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Small Space Living in a Narrowboat Tiny Home in London

This Narrowboat renovation project in London is a guest post by Sarah Meyer

Hi Alex and fellow Tiny House Newsletter readers,

I hope you are doing well! I love Tiny House Talk and hope our journey of taking an old narrowboat and making it our home can inspire others.

I am from the States and my other half is from England. We wanted to do something different when we started out in London. I had lived in Seattle and we have both visited and fell in love with the houseboats there. So when all the pieces fell together for us to buy and make our home on a boat, we jumped at the opportunity.

When I was leaving the States, people were either inspired by our choice or thought it was completely crazy. Especially, as our home was going to be the size of most peoples bedrooms. However, we have been living here for over a year now and could not be happier. Also, when I say ‘we’ this includes two adults and one very happy, but giant, golden retriever. So living small in central London, with a dog, is completely possible.

Below you’ll find the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos as we redid the boat.

Our Narrowboat Tiny Home ‘Before’ Redoing It


Images © Sarah Meyer

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Our Narrowboat Tiny House ‘After’ We Completed Most of the Work

sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-001 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-002 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-003 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-004 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-005 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-006 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-007 sarah-meyers-narrowboat-after-008

Images © Sarah Meyer

We have blogged about our journey at http://cozyconundrums.wordpress.com/

Good luck to all making the leap to live small! If we can ever be of any help to answer questions send them our way.

Our big thanks to Sarah Meyer for sharing her awesome narrowboat tiny house with us!

If you enjoyed this tiny living in a narrowboat story you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more! Thank you!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Susie M
    November 14, 2014, 9:43 am

    Congratulations! what a lovely way to make your dreams come true – I’m turning 50 shades of green over here in Vermont – growing up in the UK – this was my dream as a teenager (many decades ago) You have the best of both worlds – a beautiful home, and access to the scenic network of waterways that cover the UK. Great job on making it your own. Good luck to you both!

    • November 14, 2014, 12:54 pm

      Hi Susie – Thank you so much for the message! If you are ever in London, please stop by for a cup of tea!

  • Jeremy
    November 14, 2014, 11:45 am

    That’s awesome! I used to love the barge homes when I was in Europe. Does yours still have an engine?

    • November 14, 2014, 12:58 pm

      Thanks Jeremy! It does still have an engine that works. When we were purchasing the boat, it was important to make sure it was a properly functioning boat first and foremost. If you are ever in London feel free to stop by for a cup of tea or coffee.

      • Jeremy
        November 27, 2014, 1:39 pm

        Wonderful, I may take you up on that 🙂

  • Comet
    November 14, 2014, 12:34 pm

    @SUSIE M—

    I believe there are a few Narrowboats for hire on the Champlain and Erie Canals in NY-not all that far from you in Vermont!

    I like seeing these as my family is originally from the Black Country where these were a common sight. I am kinda torn tho on if I like the Before or After better—the After is a work in progress and will no doubt change as time goes on and they actually live in it; and the befores altho very quaint look very dark.

    • November 14, 2014, 1:07 pm

      Hi Comet! Thanks for the comment. We have seen many narrowboats around the Black Country. The boat was previously used as a Holiday boat and the space was not laid out well for full time living. So far we have been in the boat for over a year and the space has worked well. The boat was very dark at first and the white, while I know it is not everyones favorite, does make a 6 foot wide boat seem as wide and bright as possible! If you are ever in London feel free to stop by for a cup of tea.

  • November 14, 2014, 1:23 pm

    I love these type of Tiny Homes; this would work great on the Mississippi here in the states. Or on the large Lake Winebago here in Wisconsin. Myself, I also prefer the prior wood look, but to each their own on the decor. The white actually looks more nautical and could easily appeal to those with that type of background.

  • Beth DeRoos
    November 14, 2014, 4:44 pm

    WOW!! That is beautiful!! Look how much bigger an airy the place looks. Awesome job!!

  • Marsha Cowan
    November 14, 2014, 7:22 pm

    I sooo love longboats! And this one is really well done. Love the colors!

  • William
    November 15, 2014, 2:12 pm

    May I ask the type/brand of wood stove?

    • January 25, 2015, 4:47 am

      Hi William,

      I am so sorry I don’t know what type of stove it is. It came with the boat originally and does not seem to have any visible branding or markings on it. If you would like dimensions or anything specific, please let me know. It is very small, but great at making the place very warm.

      Thank you!

  • Lisa E.
    December 12, 2014, 6:22 pm

    I totally love narrow boats. They have a special charm all their own. With the new renovations, you are set to enjoy a whole lot of good living. Congratulations!

    • January 25, 2015, 4:48 am

      Thank you Lisa! We love it and it has already been a wonderful year in it so far!

      Take care,

  • R Boden
    January 5, 2015, 2:04 pm

    I wish they would build a network of canals in Australia! (I know not enough water). Do you miss the storage in the lounge and cupboard? Maybe you could build stowage under the new hug me lounge? anyway nice boat. 🙂

    • January 25, 2015, 4:51 am


      I am from the states originally and wish they would build a network over there as well. As for the storage, we have to be very strategic on what we bring into the boat and where we put it, but honestly it is not an issue.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions, always here to help!


  • Glenda
    January 8, 2015, 2:36 am

    I love what has been done! It still has some wood for that warm feeling yet the lighter walls create a feel of more space & light. I love the stove, couch & plants on deck! Very special boat-home!

    • January 25, 2015, 4:53 am

      Hi Glenda,

      Thank you so much, we could not agree more! The white on the walls instantly made the space feel bigger!

      Take care,

  • Sally
    May 8, 2015, 12:46 pm

    Absolutely Beautiful ! .. This is the first time I’ve been moved to comment .. A peaceful easy uncluttered space to breathe a sigh of relief & just ‘be’ .. I will consider myself in heaven if I manage to achieve something similar one day for Zebedee (cat) & Me .. Congratulaciones !

  • Andrea Hardy
    August 30, 2016, 11:45 am

    Jealous! LOVE it! Could definitely live there

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