Having a “well, duh!” moment with a Linden Houseboat

More changes for the Windlass version of my Linden Homes houseboat

As regulars here know, I’ve been playing around with the various versions of the Linden Homes houseboat designs on-and-off, creating and saving various interior layouts utilising rezzing systems, some of which I’ve bored people with in these pages – see: Saving your Bellisseria house designs for re-use with a rezzing system, More houseboat decorating in Second Life, and Still messing about in (house)boats in Second Life.

In particular with the last article, I wrote about converting the raised section of the Windlass design in a bedroom. This involved putting in a false floor and an additional stairway. While it worked to a point, having two staircases inside the houseboat was a bit weird, and while other things took me away from the houseboat (truth be told I barely set foot in it between that June 2019 article and the end of October), the issue nagged at me.

The problem, in short, was the “hard” stair railing that blocked any access to an upper floor put into the Windlass from the existing stairway – the stairs being intended purely to access the houseboat’s upper deck. However, in hopping back recently and swapping from my use of the Barnacle houseboat to the Windlass, I had one of those embarrassing “well, duh!” moments: Why even keep the existing stairway leading up to the upper deck?

Top: the June 2019 build, showing the added spiral stairs while the “fix” stairs remain usable behind the kitchen walls. Bottom: as revised – just the one spiral staircase, the “fixed” stairs now boxed in to created a “bathroom”, while the cubbyhole under the stairs has been opened to create space for a galley-style kitchen

In the June design, I had already partially walled-in the fixed stairway, boxing-in the cubbyhole under the stairs in the process, to provide a “back wall” for a kitchen area and a false space to suggest a bathroom. By opening this out again, but keeping the stairway hidden behind a curved “ceiling”, and then completely blocking out the bottom end of the stairs allowed me to:

  • Hide the existing stairway and create the impression of a bathroom tucked into a corner of the houseboat.
  • Extend the “bedroom” space the full width of the upper section of the houseboat, while keeping the stairway door as a mean to access the upper deck.
  • Relocate the spiral stairs serving the bedroom so they don’t dominate the floor space of the houseboat so much.
  • Use the re-exposed cubby hole under the “fixed” stairway as the home for a galley kitchen.
  • Open out the rest of the available space for a roomier dining space (so much pace, I’ve yet to work out what I want to do with bits of it!
Extending the new bedroom floor both provides more space while allowing the upper part of the “fix” stairway to serve as an access way to the roof deck k(seen on the left)

The exterior view of the houseboat, vis window placement, doesn’t quite align with the interior layout (the stairway is marked by two large windows) – but dropping the blinds on these tends to help hide this, although I did toy with blocking the windows out complete. On the flip side, general access to the upper deck isn’t lost this way – it’s still possible to reach it via the simple expedient of an external stairway, as seen in the top photo, one easily accessed from the lower floor of the houseboat and the docks I dropped in for mooring my boats.

All of this isn’t a genius move; doubtless others arrived at the same solution well ahead of me – hence referring to it as a “well, duh!” moment. But it at least makes me happier 🙂 .