After Leslie Webster lost her job as the managing editor of Apartment Therapy: San Francisco, she noticed that she was reaching midlife as a single woman who did not own her own home or, indeed, any significant assets. What she had was a love of the ocean. "I grew up by the beach, I worked on cruise ships, I lived on a Greek island," she says. "I always headed to the coast to clear my head." She had put off her dream lifestyle and didn’t want to hit her midforties still fantasizing about it. That’s when she found a houseboat on Craigslist and took the plunge. It was a soul-enhancing decision. "I’ve become interested in nature and tides and full moons and shorebirds and sea creatures," she writes on her charming blog, A Simple Life Afloat. Webster, a self-described minimalist, says, "I’m probably the only person in my marina who isn’t paying for storage."
She has dealt with such design issues as paint colors, TV cabinets, ships’ horns, mattress ticking, built-in furniture and Sunbrella fabrics to keep out the sunshine, which is amplified by the water. She’s learned about home making in moist conditions (jute carpeting: not a good idea) and working with the rhythms of nature-a life-transforming idea.
Choosing a Craft "The boat is flat and on one level, important because I am a seeing-eye person for a blind dog! It’s very stable and easy to roam around on. Cruise-a-Homes were made between 1968 and 1980 in Washington State. They are cult items now."
Wardrobe on the Water "I’ve simplified. I wear jeans, linen shirts and flip-flops or Converses. I’ve also learned to love cashmere-especially socks in the winter. It gets cold on the water."