Books – My Cool Houseboat

Do you ever yearn for a life afloat? I know I do. There’s an innate romanticism and appeal about boats and messing about on the water. Wouldn’t it be nice to downsize? To reduce possessions to the barest minimum, stow it all away in ingenious storage solutions, and just escape.

A surprising number of people are electing to do just that apparently. They are choosing to live on boats and transform them into stylish and comfortable homes and sometimes even thriving businesses. My Cool Houseboat allows us to have a nosy around these homes and explore the individual expressions of style, whether of small creative projects or larger more ambitious ones.

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion (2)

Photograph: Richard Maxted

Probably everyone’s ideal vision of barge living the one above is actually a bookshop as well as a home. Although it has two separate functions it has been designed to look and feel like a whole with the vintage and modern books displayed as part of life, and it spends it’s life between locations in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion (5)

Photograph: Richard Powers

The Dutch barge above now resides in a former commercial port just off the Seine in Paris. The designer/architect who lives here with her daughter loves life afloat so much she has her water-based office moored just a short walk away. The earthy colour scheme has a quite masculine feel spiced with rough industrial decor, natural linens and occasional vivid injections of colour. It seems even the cat is colour coordinated!

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion (3)

Photograph: Richard Maxted

Nicknamed the African Queen after the vessel in the classic movie, the above boat was bought initially as a home but is now a base for the owners’ yoga and coaching work and rental holiday accommodation. It’s moored in Berlin, is painted white throughout and is very simply furnished with a few vintage pieces. Just the tranquil spot for a bit of yoga.

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion (4)

Photograph: Matthew Millman

The light and airy living space above and it’s spacious outside deck is in San Francisco and offers something that is a common draw for houseboat dwellers. That is, a cool home, on the water, but with the city literally on the doorstep. And this one is a 1970’s style, architect designed home with oodles of natural light and a neutral colour palette that does not detract from the view.

My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, published by Pavilion (1)

Photograph: Richard Maxted

The bright bedroom above is in a narrow boat that is moored in London, in a very hip and up-and-coming area not far from the Olympic Park. The internal space is the size of a modest one bedroom flat but with the added benefit explained by the owner. “When you fancy a weekend away, you can just set off from your city mooring, taking your house with you, and travel up the London river and canal system, stopping at hip bars and cafes on your way out of town.

Now that’s what I can escapism.


My Cool Houseboat by Jane Field-Lewis, is published by Pavilion.



  1. Reply


    July 6, 2015

    I read this a month ago and came back to say thanks for the inspiration. It was more the inspiration to get back on a house boat for a holiday with friends. We used to do this many moons ago. I even once contemplated buying one to live in at university but never quite had the courage. Still none of the ones I’ve been on or will go on will live up to these standards. well…one day perhaps.

    • Reply


      July 6, 2015

      Glad you liked the post Verity 🙂

  2. Reply

    Jess @ Wallpaper Ink

    July 1, 2015

    Who knew houseboats could look so stunning inside! This decor is absolutely gorgeous!

    • Reply


      July 1, 2015

      Absolutely Jess. Thanks for the comment 🙂