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heaven Story by Brandee Thomas Photos by Sarina Roth

Top: Flat screens are right at home over the water and bring the living area to a focal point. Above: Don’t sacrifice comfort. Spacious bathrooms allow for his and hers to stay separate.


May | June 2013

Take a look around your home. What’s your favorite feature? Is it the stainless steel appliances in your kitchen? What about the plush sofa in your family room or the hot tub on your deck where you like to unwind after a long, stressful day? Whatever your favorite thing, chances are you can enjoy it while floating in the middle of Lake Lanier. “As far as design choices, you can have any lamp, any rug, and any piece of furniture you want. You can clutter it, you can make it simplistic. It’s all about creating a reflection of you,” says JR Schwan, general manager of Holiday Boat Sales and Brokerage in Buford. “Anything you can do in your home, you can do it here – just on a smaller scale.” “Smaller” doesn’t mean tiny and inconvenient. Today’s houseboats can fit fullsized appliances, traditional-sized beds and even free-standing living room furniture.

Modern houseboats typically have at least 2 bedrooms, with some models incorporating a ½ bath on a rear deck. “People want all of the newest features that you would find in a home,” Schwan says. “They want flat-screen televisions. They want stylish and contemporary interiors. They want granite counter-tops. They want hardwood floors.” And they can have them. “One of the best things about a house boat is that it’s like having a lake house that happens to float,” Schwan says. If you think you’re too young or too unestablished in your career to purchase a houseboat, think again. “Houseboats come in all different sizes and price points. One of the biggest misconceptions out there is when people think of houseboats, they think of grandma and grandpa sitting around knitting,” Schwan says. “The house-boating lifestyle provides a HOME Living

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