A New Book For Those Who Dream of Living in a Floating Home
The houseboats and floating homes featured in Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins and Homes on the Water—which range from old renovated barges with charming historic details to new contemporary dwellings with sleek interiors—showcase a breadth of design that's dictated by their environments and the personalities and lifestyles of the owners.
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With its beautiful photographs and engaging vignettes, the book tells a narrative about the resurgence of houseboats and the people who are embracing a low-key life on the water, where they can slow down and connect with nature.
The homeowners in the book embrace a sense of adventure by eschewing land and traditional homes for an alternative nomadic lifestyle. It also explores larger themes like minimalism, environmentalism, and nonconformism, which help lure these people to the water’s edge.
For two artists, living off the grid and unplugging from society drew them to the Canadian wilderness, where they worked together to build a floating compound that consists of their home, a lighthouse, fish smoking shack, and art gallery—all of which are connected by platforms.
A Paris-based photojournalist rehabbed an old 1930s Dutch barge that has all the comforts of modern living, but with a nostalgic charm. An architect and his wife transformed a ferry that transported passengers and cars across the Norwegian Sea to Iceland into a hip live/work space in San Francisco. Finally, an artist’s wooden egg-shaped dwelling called "Exbury Egg" was his home for a year as he studied marine ecology and made environment-inspired art while aboard the dwelling in South England’s Beaulieu Estuary.
And then, there are boats like the Vulkana, a hotel-meets-spa and sauna based out of Tromsø, Norway, that takes voyagers through the Arctic Circle. As travelers warm themselves in the saltwater hot tub on the ship’s deck, they can behold the majesty of the Northern Lights.
Other structures featured in the book aren’t meant to be lived in, but were constructed as art exhibits, such as "Walden Raft," a floating cabin that's inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond cabin. The public art installation on France’s Lac de Gayme examines the relationship between interior and exterior, as well as society and nature.
In a global voyage, Rock the Boat explores the nuances of houseboat design through the lens of the unique individuals who call the water home.