In a Selling Houses Australia first, the team were tasked with a whole new kind of project - a houseboat.
Single mum, Indiana decided to buy a 44-foot houseboat a few years after her marriage ended, moving aboard with her two children, their cat and lizard. Indiana is living the dream, with million-dollar views through every window of her Gold Coast home on the Broadwater. Children Toby and Tallulah love the liveaboard life but they’re sharing a room and with her son approaching his teens, she’s keen to upgrade to a vessel with three cabins.
It's been a fantastic year on the water, but balancing life as a mum, working and maintaining the boat have left her feeling overwhelmed. Indiana has to get her kids to the shore by dinghy, then drive them to school, wash all her clothing at a laundromat, replenish drinking water, charge the boat's batteries and she is constantly on the move due to marina restrictions. Her boat is tired, with a dingy décor that is not attracting buyers. It’s also in desperate need of some structural improvements.
Her kids would love to stay on the water, but the boat is too small for the family of three. With an asking price of $85,000, Indiana knows better presentation and perhaps a deck garden will increase the chance of a sale – but with shipwrights and a degree in maritime law needed, this is a whole new challenge for Charlie, Shaynna and Andrew.
The kitchen (galley) on this vessel was tired and the high cupboards between it and the saloon were encroaching on the space, making it look even smaller. Shaynna decided that a new kitchen with an extended built-in bench for dining would brighten the space and make it much more liveable. The lost overhead storage has now been replaced under the bench.
Luxaflex Duette Architella Shades were installed throughout, covering a whopping 14 windows! Duette Shades were chosen for their insulating properties, perfect for this houseboat which would be subject to chilly sea winds and the blaring sun. The double cell construction of the Duette Architella Shades traps air, providing much-needed additional barriers around the window. In winter, the shades keep warmth inside and block out cold air from entering. In summer the same shades help to do the opposite, shielding out hot air and the sun’s harsh rays, keeping the interiors cooler and more comfortable.
There are benefits all round to using Duette Shades - the boat is more energy efficient and less costly to run, as electric heating and cooling needs are reduced, alleviating strain on the generator. The sleek and white-toned shades also modernise the entire space, presenting an elegant look across the walls, windows and doors, whether raised or lowered.
The Duette Shades made a huge impact to the overall ambience and comfort of the living room, both physically and visually. New vinyl flooring throughout also gave the space a contemporary feel in keeping with the new décor. The walls and ceiling were covered in fabric, so Shaynna installed VJ panelling to all straight walls and custom-made fabric panels to the roof and curved wall areas. What was once a mishmash of different colours and textures of rugs, flooring, blinds, cabinetry and furniture, is now a fresh and streamlined ultra-modern family living space.
The wide expanse of windows in the master bedroom needed to be covered, to combat vast amount of sunlight coming in during the day, particularly in the mornings. The bedrooms were updated with Duette Shades, in Blockout opacity, to effectively tackle this problem.
A cohesive look could still be achieved between the bedrooms and living rooms by using the same white Elan fabric, but with differing opacities to cater specifically to the needs of each space.
The kid’s bedroom was also fitted with Blockout Duette Shades. The ‘Daisy White’ fabric brightened the room and allowed it to appear more spacious and clean, compared to the old black blinds.
Upstairs the largest bedroom (cabin) was divided with drop down roller blinds for the current family’s needs, but this can be removable for a new owner.
As the electrics on the boat were not compliant with safety standards, they were completely replaced including the batteries and inverter.
It’s a tough job for a landscaper, but Charlie had plenty of ideas to refresh the exterior of the boat. He changed the colour scheme to pale blue with a dark blue trim to make the boat stand out against others on the market. The hull was treated with anti-foul, with new anodes to deter rust. The engines were serviced, with the tilt and trim mechanism on one of them made workable again.
There were two decks for Charlie to work with and they both needed some serious refreshing. The main deck downstairs was painted, marine carpet laid and a bar bench installed. The old barbecue was removed and a new folding one was hung on the exterior wall. The shade awning was re-covered with new material and finally he added some hanging plants to make it look more homely.
On the top deck; Charlie decided to build some box seating in a composite timber finish which also doubled as storage. Synthetic turf was laid to give the space a garden feel along with a variation of hanging plants and pots which softened the space. For buyers, they can imagine drinks on the deck at sunset sitting at the new bar Charlie installed.
The hard work paid off! The houseboat sold, meaning the fun-loving Gold Coast family could move on to their next adventure.
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The products in this episode were proudly supplied and installed by Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery dealer Superior Blinds in Coomera, QLD.