This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Mosman Houseboat

Homes

We’re often asked what makes a quintessentially ‘Australian’ home. It’s a much easier question to answer if you narrow it down by city… Brisbane has its sweet timber-lined Queenslanders, Melbourne has its statuesque inner-suburban Victorian houses, and when it comes to Sydney, well, it’s all about the water!

Today’s beautiful houseboat, surrounded by sparkling water and bobbing boats in Sydney’s Mosman, is a strong contender for the most uniquely Australian home we’ve featured!

29th November, 2017

The owners of this houseboat in Sydney’s Mosman use the home as a weekender. ‘The owner has a very stressful profession, and this is where she finds peace on the weekend’ designer Michelle Macarounas of Infinite Design Studio explains. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The bottom level of the houseboat. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Living room with harbour views. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Coastal and nautical details are featured throughout the interiors. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Main bedroom. ‘We removed the ceiling to expose a high-pitched roof and to add drama to the room’ says Michelle.Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

A pared back aesthetic creates an easy flow on this floor. ‘Part of the brief was to be able to drink champagne in the bath and see the view!’ says Michelle! ‘We created this visual flow with a double frame backdrop through the doors of each room’. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Each area is simple in finishes, fixtures and furnishing to ensure you can take in the view without disruption. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

From the second level balcony looking in to the main bedroom. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

This outdoor deck has become a favourite for the family. ‘With a ladder positioned on the side, there is a lot of jumping off into the water and climbing straight back up!’ says Michelle. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Right on the water! Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 29th November 2017

Designed by Michelle Macarounas of Infinite Design Studio, this two-storey houseboat was originally constructed from parts of a barge built in the 1800s! Once a permanent home for its owners, it now serves as a family holiday retreat and entertaining space, afloat on Sydney’s sparkling harbour.

‘This is a really unique house, and a first of its kind for us’ explains designer Michelle Macarounas. Though her firm had never tackled a floating home before (!), they had experience working on a lot of waterfront properties, so had a good understanding of marine grade products.

Nevertheless, this was a complex renovation. Michelle and her team were asked to open up the dark lower level with the kitchen and lounge, which felt heavy and had a lot of nautical references, and to redesign the upper-level master bedroom, ensuite and study. Key requirements included restoring the original features, upgrading the boat’s mechanics, hydraulics, electrical wiring and facilities; and using marine-grade components to ensure the house remained watertight!

The restored and redesigned houseboat has an open living and kitchen area and deck on the first floor, as well as a double bedroom and ensuite. The master suite is upstairs, with a large bathroom, reading area and entertaining deck.

Both interior and exterior living spaces were transformed with a soft palette and natural materials – inside, oak flooring, cream-coloured travertine tiles, contemporary joinery and custom-made furniture offer a lighter counterpart to the darker weatherboard exterior. Furnishing and styling components were carefully considered to withstand harsh conditions, such as constant exposure to moisture, salt and sun.

Light, ventilation and openness were of vital importance for maximising space, and to ensure the result felt like a ‘house,’ rather than a cramped boat. ‘With such a spectacular setting, we wanted to ensure the surroundings and view took visual priority’ Michelle explains. ‘We incorporated large glass doors that open to outdoor living spaces. These allow for plenty of natural light, and helps to draw the eye outside’.

For Michelle and her team, the joy of delivering this project to the client was ‘absolutely gold’, and a very proud moment for the studio. ‘We had achieved a great outcome for them and they were so happy!’ Michelle recalls. There were even a few tears as they opened their eyes to see the transformation!

 

View Comments

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Ken Done

Yes, it’s Ken Done!  SO excited to be running an interview with this guy today.  What an absolute legend. Born in 1940, in Sydney, K...

A Life Individual

A Life Individual · Andrea Sullivan

We profile the home of Sydney artist Andrea Sullivan, in partnership with Space.

This Week

Stays

A Delightfully Rustic, Country Style Getaway

Book your stay at the beautifully restored Airbnb, Marge's Cottage, in South Gippsland.
Amelia Barnes

Family

Weaver Maryanne Moodie Reflects On Birth, ADHD + Her Coven Of Mothers

The mother of two reflects on parenting the most challenging version of yourself, and the 'birth' that lasts years and years – becoming a
Ashe Davenport

Sustainable Homes

A Heritage Home, Retrofitted To The Highest Sustainability Standards

The ‘Passive Butterfly’ house - a renovated weatherboard home, with 90 per cent reduced heating and cooling costs.

Homes

A Beloved Family Home, Re-Built From The Ground Up

After a freak accident destroyed most of their Narre Warren North home, Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls designed a new and improved versio...

Dream Job

The Perks Of Being a Food Writer, According To One Of Australia’s Top Restaurant Critics!

Senior restaurant critic at The Age, Gemima Cody, shares what it's really like to be a food writer.

Architecture

An Inviting Home Atop A Violin Shop!

Tsai Design and Sustainable Homes Melbourne turn a dark space above a violin store into a light-filled home.
Amelia Barnes

Homes

A Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Imogen Milford's Fitzroy apartment brimming with local Australian art and design is proof that big design can happen in small spaces!

Interiors

A Nearly Demolished Home Turned Interior Masterpiece!

Junctions90 have redesigned this 1850s Melbourne house so it will never be demolished.

Architecture

A Home That Completely Transforms With A Few Quick Switches

Designed as an artist's retreat using mostly recycled materials, The Sawmill House by Archier is a home for all seasons!

A Response To The Bushfire Crisis

What we're doing about the bushfire crisis, and how you can help.

Creative People

Treasure Hunting With Wild To Ware

Erin Malloy and Michael Tink fossick for gemstones in riverbeds around Australia, to create their ethical bespoke jewellery.

Gardens

A Layered Garden, Designed Around A Liquidambar Tree

Ben Scott Garden Design have created richly layered garden in Camberwell, tailored to a Victorian home with a contemporary extension.

The Good Room

Rose Chong's Fabulous Rooftop (With Pool!) In Fitzroy!

Fitzroy's costume queen shares her unexpected rooftop haven, above her Fitzroy shop.
Lisa Marie Corso

Art

Art Fights Fire – A Bushfire Relief Fundraiser

Launching our massive online art auction to raise funds for three important bushfire relief organisations.

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Ken Done

Yes, it’s Ken Done!  SO excited to be running an interview with this guy today.  What an absolute legend. Born in 1940, in Sydney, K...

A Life Individual

A Life Individual · Andrea Sullivan

We profile the home of Sydney artist Andrea Sullivan, in partnership with Space.