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Making Waves

Floating Homes and Life on the Water

Portland Mitchell


The ultimate inspirational guide for anyone dreaming of living on a boat of their own, featuring practical tips on everything from clever storage solutions to finding moorings and living off-grid

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Every boat has a story. For thousands of years, water-borne vessels have provided livelihoods and catered to our spirit of adventure – as well as retreats from the pressures of modern life. It is little wonder that life on the water calls out to the creative and the curious – the mavericks, artists, architects, crafters and designers who have made their homes on barges, clippers and houseboats.

Featuring an international range of vessels, Making Waves celebrates those outliers seeking a different way of life, exploring how living on a boat offers the chance to achieve a more satisfying life/work balance while holding much of the paraphernalia and constrictions of the modern world at bay. With stunning photography and packed with practical advice and inspiration, the book reveals how anyone can transform one-time working crafts into beautiful and unique places to live and work.

Each home featured affords its dwellers a retreat. Some glide through extraordinary countryside; others bob companionably in city wharfs. Their interiors reflect the residents’ imaginations, styles, families and working lives, demonstrating how even seemingly challenging spaces can be transformed into unique and intriguing living quarters. The compelling personal stories behind each boat will encourage and inspire readers to consider a shift in their own lifestyles and embrace a life on the water.

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'It’s impossible to look at this book and not find something that floats your boat'

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.0 x 19.5 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 225

Publication date: 4 May 2023

ISBN: 9780500024218

Contents List

Introduction: A Water-borne Life

Green Credentials

A Clean Sweep: Feniks, Netherlands
Amazing Spaces: Reetainer, UK
Plug & Play: Altar, Brazil
Afloat in the Delta: Mini, Argentina

Creating an Urban Retreat

A Community on the Water: Boat With No Name, USA
French Navy: Le Cid, France
Industrial Luxury: Lisbeth, Germany
At Home on a Super Yacht: Bella Coola, China

The Nomadic Lifestyle

Seventy Degrees North: Stødig, Norway
Pirates on the Savannah: Soggybottom Shanty, USA
The Maid of Kent: Lady Cat, UK
Space to Roam: Raumschiff, Germany

Renovating & Decorating

At the Wheel: Oldenburg, Denmark
Water Babies: Graaf Floris V, Netherlands
Family Home: This One Floats, UK
Cargo Barge Reinvention: Bosco, UK

Creative Channels

Life in Full Colour: Zazi Houseboat, Netherlands
Grand Design: Schuit, Netherlands
Living History: LV93, UK
Make Do & Mend in the East End: De Walvisch, UK

Photo credits

About the Author

Portland Mitchell’s career as a stylist spans over twenty years. She has been coordinating editor for Country Homes & Interiors and style editor for Living, Etc magazines. Since going freelance, she has worked as on-set stylist for clients such as Harrods, John Lewis, Laura Ashley, Arlo & Jacob and the White Company in the UK, Amazon in South Africa and Q Home Decor in Dubai. Along with editorial projects for Homes & Gardens, Coast and Easy Living magazines, she has worked on homes brochures for Homebase, Tesco and B&Q. In 2001 she won the Crown Stylist of the Year Award.

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