Living on the water has never looked so good.

In the past, if movies and television are to be believed, houseboats were thought of as creepy things that people would use as a watering hole before inevitably being eaten by some sort of sea creature. Houseboats always were uniquely niche things, and often weren’t worth talking about due to the rather haphazard construction and boring design. But these next few houseboats are among some of the most amazing structures both on water and on land and definitely deserve some respect.

The Fennell Residence

5 Amazing Houseboats to Make You Rethink Nautical Life

This houseboat was constructed by Robert Harvey Oshatz out of Portland, Oregon and definitely has a Portland vibe to it. Using curved beams to “evoke the contours of a river,” the Fennell Residence sits atop the water and delivers a breathtaking view of the water and beauty of nature outside. It has a master bedroom, bar, and study that overlooks the dining area, and is definitely not your typical houseboat.


With a name that would give Ikea a run for their money, this beautiful, yet strikingly modern houseboat is German class at its finest. While stationary and unable to move by itself, the Traumfängerhouseboat is a lovely way to enjoy the river and do so with style, and luxury. It features multiple bedrooms, multiple bathrooms and is more a floating mansion than a houseboat per se. It currently resides in Eilbek Canal in Hamburg, Germany. ar-che

5 Amazing Houseboats to Make You Rethink Nautical Life

Staying in Germany, this modular houseboat created by Steeltec 37 is quintessentially modern in every way. The houseboat itself is bathed in a pristine white paint, natural hard wood floors and enough glass to rival any high-rise building. And it’s roof is designed to mimic that of a sail billowing in the wind. What’s even better is that this particular houseboat is actually a vacation rental, meaning you could be sleeping out on the water in Germany and living the good life as soon as you book the trip.

Lake Union Floating Home

5 Amazing Houseboats to Make You Rethink Nautical Life

Heading back to the U.S., this next houseboat is an architect’s wet dream. Its design melds that of industrial and new age modern in what has to be one of the prettiest houseboats yet. The Lake Union Home appears to be an expensive modern yacht in its construction details with a full spiral staircase and even has rain screens so you can still enjoy the outdoors even with it pouring outside.

Watervilla De Hoef

5 Amazing Houseboats to Make You Rethink Nautical Life

Finally we head to the Netherlands to feature our last amazing houseboat. Called the Watervilla De Hoef, this beautifully constructed houseboat floats in one of the Netherlands famous canals. The designers went for a minimalistic approach to the interior, while the exterior resembles homes in the North East United States with dark wood adorning the outside walls. In the summer, residents are privy to a beautiful, untamed view directly outside, while in winter, the windows allow in sunlight to help warm the entire houseboat. It is absolutely spectacular.

With that, we hope we’ve shown you that houseboats aren’t just those weird 80s designed things that float around lakes and rivers willy nilly with some crazy person spouting, “get off my lake!” These amazing houseboats are only just a few that we found, so go on, look for more, and maybe someday you can enjoy life on the water as well.

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