If it Floats: Inspired by Buoyant Design

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ August 6, 2008

In this part of the country, we're lucky to be confronted with a variety of options for dwellings. Sure the cities of the Pacific Northwest boast your standard brick and mortar abodes, but something that has always fascinated me are the pirate-esque personalities that are drawn to life floating on rivers and lakes. I'll proudly admit I've been fantasizing about houseboat life for years... and was lucky enough to experience a taste of it when my cousin bought his lovely diminutive houseboat on Seattle's Lake Washington.

Photo Credit: flickr

Luckily for me and other houseboat enthusiasts, this peculiarly romantic lifestyle is not strictly contained to the city that gives us salmon and Starbucks. Just across town, I am compelled to wonder what life is like floating on the Willamette near Sauvie's Island, or in the sleek shadow of the Ross Island Bridge. And so while I'm daydreaming, I find myself pestering those I do know about life on the water. As you might imagine, I'm often met with similar answers: small.

Making Spaces Matter Again
However, where square footage is sacrificed, something altogether different is gained: Say, waking up to the echo of wake against your headboard, morning kayak treks off your front porch before work, and an entirely different sort of neighbor...maybe the playful sort with long translucent whiskers and an irrepressible penchant for shellfish.

Its easy assume that living in a houseboat requires a stark, minimalist approach, but this is becoming less and less the case, as sea dwellers and contractors alike get more creative with the ways they use the space that is available in many house boat plans.

Photo Credit: Portland Ground

Maybe a houseboat isn't in my future for a while, or yours, but we can all relate to being frustrated by small spaces. What better place to start looking for solutions than a place where space is at such a high premium?

For deeper insight into how small spaces can be transformed, and what its like to live on a houseboat

If its other kinds of alternative houses you're curious about, you might want to look at another posting

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