In many areas of the country, especially the Northwest, purchasing a houseboat is a recreational investment right up there with purchasing a camper. Many families pool together their money to buy and moor a houseboat, and they rent it out when no family members are planning on using it. If you have recently purchased a houseboat, the first thing you might be thinking about is how to decorate it. Before you start buying a bunch of fun, nautical-themed throw pillows, however, there are some other things you should consider, including important safety and comfort issues for your guests.
Decorate with sturdy items. Although most houseboats ride smoothly, there are times when the wind kicks up and rocks the boat, so to speak. Make sure you don't have breakables set out where they can slide off a table and easily crack.
Use a nautical theme. Although this may be a bit cliche, most people expect and like it. It's important to please the people, especially if you rent out your houseboat like many owners do. Hang a lifesaving ring on the wall. Get an anchor clock. Set up some decorative wooden oars in the corner. Throw some blue and white pillows on the bench as well.
Plan for water. Even if water is not entering the houseboat directly from the lake or ocean, chances are it will enter the boat as it drips from people and water toys. Decorate with easy-to-wipe-down fabrics such as vinyl, and use wood that has been waterproofed so it won't peel or buckle if it gets wet.
Enjoy the view. The most important decoration in a houseboat is the seating. Most recreational houseboats are enjoyed by a lot of guests. Make sure you have enough seating for all of them. Place colorful, inexpensive chairs and tables on every deck.
Let the light in. Boats tend to be dark inside. If you have blinds on the windows, keep them open to let in as much light as possible. Add several lamps (bolted to the tables if necessary) in each room.
Keep it safe. Make sure you have plenty of life jackets on board. Instead of throwing them in an unattractive pile, store them in a decorative wicker chest.