Beautiful Narrow Boat Interior Styles
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Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 4:13pm

Narrow Boat Interior Design Ideas

Not all narrow boats look the same there are different styles like traditional, semi traditional, cruisers and wide beams for a start. A lot of attention goes into how the exterior of the narrow boat looks by using bright primary colours, sign writing, roof gardens, colourful fenders, ropes and accessories. All this personalises the exterior of the boat making it your own, but it doesn’t stop there what about the interior?

When I first started writing this blog I thought all narrow boats looked like this:

Old Dated Narrow Boat Interior

I had the idea that they were all dark, cramped, and old fashioned. How wrong was I! I think it’s really amazing what some creative boat owners have achieved inside their boats in what is a relatively small space.

I love the idea of using strong bold primary colours on the exterior and then to lighten and create a bright,, clean and fresh look inside use more pastel tones and natural wood.

I think the interiors that work the best are the ones that have good mixture of home goods so that everything is not matching. This then creates a stylish personalised look rather than something straight off the production line which has no character.

Looks You Can Create Inside Your Narrow boat

Take a look at some of the design ideas we have put together for you.


By using soft pastel colours like; pinks, blues, greens, creams, yellows and white throughout the boats interior on walls, ceilings and furniture this give the base of the design style and starts to create the overall look. You can use a mixture of these colours together as they all complement each other or choose just a few to build your colour theme on.

Country Style narrowBoat Interior

Using your chosen colour theme add a mixture of plain, patterned, stripes and floral materials in your soft furnishings i.e. upholstering, cushions, blankets, throws, curtains, towels, tea towels etc. this will help create that country cottage feel to the inside of your boat. The use of rugs and pretty soft furnishings all adds to the look.

It is even possible to have a Aga in your kitchen which not only looks great but, also offers heating if it has a back boiler and cooking all year round. You can’t get more country than an Aga!

Multi fuel stoves also go well in this setting, try placing a wicker basket for the chopped wood beside the stove for easy use.

The overall look is pretty, cosy and comfortable. Be careful not to over clutter the cabin this style can soon look messy, busy and cluttered if you’re not careful.


This style works really well for narrow boats as it offers a simple, soft and uncluttered look. Try using paints that have soft tones or use white on your paint work, also use rich dark wood for flooring or work surfaces this adds depth to the look.

The contemporary look is for people who like to be bang up on trend, it reflects the here and now so often a popular choice for young people.

Contemporary furniture can be described as current, modern, new and fashionable. Materials that are often used for contemporary furniture are aluminium, iron and some special types of polymer materials.
The use of blinds at the windows rather than frilly/pretty curtains will be in keeping with this look.


Yep modern it’s actually a different look to contemporary. When I was putting this article together I thought the two were the same, but according to professional interior designers the two are not the same at all.

Modern refers to be “mid-century modern” Modern design refers to a period of time; it is a design style that was created in the 1920′s – 1950′s. It is recognizable by its clean, unadorned interiors. Use of natural materials such as wood, leather, teak and linen are prominent. The use of moulded plywood and plastic is very popular in modern furniture, as well as polished metal.

modern Interior

Colours are used in moderation and floors tend to be rug free preferring to show off bare floor boards. If rugs are used they tend to be made from wool and neutral in colour.

Today we tend to refer to this look as retro.


This style perhaps keeps the outside and the inside of the boat in total keeping with each other. The use of ‘Roses and Castles’ artwork is a hallmark of the traditional style narrow boat, and is executed in brilliant colours on the outside of the boats as well as the interiors and on utensils.

Traditional Style Narrowboat

The use of brass and copper will also add to the look and feel of this design as will lace! This look is as far away from the contemporary look as you can get, with the contemporary style being very current and the traditional style stepping back in time. These two looks as you can imagine do not work together!

Let us know what style you think best suits today's narrow boat?

images found on Pinterest

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