Tiny Treasure

The boat is outfitted with solar panels that operate most of the vehicle’s energy needs.

Great views and cozy quarters make for a charming vacation rental.

Gretchen and her husband Darren Eck were driving their kids to camp when a large truck pulling a pontoon sparked an idea. Gretchen pondered aloud, wouldn’t it be great to buy a pontoon, turn it into a tiny houseboat and rent it out? “It was a whim but we acted on it,” she says, and almost a year later their tiny houseboat, christened Untucked, is poised to cruise around Jordan Lake.

For the last year, the Ecks have been working to transform the idea into a reality, with Darren taking the lead on custom designing and building the space. Though not a professional builder (he’s in IT, says Gretchen), Darren grew up in a family that renovated houses and enjoyed the challenge of designing the space, while Gretchen envisioned the interiors and decorated the small, yet well appointed space.

At a tiny 128 square feet, the miniature houseboat features convertible functions and creative solutions so you can enjoy life on the water. “We really talked about how to best design it,” says Gretchen. “You have to think about space.” Here, she shares the details.

Gretchen is particularly pleased with the turquoise fish vessel sink she found on Amazon. “I wanted something nautical,” she says. Darren mounted the sink on a platform, while the large tiles give it a serene quality. A filtration system pumps water from the lake and into the shower and other faucets to create a sustainable solution.

The kitchen features ample counter space to prepare a meal, including a built-in fridge and two-burner cook stove. Gray and white thin subway tile decorates the backsplash and a turquoise barn door separates the space from the adjacent bathroom.

The tiny houseboat offers all the amenities you might find at a hotel, including air conditioning and heat, built-in phone chargers and stereo system, and a wall-monted TV. “We give you a thumb drive with all of our favorite movies,” adds Gretchen.

The main living space has a sofa that converts into a roomy queen bed. A collapsible table hangs from the counter, and in the closet, shelves pull out to offer easier access to your things. “I wanted the space to look beachy and whimsical,” says Gretchen, of the nautical details.

Alexandra Drosu
Alexandra Drosu

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