“If at first the idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.” — Albert Einstein


Though Albert Einstein probably had math theorems rather than boat-shaped playrooms in mind, his penchant for the inventive is a sought-after trait in today’s design world. Come with us as we embrace the imaginative quirkiness of turning furniture and architectural features into vessels fit for the high seas. Permission granted to come aboard and explore.


Bella Home Builders Inc, original photo on Houzz


1. Rock yourself to sleep. At least half

 the charm of using a boat as a bed frame is the opportunity to personalize it with the occupant’s name. Here, Bella is the captain of her own ship, both in her dreams and in the waking hours when she settles down for homework at her coordinating maritime-styled desk.


Ronald F. DiMauro Architects, Inc., original photo on Houzz


2. An island destination. This kitchen island with teak countertop was modeled after the Cape Dory daysailer that is popular in the waters around Jamestown, Rhode Island, where this beach house sits. Among the proliferation of new and clever ideas for kitchen islands, this custom option stands out as one of the most evocative of a sense of place.

Explore Other Unique Kitchen Island Ideas


Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, original photo on Houzz


3. Daydreaming. If the previous photos got you thinking about where else you might press a converted sailboat into service within your home, this daybed could just send you overboard. Not only have the owners turned a boat hull into a hanging lounge, but they’ve also dropped the spring line to use as a rug.

Fresh Take: 9 Twists on Nautical Style


Siemasko + Verbridge, original photo on Houzz


4. Captain’s quarters. Sure, this office with a view isn’t boat-shaped, but it doesn’t need to be when it’s designed after the pilothouse of a ship. Looking out that window behind the desk, it’s easy to imagine the captain of industry who likely works here as the captain of an ocean liner instead.


Northern Sky Developments, original photo on Houzz


5. High tide. With a boat hanging in the rafters and shiplap paneling all around, this open-concept living room resembles a homey, intimate boat shed. Naturally, lofted or pitched ceilings are required to make this look work for you; under a standard flat ceiling, a hanging boat might be more claustrophobic than charming.

Add a Nautical Touch to Your Sofa


Siemasko + Verbridge, original photo on Houzz


6. Coastal closet. This room divider owes its massive street cred (er, sea cred?) to a double whammy of yachting bona fides: First, the millwork was conceived by yacht designer Joe Artese; second, the holly, teak and mahogany used in its construction are the same materials you’ll find on high-end watercraft like the kind Artese designs for his saltier clients.