A Look Inside 5 of the Best Floating Homes

With sea levels set to rise, a home that floats on water may be more of a necessity than a fantasy in the future. Just as well then that there are a bunch of design savvy creations ready and waiting to be shipped worldwide. From prefabricated water homes that are designed to be self-sustainable for up to a week at a time out on the open water, to more steadfast floating homes for those that dream of an ocean-side zip code. Here is our edit of five of the best.  

1. Floatwing

The Floatwing will appeal to those with wanderlust. With the choice of having a motor or not, this boat-house hybrid can simply be towed to a stationary location and anchored, or can be driven from place to place at a modest speed of three knots.

This floating home can be built in a range of sizes making it ideal for different locations around the world and for different group numbers, from a cozy getaway for two, to a fun-filled vacation for a family of four. Floatwing has a fixed width of 20 feet, but a platform length that varies between 30 and 100 feet (depending on your specifications) with an internal area of between 300 and 560 square feet, allowing for up to three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Designed by Friday, a European design group focused on creating technologically advanced nautical leisure devices, the Floatwing offers an environmentally sustainable trip. When fully charged, the floating home is self-sufficient for at least seven days, producing 80% of its energy needs itself from solar panels.

2. Chichester Floating House

Whilst traditional British canal boats were the original design inspiration for this floating home situated on Chichester canal in England, the London-based Baca architects responsible for this home added height and plenty of windows to create a more spacious and comfortable living space on the water.

The Chichester floating house is rectangular in shape, with an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, and white interiors to make the home light and airy. White stairs from the living area create a split-level design, leading to a rooftop terrace to enjoy views of the surrounding waters.

The waterside dwelling sits on floating concrete foundations weighing over 40 tonnes, and its wooden-clad exterior makes the house blend perfectly into its natural environment.

3. Houseboat in Copenhagen Harbor

This beautifully designed houseboat sits stylishly on the waters of Copenhagen harbor in Denmark. Designed by Laust Nørgaard, the father-of-one built this home to provide his family with a more healthy, outdoor lifestyle.

This 70 meters squared, two-bedroom home boasts an open-plan interior with smart built-in storage to make the most of the available space. The light plywood walls and wood-burning stove give the houseboat a contemporary cabin feel.

Its dark-stained wood exterior and floor-to-ceiling windows situated on every side of the house allow light to fill the home, and for its residents to enjoy views of the surrounding harbor.

4. Floating House in Canada

This one-bedroom floating house sits on an island on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. Designed by New York-based MOS architects, the home stands on floating steel pontoons to allow it to adapt to the changing water levels of the lake. This house is one of five built around the island.

The simple and clean lines of the home’s exterior are covered in cedar wood panels to provide a barrier from the harsh weather of the lake. ‘Rainscreens’ are dotted around the floating home’s exterior. Made from strips of wood with spaces between them to filter light into the house, these screens serve to block wind and provide natural shade in the summer months.

At over 2,000 square feet this two-storey home is substantial enough to turn a vacation into a stay-cation (for the summer months at least). The first floor contains a boat slip, sauna and storage space, whilst the second floor houses the living area, kitchen, office and bedroom.

5. Watervilla Weesperzidje

Watervilla Weesperzidje by +31 Architects is situated on the river Amstel in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is one of a growing number of houseboats lining the banks of the river.

The downstairs area of the house is entirely submerged below the water, while the upstairs sits at water level with a floating terrace attached to the exterior that spans the length of the home, and can be used for entertaining or relaxing in the European sunshine.

The interior of the watervilla is as striking as its glass-front facade. Light gray floors throughout the home visually merge the different spaces of the house, with large sliding glass doors in the kitchen and living area allowing in plenty of light and maximizing the residents’ views of the river.

Floating steps descend into the windowless basement, which houses two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a small lounge.

Fran Whittaker-Wood
Home Improvements Expert

Fran loves all things home. She is passionate about finding the best architecture, design and home interior projects from around the world, and has a keen interest in discovering the newest and most exciting design trends.