I'm On a (House) Boat: Life on The Water Can Inspire, Says Bernadette Schaeffler

Danish Houseboat

I spent last week in San Diego, and the gorgeous weather was just the balm my poor over-heated brain needed. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live close to the beach, or on the water, even. Turns out I’m not the only one who wants to seek refuge from the heat and head for the water.

French HouseboatsFor Bernadette Schaeffler, though, it’s the houseboat that is particularly quixotic. It’s part house, part both, but wholly neither. It’s a permanent fixture on the water that can move anywhere.

“Nowadays, floating homes are not pokey little barges, quite the opposite — they are truly amazing in their architecture and some of them really stylish,” Schaeffler said. “Obviously, living on a houseboat can feel like you are already on holiday even though it might bring some challenges.”

What challenges, you ask? Well, limited slip space in marinas is a big one, but also consider that maintenance can be consuming and costly, because your home could very literally go underwater. And marinas can nickle-and-dime you with costs, with electricity, per-person charges, and sewage pump-out making monthly expenditures top out at $1,500 a month for a $12,000 houseboat sometimes.

Still, it’s a very romantic way to live. For some, it’s the only way to live. For me, it’s a great idea for a second home!

“Just imagine watching the sunrise, sitting on the deck and enjoying wine,” Schaeffler mused. “My favorite advantage is that there is no garden you have to take care of — no more grass cutting and no snow shoveling! The best is you can change the waterfront view whenever you wish if the boat is able to float around.”

Gray Houseboat

Find out more about what inspires Bernadette Schaeffler in her Dallas Design District showroom.