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Life on the water

Floating homes in Seattle. (Photo Credit: hairyeggg)

Floating homes in Seattle. (Photo Credit: hairyeggg)

Many people dream of living by the water, but a new crop of modern floating homes is taking that dream one step further. Floating homes differ from houseboats in that they have no propulsion power, but rather are built on buoyant platforms. They are generally designed for year-round living, and are hooked up for water, electricity and sewage.

Float home owners often report that there isn’t a better night’s sleep than on a float home. “The gentle movement of the float home and the negative ions from the water make it very relaxing and peaceful,” according to the website of Toronto Float Homes.

For this floating home in Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, architect Christopher Simmonds took advantage of views of the lake and the trees. (Photo Credit: Peter Fritz)

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Stephen Turner’s experimental house, known as the Exbury Egg, floats on the Beaulieu River in southern England. The Egg is ‘tethered’ like a boat to rise and fall with the tide. (Photo Credit: Nigel Rigden)

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Seattle is famous for its floating homes and this one, located on Lake Union in the heart of the city, provides its owners with space for comfortable living and gracious entertaining. (Photo Credit: V + C Architects)

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French architectural firm Une maison sur l’eau specializes in floating homes that promote harmony between man and nature. (Photo Credit: Une maison sur l’eau)

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The owners of this house in San Francisco’s Mission Creek say that living amid seabirds and seals gives them the sense of being on vacation, while being right in the heart of the city. (Photo Credit: RN Architects)

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The owners of the Watervilla on the Amstel River in the Netherlands wanted a boat with an open floor plan and maximized views of the water and outdoor space. The distinctive curvy shape of the home was dictated by a rule that the boat couldn’t be more than three meters above the water. (Photo Credit: Colin Morsch)

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In Sausalito, California, waterfront living goes as far back as the 1880s. Known as ‘arks’ rather than houseboats — because they were designed to float at high tide and sit on the mud flats at low tide, the floating homes used to be pulled ashore for the winter months, but have now been adapted for yaer-round use. (Photo Credit: Peter Lyons)

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This home, built by Martinoff Architekten, floats on the Eilbek Canal in Hamburg, Germany and was part of a competition to make the city more attractive and revitalize the canal. (Photo Credit: Martinoff Architekten)

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Houseboat 9 by Graham Baba Architects is located in Seattle harbour, and has a wood-panelled exterior and a bright, cozy interior. (Photo Credit: Graham Baba Architects)

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This 1,200 square foot home in Seattle’s Portage Bay is well-suited to its surroundings and has an evidently strong sustainable ethos that it wears on its sleeves. (Photo Credit: Dyna Contracting)

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Designed by Singapore-based architect Dymitr Malcew has two luxurious bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and a generous terrace. (Photo Credit: Dymitr Malcew)

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This 1,100 square foot floating home is built on three contemporary levels, and features cedar and corrugated siding, a roof-top deck and excellent views of Vancouver’s mountains, Stanley Park and the downtown skyline. (Photo Credit Doug McClelland)

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