Before Eric and I considered living on a boat,we knew we wanted to live in a small space. Our plan was to purchase a modest 1 bed/1 bath condo and renovate it to fit our needs (i.e., turn it into a 2 bed/2 bath).
Since I enjoy putting the cart before the horse, I began drafting elaborate plans to renovate (and decorate) our nonexistent condo. Even Eric got into it. He purchased a book about small-space living and drafted a few potential floor plans. All of our effort was, of course, a huge waste of time, considering we're now boat dwellers.
I was particularly excited about the prospect of renovating a home, so once the reality of our decision to live on a boat set in and I realized all of my HGTV-knowledge was no longer relevant, I was sad. Thankfully, one of my close friends and her husband are building a home, so I have an outlet to discuss things like hardware, flooring, light fixtures, etc.
Much like our plans for renovation, the bulk of my decorating ideas weren't exactly transferable to a boat. For instance, I pictured our Miami home containing some of my dad's (huge) oil paintings, which both Eric and I like:
If you're an art-lover, I know what you're thinking, and the answer is, no--Henri Matisse is not my father; however, three of the four paintings above are copies of the famous artist's work. The painting at the bottom left is my dad's version of Edouard Vuillard's In Bed. These paintings hung on the walls of the home I grew up in, and seeing them reminds me of my family. This is particularly true of the Vuillard-inspired piece because, in my dad's version, he altered the subject to resemble my mom. At some point many years ago, one of my older siblings referred to this painting as "Mommy Sick in Bed," and that has been its name ever since.
Sea Gem's wall space wasn't sufficient to accommodate even the smallest of these four paintings, which was unfortunate because, upon moving in, Eric and I discovered that we needed paintings for our salon. You see, Sea Gem is not a new boat and her exposed interior wood has become bleached over the years due to sun exposure. Take a close look at the wall in the picture below and you'll easily spot where the previous owners' two paintings used to hang:
My solution? I photographed two of my dad's oil paintings and had the images printed on canvases that were appropriately sized to camouflage the darker wood. Here they are hanging in our salon:
While I have not been able to come up with boat-friendly versions for everything I had envisioned for our condo (like the humongous crystal chandeliers I planned on hanging in every room), I'm glad that these sentimental paintings were able to make their way onto the boat.