Making Your Mark On Your Home – Judging A Book By It’s Cover

It’s a tale as old as time, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it’s next to impossible not to isn’t it? I’ve written before how as a species we are prone to stereotyping, boxing things up to make life easier and save brain power (For Netflix). When we purchased Fantine we were overwhelmed by the response we received, one of the greatest was from Fantine’s previous owners, not the ones before us but the ones before that (Hope you’re following me), Pete and Margaret.

When we were looking for boats, we skipped over Fantine online, the terrible pictures the sales office had shot of her did her no favours at all, that later went on to help us I think, but still. We were even more shocked to receive images of Fantine, or Willow as she then was from Pete and Margaret prior to them sending her for an extensive make over. I hope you’re ready for this, here she is in her former, erm glory?


It’s hard to believe it’s the same boat when you look at her now.


We hopped over Fantine to get to the boat we were intending to view, but couldn’t help but love the look of her, I can’t imagine having thought the same had we hopped over Willow. It’s amazing the difference an incredible paint job can make.

What I’m trying to get at here is that Fantine was still the wonderful boat that she is when she was Willow, she was still a wonderful boat despite the brokerage using terrible pictures. On both occasions we judged her by the cover, and decided we didn’t like it.

Pete and Margaret did an incredible job in seeing Willows inner beauty and transforming her into the Fantine we know and love. We know that soon enough we will have to look at repainting her exterior and believe me we will be aiming to stay very close to the livery she currently has. It’s great to see the mark they had on Fantine, the changes that were made and the stamp they put on her. I’m starting to wonder whether it’s coming to the time where we should do the same.

I’ve talked (at length) about wanting to change the kitchen and floor this year, but do we go further, make Fantine truly ours and stamp her with our taste on the inside. Perhaps the winter with weekends off is finally catching up with me. Showing that I have firstly spent too much time aboard and secondly had too much time to watch home design programmes (A dangerous cocktail!). But maybe it is time to make her home, make her ours truly, not just amend what is there to our taste.

Pete and Margaret made such an incredible impact on Fantine’s cover, perhaps it’s time for us to make an impact on the pages if you will. War has been declared, I’ve sent a text to James saying we really should get a plan in place with what we’re going to do and when before another summer has passed us by. Wish me luck as I enter the battle zone of tile, and appliance arguments!

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life


3 thoughts on “Making Your Mark On Your Home – Judging A Book By It’s Cover

  1. I lived in a house for years not changing anything because I liked the way the previous owners had it. The previous house however we gutted and made everything ours. It’s an interesting thing how some places just feel like home straightaway and some need work … Or how long you can live somewhere before you feel you need to make changes.
    The difference in the two photos is amazing. Like you say, it could be two different boats.


  2. Hi It’s Pete And Margaret here. We have enjoyed following your blogs. Turning Willow into Fantine was a expensive pleasure. Having to sell her due to Pete’s retirement was a hard decision, we were very disappointed to see what the owner did to her before she was purchased by you and James. We think you will do a stunning job on the inside and look forward to seeing her on completion. We often think of our 5 years with Willow/Fantine and still miss her. Thankyou for caring about Fantine. Take care Pete & Maggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Peter and Margaret, one of the best things to come from our blog is in finding you both! We love Fantine dearly and we will be sure to keep you up to date with the changes we make, and the stamp that we put on her. All the best James & Kirsty


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