12 Houseboats We’d Like to Sail Away On


Our ears are still buzzing from last night’s fireworks spectacular, and we can’t help but feel a little sentimental about our great nation’s reverence for picnics, parades and Ball Park® Franks all in the name of hard-earned freedom and independence. Nothing says freedom like a floating, seafaring lifestyle, so in honor of the ten best things ever added to the United States Constitution, we’ve rounded up houseboats for every style. Whether you’re a diehard modern minimalist or a bohemian thrift store bargain hunter, click through to find your ticket to free living. Then, let us know in the comments what you’d want in a houseboat.

For the minimalist with great taste: Watervilla De Omval Floating House by +31 Architects

Image credit: Colin Morsch via dezeen

This gorgeous split-level houseboat is a welcome alternative to the ramshackle wooden structures of yesteryear.

For the DIY eco chic Dwell subscriber: Schwimmhaus by Confused-Direction

Image credit: SchwimmHausBoot

An eco-friendly floating home you can build yourself with zero-emissions, a green roof, and materials salvaged from a 250-year-old farmer’s shed.

For the traditionalist in denial who thinks having IKEA’s MALM bed set makes him modern: Houseboat by Waterliving

Image credit: inhabitat

If you just can’t quite give up the quaint vernacular of the traditional houseboat, this wooden charmer’s for you.

For the luxe whimsical modernist who loves a pop of color: House Boat by Living Agency

Image credit: Living Agency

Proof that a houseboat doesn’t have to look like a boring model home in a suburban housing development.

For the OCD design snob whose Kubrick obsession got the better of him: Last Resort by RAFAA Architecture & Design

Image credit: RAFAA via Blue Vertical Studio

Taking its cue from the undulating shape of the waterfront, this open-air Swiss concept for floating mobile architecture is minimal to the max: “Beds and couches are embedded into the floor and can be opened as the need arises.”

For the naturalist who loves loft living: MetroShip by Ray Davenport and David Ballinger

Image credit: freshome

Inspired by a Tribeca loft, the open floor plan is outfitted with a state-of-the art media center that includes a high definition movie theater, an XL computer monitor, and an entertainment center that lets you play Wii on the big screen. There are Gaggenau and Viking appliances in the kitchen, and custom Italian cabinets in the bathroom. If that’s not enough to make it sound like every overpriced loft listing in downtown Manhattan, the eco-friendly furniture is made using recycled frames and fabric remnants. Who says you have to leave the comforts of city living behind?

For the impatient design lover with a big family and lots of friends in need of a Zen getaway: Prefab Floating House by MOS Architects

Image credit: archiCentral

As the designers explain, “it’s not the go-anywhere houseboat that fits in nowhere, but the location-tethered home on the water that belongs to its environment. Prefabrication was the key to bringing this house to a remote site on the water. The finished project was actually floated across from the workshop of the contractor further down the lake, saving on transport time and cost.

For a social seafaring life: Floating Modular Neighborhood by Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

Image credit: inhabitat

Anticipating rising seas thanks to global warming, the Dutch village of IJburg has made the best of the doom and gloom with this enchanting floating neighborhood. The modular homes offer endless options: “Wall panels can be swapped for windows to adjust each house to its site. On a hot day residents can jump off the porch for a dip, or in winter they can strap on a pair of ice skates to get around.”

For houseboat lovers on a budget with an affinity for the color green: Sweet Pea by Mike Auderer

Image credit: Apartment Therapy

This turnkey houseboat might not have the enviable high design or expensive European appliances of some of the others listed here, but what it lacks in sophistication, it more than makes up for in being pretty darn cute.

For the new bohemian: The Wave House by Robert Oschatz

Image credit: Inspiration Green

Your bohemian self grew up, got a job, made a ton of money, and built a floating version of the treehouse of your dreams.

For Renovation Hardware enthusiasts everywhere: Renovated century-old houseboat by Todd and Krissy Biernacki

Image credit: casasugar

If cottage style and chic industrial hardware are more your vibe, this homey little houseboat has your name all over it.

For anyone: Houseboat on the Eilbek Canal by Sprenger Von Der Lippe

Image credit: Meike Hansen via designboom

We’ll trade in any land loving house for this gorgeous boat of a home — no problem.