseboat, so give yourself a galley that is fully equipped for some great entertaining.

Bring Some Greenery To The Water

Even though a houseboat immerses you within nature, the one thing missing is green space. Fortunately, you don't have to go without. Simply bring your own greenery to the water. Flower boxes under the windows add a pop of color to the exterior of your houseboat and make it look cozy. You can also add potted plants and trees to your entryway and outdoor entertaining areas to soften things up. You could even start your own potted garden out on the deck.

Make Color Your Friend

A houseboat is already a unique living situation, so you might as well get creative with your décor too. Add a pop of color to your kitchen with red kitchen cabinets. Now that will get the attention of your guests! You could also incorporate a fun accent tile in your bathrooms. From yellow glass mosaic tiles to blue tiles featuring a floral pattern, there are plenty of options available that are sure to make a statement in your houseboat.

Embrace The Water

When you are living on the water, the reality is that things inside are going to get wet. You might as well accept this fact and embrace the water. When possible, use fabrics that are easy to wipe, like vinyl. Fortunately for you, there are many durable fabrics available today in all of your favorite patterns, so you don’t have to skimp on style just because you are being practical. This will save you from worrying about all of your furnishings getting ruined. Additionally, use wood that has been waterproofed to prevent it from warping and rotting. You can still decorate with as much wood as you want, as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep it looking great.

Get Creative With Your Storage

One of the downsides to living on a houseboat is the lack of storage space available in many of them. Whether you are making this your permanent home or just using it as a vacation spot, people come with a lot of baggage—literally. However, a few innovative design decisions can help you get the extra storage space that you need. Decorate with benches, side tables and ottomans that can all open up and be used to store items. You can even add some extra drawers under the beds to take advantage of what is usually wasted space. If you get a little creative, you can find ways to have plenty of storage space in your houseboat.

Soak It Up

Since you are lucky enough to be living on a houseboat, you should embrace and enjoy the beauty of it all. The best accessory to any place is a happy homeowner!

Photos credited to Nicole LoCicero

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