Is it finally almost lake time? I sure hope so. It’s no secret that I love the water. Give me a lake, beach, pond, heck even a bathtub and I’m happy. But I love the mountains too, so the lake combines both into my favorite spot.
My fiance (I call him “H”) and I have this wonderful tiny boathouse on South Holston Lake (aka “Soho”) at Painter Creek in Bristol, Tennessee, which takes approximately 12 minutes to reach by car from our house. That is about the maximum distance I ever want to live from water. It truly is a little slice of heaven.
Built in the 1950s, our tiny house on the water is about 1400 square feet (including dock) and has everything we need. I love the fact that every single thing has a place and purpose. Cleaning up is a breeze. We have only what we need. And it’s amazing just how many people we can entertain there if we really set our mind to it. We can seat 8-10 for dinner and sleep 4 comfortably (more in sleeping bags). The kids love hanging out there! It’s kind of a playground on water where they can swim, jump, fish and kayak to their hearts’ content.
In case anyone is wondering, there is a difference between a “boathouse” and a “houseboat.” A boathouse floats but doesn’t move (mainly because there’s no motor!). A houseboat is a very large boat that you can set sail and live on. But many of those choose to stay docked in adorable little water neighborhoods like ours.
I decided on a blue & white color scheme because, well, water! You can accomplish this without going overboard on the nautical look. White opens everything up, making it seem bigger & brighter. White sofa with kids, you ask? This is slip-covered but I’ve never actually taken it off. We just throw beach towels over it when they’re in their wet bathing suits and hope for the best. It’s a pull-out so a couple of the kids can sleep on it. The cocktail table trunk provides extra storage for blankets and pillows.
This chair originally was a very busy maroon & green flower print, so I had a slipcover made for it. I found a flag from Scotland (perfect for me!) and used it for the back & seat cushions. For the ottoman I found some faux snake skin fabric. I love a pop of orange sometimes, like in this velvet pillow (hello…Go Vols!). But sometimes I switch it out to this little camo pillow, seen in the picture below. It’s kind of become my new leopard (maybe being engaged to a hunter has something to do with it?).
Every space needs a bar and we had to squeeze one in! I found a tiny little white table and it’s the perfect size. It sits under our deer head, which adds a nice touch, don’t you think?
Our floating abode is the one in the center with all the American flags. We are very patriotic! Actually this photo was taken on July 4th, but we do usually keep up a trio of the red, white & blue all summer long.
I’m still working on our bedroom and it’s really tiny. Check out the monogrammed blanket from Pottery Barn. I swear it took me forever to figure out how to position the blanket in order for the B to show! I had that thing six ways to Sunday before I finally realized it had to be laid out kind of backward/upside down! I’m used to monograms being at the top of the bed.
The bed itself is super high, so we can use the area underneath for storage.
We tie up all our toys on the side of the boathouse so they don’t take up any room on the dock. They look so colorful out there!
It does get quite rocky out there when lots of boats pass by, and many of them don’t obey the “no wake zone” we’re in. We’ve had pictures fall off the wall before, and potted plants have slid right off into the lake. It’s just the cost of boat life!
There’s a corner table with built-in seating inside where we can eat if the weather is bad (we’ve seen our fair share of storms) but we prefer to sit outside. In fact, we do most of our living outside!
We have a kitchen with a fridge and sink (excuse the non-styled photo, but this is life!), but we pretty much do all the cooking on the grill outside. We keep all of our drinks and even some food on ice outside in a big Yeti cooler. We have a bathroom with a shower, but hey, who needs that when you have the lake, right?
We’re located next to the marina so we pop over there for breakfast & lunch often, and we can hear their live music from our dock on the weekends!
We love our pier…it really is a little peninsula neighborhood. Although, this is how we have to transport things since we are at the very end of the pier, but it’s worth it for the view!
Romantic dinners at sunset? Check.
You can find us right here most weekends (and some weeknights) during summer and into fall, gazing at these beautiful Holston mountains. Virginia’s to the left and Tennessee’s to the right but we feel a part of both.
Pull up your kayak and join us for a cocktail!