Narrowboat Renovations – A Weekend of DIY

Firstly, a spot of self-congratulation is in order! Second blog in as many weeks, it would be a bit hasty to say I’m back, but I am a least back for now.


I hope you all had a wonderful and sun filled bank holiday weekend, it honestly felt like such a long break! I think it was elongated for me with James being away racing, it leaves me with much more time to get up to mischief … in other words DIY.

I manged to achieve quite a lot in four days!

I started out by getting frames for some new prints I had. One of the great things about having a small space is something as simple as a few new prints or throws can transform the feeling of your room, you don’t need 60-minute makeover coming in and gluing carpet to the walls to make the space feel different. Its such a lovely aspect of small space living. Likewise, as the space is limited you need to love everything that you have displayed, or else it’s using vital space, there is no such thing as tucking something in a corner to forget about!

The Lion King and Queen went up in the bedroom and this adorable little bathroom otter went up in the bathroom. For anyone who’s interested all the prints were brought online from FY (Quite a while ago now but I’m sure they’ll still be available!).

Alongside Blogication I also set a second new years resolution, which you will unsurprised to hear I am performing equally as bad at! I take a lot of photos, but they sit on my phone gathering dust and I don’t really do much with them, aside from annoying people on Instagram that is! In January I downloaded the Snapfish App, with the intention of taking full advantage of their 50 free prints a  month, I’ve yet to print a single one, but I have taken a step forward and started a separate folder on my phone with the images that I want to get printed so I will start that from this month. When we lived in a house, I covered literally all flat surfaces with photo frames, the walls, tables, windowsills and mantles were filled with images. I love photos. Boat life doesn’t allow that as much, any flat surface you do have doesn’t stay safely flat, and with every inch of space being used you can’t leave 50 photo frames lying around. Even hanging on the wall is difficult, thanks to the angle. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for so long looking for fun ways to display photos but I’m yet to find anything I like which doesn’t remind me of a student bedroom! Anyone with any fun solutions please let me know!

Surprisingly hanging three photo frames and wading through my camera roll didn’t satisfy the home improvement itch! I needed to do more. So naturally I spent 6 hours of the hottest Easter on record clutter crushing. It seems to be an annual event on the boat, by this sort of time we have built up a lot of ‘stuff’ and you need to spend a few hours saying this is ridiculous, pulling your hair out, sorting, cleaning then standing back with an incredible sense of relief.

Honestly, I feel so much better now, of course the boat only stayed clean and tidy until Sunday Evening when James returned, but I know it has been done and that’s a wonderful feeling.

Unfortunately at this point I still wasn’t done, following my mega sort out I sat down to have dinner with an episode of the Great Interior Design Challenge, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, don’t judge me. One of the designers on their chose to renovate the kitchen cabinets by putting a funky wallpaper on the panel of the shaker door. Hmmmm I have that roll of duck wallpaper in the back which I haven’t done anything with since we moved in. The idea was formed.

Before we moved aboard I decided to renovate some of the furniture we had lying around, never get in the way of girl and some chalk paint! So a DVD rack, TV Cabinet and Cupboard got the treatment, they were painted an antique white and in the back recesses the duck wallpaper was used to give a boaty hint. It’s also the wallpaper I used when I had the DIY bug Easter two years ago, and re-papered the bathroom.

This didn’t use much of the paper and a had a lot of the roll left, it was beautiful, and I didn’t want to get rid of it so it just got stored in the back of the boat. Whilst it is the plan that the kitchen will soon be replaced, why not have a bit of fun with it beforehand!? It was a simple as measuring the shaker panels, marking and cutting the paper, wallpaper pasting into place and once this had dried a couple of coats of clear varnish and job done. It was such a quick job, all in all it probably took me three hours, whilst I was a little unsure as I went, I love the finished result.

I could never imagine being this brave in a house, one of the fantastic thing about boats is you feel a bit less constrained to the ‘norm’ no boats are the same, everyone has a hint of what they like and you seem to be a bit more free to have a bit of fun with things.

Easter Sunday, and I had officially run out of DIY projects, and I couldn’t think of anymore to make myself! I decided to finally enjoy the sunshine and retreat to my little slice of heaven with the ponies. There were cuddles, grooming, riding and sunbathing to be enjoyed. The bank holiday was filled with lots of tea breaks out on the front and visits from the swans.

I love the evenings when the sun is starting to cool off and the wildlife seems to come back to life and activity, I spent the evenings sat out with a cuppa working on some embroidery, a skill I have been trying to improve on! It was finally finished on Sunday evening so it got hung above the dogs bed and I’m really rather proud of it, Narrow Dog isn’t too sure!

‘In a perfect World every dog would have a home, and every home would have a dog’

Once James was back we had a day filled with Ice Cream and beer, so all in all it was a fantastic few days. I hope you had a wonderful long weekend, whatever it entailed! And if you have any fantastic photo display ideas please leave a comment!

James & Kirsty

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