How We Transformed Our Boat for Less Than $2K


The Catalina Wine Mixer was built in 2001, and she felt a little dated when we moved aboard. So, we took it upon ourselves to give her a mini makeover – on a budget. Brian and I sold a lot of furniture when we moved out of our old place, so we decided to reinvest some of that cash into the boat, mostly for inspections and maintenance. But we were able to set aside $2,000 for décor.

Turns out, $2,000 goes a long way in a tiny space! With a few furniture swaps, some new linens, and a little creativity, we were able to turn our boat into a home. Here’s how we did it.

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What We Changed, Room by Room

Read on for a breakdown of what we changed and what we spent, room by room! You can also shop the boat (links below).

Mid Deck / Office / Dining Room

Adams Extendable Dining Table (& Desk!): $259.99 (Regularly $349.99)

Oblong Lumbar Pillow: $16.99

It looks like this exact pillow is only available in orange now, but this grey option is similar.

Langfjall Swivel Chair: $179.00

Metallic Blue Floral Napkins: $9.99

Placemats: $0

One of my very best friends gave these to us as a boat-warming gift! I think they’re from Target, but I don’t see them on the website. These are somewhat similar!

Jute Napkin Rings: $4.99 (Regularly $19.99)

Embroidered Stripe Table Runner: $17.99

Repurposed Décor: $0

We were able to find a new home for some of our plants, picture frames, etc. on the boat!

Total: $488.95

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Grey Heather Comforter Set: $49.99

Yarn Dye Striped Ringspun Cotton Blanket: $26.49

Braided Quilt – West Elm: $0

We brought this quilt with us from our old house, but you can still buy it at West Elm!

Accent Pillows: $0

We re-purposed the throw pillows from our old bedroom, but you can find the Lean on Me pillow by Kate Spade here!

Sketched Triangle Curtain Panel: $16.99 (Regularly $19.99

Justin Metal Accent Lamp with USB Port (Set of 2): $59.99

Total: $153.46

Living Room / Salon

Rivet Revolve Modern Sofa Bed: $699 (Regularly $899.00)

Table Lamps: $0

We re-purposed a couple of lamps from our old place, but you can find similar versions here and here!

Signal Mountain Lift Top Coffee Table: $149.00 (Regularly $189.00)

Ava Blue Rug: $79.99

Textured Abstract Pillow: $17.99

Target doesn’t have this pillow on their site anymore, but this one and this one are pretty similar!

Solano Waves of Grace Throw Pillow: $31.99

End Tables: $0

We brought these with us! These tables were literally the only pieces of our existing furniture that would fit in our tiny new space.

Window Treatments: $0

We decided to keep the blinds for now, but removed the curtains to open up the space and let more light in. It made a big difference!

Total: $977.97

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Amherst Mid Century Modern Writing Desk: $149.99 (Regularly $189.99)

Langfjall Swivel Chair: $179.00

Dean LED Task Lamp: $29.99

Striped Woven Rug: $19.99

Target doesn’t have our exact rug on their site anymore, but this one is pretty similar.

Re-purposed Décor: $0.00

We were able to find a new home for some of our old plants, picture frames, etc. on the boat!

Total: $378.97

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All of this brought our grand total to $1,999.35!


What We Weren’t Able to Do

We didn’t have room in our budget for any major renovations, so the kitchen, bathrooms, and forward cabin are still on our list. But, giving them a thorough cleaning and adding a couple of plants made these spaces feel like new (almost).

Next up: we’re hoping to add a larger sink and a tile backsplash to the kitchen. Stay tuned!