For reasons of stability, houseboats are usually quite boxy. They also tend to have lots and lots of windows — all the better to enjoy those views.
The roof deck is another common signature of houseboats. This modern beauty in Seattle benefits from being in the city but feels like a retreat.
In a houseboat, you can be up close and personal with the neighbors on the dock but removed from the pace of the city.
Decks, docks, porches, balconies and roof decks are plentiful. Because houseboats tend to be small, outdoor living is an important part of this way of life.
A floating home on a canal in Malmo, Sweden. It's right in the heart of the city, with views out to the Baltic.
A converted tugboat. Now this is a houseboat: tiny, boaty and no frills.
Inside this tiny boat, all the rooms are defined by furniture, steps and imaginative dividers like this bead curtain, which allows light through but offers a sense of separation.
Because floating homes tend to be smaller than their landlubbing counterparts, open, bright spaces work best. This open staircase allows light and air to move. And check out those high "portholes." They let in the light without offering neighbors a view inside.
Open layouts and lots of windows. Without all the windows looking out at the water, there's hardly a reason to live on a houseboat.
A room with a view. If you live on a houseboat, you have to get use to lookie loos kayaking by to get a peek.