Episode 09 - The Double Decker House February 10, 2017 Believe it or not, Chip and I actually conquered a houseboat renovation a few years before the show started, so this wasn’t our first experience, but it was still a huge challenge for us. Renovating a boat comes with its own set of worries. You have to involve the marina, and hire an architect specifically knowledgeable in boats and there are maritime laws to follow instead of building codes. It’s definitely not easy, but it was a great project that was well worth it. This houseboat was for Brett Swartz, a friend of ours who loves being outside and experiencing the outdoors with his four kids. We wanted it to have a modern and masculine feel, so we utilized raw design materials, like metal and wood. Something we used that we’d never tried before was charred wood siding, which was a perfect fit for the masculine vibe we were going for. LIVING + KITCHEN Objective: Main living and kitchen: Design a space that uses all available square footage to create a practical kitchen and living space for the family. To keep the living room feeling as large as possible, and to conserve as much square footage as possible, we went with a modern, open air design for the staircase. For the walls in this space, we went with birch paneling to prevent any potential drywall cracking when this boat hits the water. This touch was for functionality, but actually ended up being an added design element to the house. To keep with the theme of using natural elements, we went with wood countertops. I love the way wood countertops age with their own character after each use. Even though this kitchen is small, we made it fully functional with storage space, modern appliances and an island for maximum prep space. There wasn’t enough space for a large dining area, so we decided on bar seating. We added large windows looking out from the kitchen to give the bar seating a view of the water. MASTER SUITE Objective: Create a retreat where Brett can relax. Add a private balcony entrance. We really wanted Brett to feel like he had his own space here, no matter how small the houseboat was, so we made sure to make the master suite a priority. A skinnylap feature wall, two new windows with black awnings, and floating side tables were the touches that made this space feel like a real master suite. We also made sure Brett had his own access point to the top balcony, so he’s never far from the beautiful lake view. BUNKROOM Objective: Add a space that all of Brett’s kids can sleep while staying on the houseboat. Upstairs space was limited, but we wanted Brett’s four kids to have somewhere comfortable to stay when they’re with dad out on the boat. We landed on a bunk room, and I love the way this design matches so seamlessly with the rest of the home’s design. The natural shiplap in the bunkroom makes each bunk bed feel like a cozy little nook for each of the kids to curl up and sleep. interview with HOMEOWNER Q. What made you decide to have a boat house? A. I love the outdoors. When my kids are with me, we play outside. Being on the water is great because whether it’s kayaking, paddle boarding or just hanging out, the access is right there. Q. Would you recommend the Fixer Upper experience to others? A. Yes! I would tell future clients to let go of expectations because it will far surpass whatever you can imagine. Just let Chip and Jo take the reigns. Q. How does your home stick out compared to other houseboats? A. It doesn’t even compare. This is something you would find in Seattle or up on the Northeast coast. Each boat in the marina has an individual presence, but ours is on a whole other level. This was one of those projects where Chip and I really got to use our imaginations and stretch creatively. I loved seeing our friend’s houseboat transform from basically a shipwrecked mess into a houseboat that the whole family will love using year round from now on!