Cost-efficient Narrowboat Design Ideas: How to have the Best Looking Narrowboat on the Marina

When it comes to narrowboats, there are so many different layouts you could adopt, colour schemes to use and plants to pot to make your boat feel like a home, whether you’re living onboard or just out exploring. What's even better is that these design ideas don't have to break the bank either, there are many cost-effective methods and DIY techniques to ensure your narrowboat is the best looking on the marina. Take a look at the below design ideas for both inside and outside your vessel…

Interior design tips

Let's start with the interior, the place where you will relax and entertain when you're not watching the world go by outside. How much time you spend on the boat may influence how much you want to spend on the interior, the size and layout may influence this too…

Lovely lighting

Especially in the darker months of the year, lighting should be a consideration and can literally light up a space. There are so many affordable lighting options available to suit all narrowboat designs and with modern LED lighting, the draw on battery power is less of a concern than it once was. Whether you prefer cosy warm lighting or brighter cool tones, then there will always be a way to pleasantly light up your space. Fairy lights are always a beautiful option, the twinkling style will bring light and cosiness to your boat without being too overpowering.

Spacious shelving

When living on a narrowboat, it's a given that space at times may be a little tight, but there are so many ways to utilise what space you have as much as possible, whilst also sprucing up the place. When it comes to shelving and storage it's best to get creative; hanging things on the wall, such as pots and pans, is a great way to save cupboard space and can even look very quirky if done correctly. Even making a makeshift shoe rack by attaching a pole to free space on a wall is a great way to make the most of what you've got.

What's your aesthetic?

Choosing the perfect colour scheme for your vessel can often be a challenge, you want to show off your personal taste whilst also ensuring its aesthetically pleasing. Brighter colour schemes, such as a pop of colour in cushions, on a wall or with accessories is a great way to show off your personality. On the other hand, more neutral tones emphasise the connection to nature and can make a room feel bigger.

Exterior design tips

With narrowboats, the exterior should have just as much focus on it as the inside when it comes to design. To have the best looking narrowboat on the marina, you will need to wow passers-by with the exterior too and there are many ways you can do this…

Perfect paint

The colour scheme on the outside of a boat may even be more difficult to choose than inside the boat. This is because this is what people see when they pass by and what you see whenever you leave and arrive, or spend time outdoors. Unless you have a massive budget, the colour scheme is not something you will change often. When choosing colours for your boat, decide on something that is a bit more future-proof and that you will enjoy for years to come. 

Medium to dark colour schemes are less likely to fade over time and will also hide any dirt or dust that is picked up along your travels, more effectively. For a full paint job, from start to finish it can cost between £3000 to £4000, or to bring the cost down dramatically you could have a go at a little DIY.

Glorious gardens

Practicing proper care and maintenance is a great way to ensure your boat is looking and working just as it should. In terms of windows, seals and liners should be checked regularly for wear and tear to prevent mould build-up and to keep the heat in. A big part of the general maintenance is also ensuring your boat is clean and not run down. Using fresh water to hose down the outside and a gentle boat shampoo will minimise the risk of damage, scratches and dirt build-up.

Following these few simple tips will ensure you have the best looking narrowboat on the marina in no time.

Are you a narrowboat owner who is struggling to save costs? Discover our top tips for saving money!

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