In what sounds like the plot of a charming Audrey Tautou film, architect Valérie Mazerat renovated a decrepit Dutch barge and converted it into a sweet Parisian houseboat home for herself and her young daughter. Decorated only in cool charcoals and blues, the space is stylish but edited, thanks to extreme limitations on space. The entire interior of the boat, in fact—which comes from a 1920s train carriage grafted right onto an early 1900s barge—offers just enough space for a combined living room and kitchen, two cubby-like bedrooms, and a small office.
Still, built-in storage solutions and a canopied terrace on deck (a chic houseboat essential) add to the cramped quarters, and neither mother nor daughter seem to mind the alternative living arrangement, anyways. "It's another world, which takes you far away from any semblance of the everyday," says Mazerat of her boat. "There is a sense of freedom that you don't get living ashore, and time definitely slows down."