Written by Hugh Metcalf

Take a tour of this compact but stylish houseboat

Not only does this houseboat in London offer ample space for modern living, it’s been designed with sustainability in mind. 

house boat with corten steel cladding - house tours - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

When designer Owain and art teacher Rosie set about creating their dream home on a houseboat, they knew exactly how to make the most of this challenging small space – after all, they had spent the last 8 years living on boats.

But, before delving into the impressive interiors, you can’t help but notice the exterior of their home is much unlike the traditional picture of a canal boat. To create a unique look, the couple opted for Corten steel cladding – a striking metal that weathers to a beautiful orange patina.

“It’s a sustainable choice as no maintenance is required once the stable rust-like appearance is developed,” explains Owain. “The rust forms a protective coating that slows the rate of corrosion.” Its eco-credentials are also bolstered by the fact that it means no marine paints are ever required, and these paints are extremely hazardous and toxic.

Open-plan living

compact kitchen on a house boat - house tours - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

While you might imagine that a houseboat’s proportions would only lend itself to catering for two, Owain and Rosie have created a home that’s spacious enough to entertain. There aren’t many homes on solid ground with a dining table that’s able to easily fit 10 around it, but this open-plan kitchen and living room has ample room for guests.

The kitchen has plenty of storage, appliances including a Smeg fridge and sink, where you can watch ducks swim past while doing the dishes.

living space on a house boat - house tours - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

The living space is filled with plants to ensure the room feels comfortable and homely. A woodburner provides vital heating for the home during the winter months to ensure the space remains warm and cosy all year around.

“Boat life is far more environmentally friendly than living in bricks and mortar,” says Owain. “We don’t take up any land, we are a much smaller space, and use much less energy to heat up and keep warm. We burn recycled wood pellets from local joineries. We are far more conscious of resources we use and waste we produce as everything has transported on and off the boat.”

Two bedrooms

bedroom on a house boat - house tours - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

The houseboat has two bedrooms – the main bedroom with a double bed alongside a single bed space. The main bedroom opens out to the front of the boat, acting as a small terrace which is the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee.

Read more: Top tips for entertaining in a small dining room

Fully formed bathroom

bathtub in modern bathroom on a house boat - house tours - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

You might not expect a bathroom of this size, or style, on a houseboat, but it proves that anything is possible if you’re smart with the space. A compact bathtub has a brass shower overhead, meaning all options are covered.

Tile bathroom with basin on a house boat - house tour - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Rightmove

A large vanity offers a stylish space to get ready in the morning, while the WC is a composting toilet, typical for safe, hygienic disposal of waste on a houseboat.

“Boaters need to be aware of their surroundings and measures need to be taken to stop pollution of the waterways,” Owain explains. “All soaps and detergents need to be eco friendly and our toilet is compost so uses no water, the waste can be composted when broken down. Waste and recycling has to be carried to local bins so is best kept to a minimum and you are conscious of what you’re producing.”

The houseboat, which is currently on a ‘Continuous Cruising’ license in London, is currently up for sale with Rightmove, valued at £149,950. The perfect first step onto the property ladder, especially in expensive London, see the property on the Rightmove website.


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