Sydney is yet to embrace houseboats like other world cities such as Vancouver, London and Amsterdam. In fact there are only four permanently moored houseboats in Sydney Harbour. One of those is this two-storey houseboat anchored in Pearl Bay, Mosman, which was once the permanent home of its owners and their children, but is now their holiday house and entertaining space. Recently restored and redesigned by Michelle Macarounas of Infinite.Design, this heavenly houseboat is now sea- and style-worthy.
The houseboat was originally constructed from parts of a barge that would transport produce across Middle Harbour before construction of the Spit Bridge in the 1950s. Tasked with giving the houseboat a new life as a floating holiday home, Michelle restored the original heritage features out of respect for its history, and upgraded the anchored abode to become a restful retreat on the water. “Nature definitely took front and centre,” Michelle explains. “We wanted to ensure the surroundings and view took priority visually. That meant a very pared back aesthetic and simple clean lines and the use of natural materials that referenced the landscape.”
The open living and kitchen area and lower deck are on the first floor, as well as a double bedroom and ensuite. The master suite is upstairs, with a large bathroom, reading area and spacious entertaining deck. “Light, ventilation and open spaces were very important to give a sense of space and the feeling of a ‘house’ on the water, rather then a cramped boat,” says Michelle.
Inside, the light, neutral palette and timber-framed doors and windows showcase the views of Sydney Harbour. While outside, the “River Stone” cladding visually merges with the both the surrounding vegetation and blue waters.
Michelle restored heritage features, such as the windows, while transforming other original elements into contemporary custom joinery. Marine grade components ensure the houseboat is watertight, and all mechanics, hydraulics, electrical and facilities were upgraded, as were the finishes and fixtures.
As a holiday house and entertaining space, the houseboat means its owners can have the best of living on both land and sea. There’s no need to worry about the grass being greener; or in this case, the water being bluer.
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Words by Rebecca Gross
Photography by Prue Rosco