Unique ways to furnish your house boat

words Al Woods

There are some adventurers out there that have shied away from the traditional home setting of a house or flat and have opted to live their lives on a boat, and in particular a narrowboat.

A narrowboat allows its resident to explore the British waterways, and call anywhere that allows Boat Mooring home, which is perfect for those with itchy feet.

There is an issue with this kind of accommodation however – how to effectively and efficiently decorate and style the interior. You need to make the most of the space available whilst also making it a cosy and stylish place to call home.

Here are some tips on how you can furnish your house boat:

Pick a Theme

narrow boatIt is difficult to know where to start when it comes to decorating, and this is the same for boats as well. A lot of ideas can begin to merge and can result in a mismatched interior. To put you on the right track, research a variety of interior themes. Once you have a theme that you like, you can begin searching for furniture, flooring, lights, paint, art etc. to bring those ideas to life.

Some themes you may consider are:

Hygge: A Scandinavian style consisting of chunky knits, faux fur and neutral tones.

Industrial: The hipster way of decorating. Consists of raw wood, dark leather and metal.

Contemporary: A staple theme, bold colours and clean, modern furnishings.

You can also use Pinterest for more ideas and images of narrowboat interior themes and decorating ideas.

Utilise Space

furnish your house boatThe truth is, unless you have a 100ft yacht, you won’t have tonnes of space, meaning it is wise to think about how you can utilise what space you have effectively. For example, instead of buying a sofa that is just a sofa, opt for a sofa that is also a bed. This gives the sofa a dual purpose as well as giving you an extra place for someone to sleep.

Similarly, ensure that a dining table has the ability to be folded flat. It is likely that a table would only be used three times a day for meals so having it take up valuable space 24/7 is likely to be a hindrance, fold down chairs will also help save valuable space.

When considering storage solutions, avoid blocking the inboard prop shaft, which requires accessible space for maintenance. You can use vertical storage options to keep the floor area free, making your boat feel less cluttered.

Practical Options

furnish your house boatUnsurprisingly on a boat it can get wet. This is something that needs to be considered when purchasing soft furnishings such as rugs. For practicality opt for a garden/patio rug to furnish your boat, these are often durable, can withstand furniture and are fine with getting a little wet. There are many stylish options out there to suit whatever way you decide to decorate your boat.

Also consider the lighting options in the boat, as nice as pendant cord lights would look in an industrial themed boat, you are likely to take a fair few knocks to the head as a result of having them. Get an electrician to install spot lights throughout the boat, these are flush with surfaces meaning they don’t take up room and won’t cause injury.

Measure, Measure, Measure

You need to remember that a narrowboat is not the same size as a house. This may seem like a matter of common sense but it is easy to get overly excited on a trip to Ikea, all of a sudden you may find yourself purchasing a large dining room table and a 6ft bookshelf. The reality is that you will probably have to go out of your way to find specifically sized items so they actually fit in the boat comfortably. Your houseboat remodeling ideas have to be realistic but can still be imaginative.

Measure the space you have and if it helps, draw a diagram of how you want the rooms on the boat to look. This way you will have a solid plan and the sizes of what you need. There are even retailers who offer furniture specifically designed for narrowboats. Once measured, some go as far as marking out their ideas in masking tape in the boat, allowing them to properly physically visualise the space.



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