The Big Reveal

Narrowboat fit out – creating our New Look

This has been a week of barely concealed excitement. Kodran emerged from the paint shed over the weekend revealing our narrowboat fit out: we’re both ship-shape AND dressed to the 9s!

We couldn’t be more pleased with Kodran’s new look: the paint job – midnight blue with raddle red highlights, there’s a gallery of photos here – and the soft furnishings, an internet shopping success, eye catching blocks of colour, picked remotely from Toronto, brightening up a particularly bad, ice-bound Saturday a couple of weeks ago.

Background colours

Those of you who follow the blog will know we picked curtain material when we were over in March. I have to say there’s no substitute for ‘feeling the width’ as the old rag trade saying goes. The folks at Terry’s Fabrics of Stoke-on-Trent were extremely helpful and their prices beat off much of the internet competition. Our palette challenge was the predominantly blue back drop of the upholstery in Kodran. Okay, once the beds are made up a lot of that disappears in the back cabins, but it still dominates in the saloon. Additionally, the stock duvet covers from our ‘housekeepers’ at JD Boats meant we were still contending with a busy blue theme in the bedrooms.

Building up the theme

We wanted to tie in the essence of a canal cruise while freshening up the interior. We adopted the current light coloured painted ceiling trend which brings in more light than oak-on-oak. As well as breaking up the wood, it adds much needed height to a narrow boat cabin.

After deliberating over patterns and complementary colours we settled on iLiv’s Hedgerow in pistachio colour way for saloon curtains. It both tied in the gold accents we knew we would have to deal with in the duvets, with an homage to the traditional English countryside.

We considered Fish and Duck patterns at one point but a narrow boat has little curtain height for pattern repeats. Besides, we risked looking like JR Hartley’s (one for the kids) parlour. We also quickly rejected Trawlers and Lighthouses for being not only cliched but simply not appropriate. Every room was lurching towards becoming a combination children’s nursery and bathroom.

Front to Back

Having splashed out on bang-on-trend designer drapes for the living quarters, we went with simple solids from Fryett’s Kensington range in the cabins. Our online cushions beckon the colours of the saloon through to the private quarters while not clashing with the shouty duvet pattern.

Cushions were high on our list both for added colour and comfort. Back support on the bench seats in a narrow boat saloon is sadly lacking.

We went playful with Scandi-patterned cushion covers from Studio-G’s Folki range; a custom-made internet buy. The solid covers – the grey and aqua for example – link the hedgerow secondary colours with the feature cushions with the plum solid unashamedly popping.

Team Effort

We’re thrilled that our narrowboat fit out came together but slightly disappointed that commitments in Toronto meant we missed Kodran’s relaunch. Our local family were absolute gems over the last few weeks fetching and carrying our remote purchase. But most of all supplying us with photos of progress.

The team at Gailey were amazing, pulling out all the stops to turn Kodran’s refit around in short measure – even the weather co-operated for the paint drying – and seeing our first guests off on time, May 1st.