Haymes Paint recently caught up with Kate Harry of interior design studio Fabrikate to discuss what is possibly the studio’s most unique project yet. This renovation saw the complete transformation of an old paddleboat with nothing but an engine room and one bedroom, into what is now a beautiful and functional houseboat.
What made your clients choose to buy and renovate a house boat?
‘Oarsome’ was originally purchased by my clients in June 2016. Their vision was to create a houseboat that felt like a home – warm, cosy, and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Having grown up embracing the outdoors, they wanted their own son to be able to have the same experiences.
What was the biggest design consideration when renovating a houseboat?
At only 46 square meters, our main focus for this design was creating the illusion of space. In terms of aesthetics, the seamless integration of the flooring into the walls and all the way through to the outside deck was critical in creating a feeling of openness. To ensure that the space was also functional we made sure to utilise every ounce of space, so you will find concealed storage integrated into many areas of the boat. It was one of our most challenging projects as designers, but also one of the most memorable.
Where do you get your colour palette inspiration from?
When we were in the concept phase of the design, we found that Australian houseboats were infamously dark and heavy, the complete opposite of the colour palette needed to create an open flow. The inspiration for this colour palette was taken from mother nature. With the boat moored on the edge of the Murray, the neutral palette mimics the rich red earth and the green foliage found on the river banks.
What paint colours did you use and how did you choose them?
We kept the paint choices simple, using Haymes Modesty White to cover the vertical cladding on the internal walls. This vertical panelling gave the illusion of height and space, working with the white hue to create an open, fresh and light space. The rest of the colours used in the space were shades of custom Laminex cabinetry juxtaposed by textured leather and warm wood grain.
What was your inspiration behind the interior furnishings?
Given the inspiration of the Australian landscape on the design, we wanted both the materials and furnishings to have a tie to Australian design. From the custom leather and timber hardware, hardwood and soft furnishings, textiles and all the way through to Australian made paint from Haymes, we kept the furnishings close to home.
What has been the most unique thing that your clients have found about house boat living?
The ability to wake up to a new outlook every day. Whether its visiting friends and family, mooring at the Mildura waterfront or going for a bush trek, you have the freedom and flexibility to travel without needing to pack up your belongings.
Fabrikate is a boutique interior design studio that prides itself on bespoke design and creating spaces that reflect the personality of its clients. Kate’s design philosophy centres around creating spaces that are as beautiful as they are functional.
Interior Design by Fabrikate
Photography by Jonathan van der Knaap
Styling by Emily O'Brien