When a designer needs a designer…

The Trials & Tribulations
of an out-of-state remodel

Sleepless in Portland:
a designers experience of remodeling a floating home

Portland Houseboat June 2014

I took my Dad for a whirlwind trip to my Portland houseboat for Fathers Day. We explored Sauvie Island, got rained on (despite weather reports declaring a dry time), and spent a wonderful afternoon at Powell’s Books.

After meeting with contractors and electricians, the project is inching along. My original plan was to spend several weeks living in this houseboat in July. As you can see by the photos, that was clearly an optimistic goal. If only I could clone myself to be on-site to handle the endless questions and decisions to get this project moving forward at a faster pace.

After adjusting the target project completion date to September, this month will be busy struggling to stay on top of the progress from my home in the desert. The electrical is done, the kitchen and flooring have been ordered, and a fresh coat of paint will be applied soon. So although the progress photos still look a bit scary, this houseboat might actually be habitable soon.

This experience is a good reminder of how clients feel during their out-of-state remodeling projects. I have a new and better appreciation for what they go through, because I too feel anxious. I find myself thinking – this designer needs a designer!

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written by Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood is an award-winning designer who runs her successful design business in La Quinta, California. Self-described as an Interior Designer with a twist; she passes along her trade discounts and special pricing to her clients, making her services a true value. As a certified Design Psychology Coach, Patricia helps people create spaces where they feel connected to their surroundings. Lockwood Interiors, with over 40 years of combined design experience, offers a concierge level of service for all of your design and remodeling needs


Well, I never thought I would have anything in common with Tom Hanks.

But soon, I will be taking the plunge into owning a summer getaway house and taking inspiration from one of his well-loved movies.

Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

20 years ago, I was introduced to a different kind of dwelling while watching Sleepless in Seattle. 15 years ago, I was thrilled to learn my aunt and uncle actually acquired one. Now, as luck would have it, they are moving to sunny Palm Springs and I have the opportunity to purchase their floating A-Frame home in Portland.

Portland Floating Home

So if all the stars align, I will soon be entering the quirky and spirited houseboat community. I’ve got my water wings, sketch pad, and measuring tape ready to start planning for a full-blown remodel to be completed next summer.

Land-dwellers, stay tuned for the next exciting chapter in the latest summer home adventure of the floating designer…