A couple have swapped city life and £2,000 a month rent to transform a dilapidated narrowboat into an eco-friendly home.
Julia Baranovska and Will Philips, both 33, were fed up with spending thousands of pounds to live in London and decided to buy a run down barge for just £9,000.
The pair, who had never lived on the water before, decided to transform the ex-tourist vessel into a liveable space.
Julia Baranovska and Will Philips, both 33, (pictured with son Montgomery) were fed up with spending thousands of pounds to live in London and decided to buy a run down barge for just £9,000
The pair, who had never lived on the water before, decided to transform the ex-tourist vessel (pictured) into a liveable space
The family now spend their spare time cruising across the UK from the comfort of their floating home (pictured)
They spent £18,000 on renovations which included fitting a new roof to prevent leaks, reducing the number of windows and creating cosy lounge area.
To make their new home more eco-friendly the couple installed solar panels and introduced a wormery to cut down on waste.
The pair now only use limited diesel for electricity and warmth, especially during the winter.
Since the move in 2016, Julia gave birth to baby Montgomery, now 14 months, who also lives aboard.
They spent £18,000 on renovations which included fitting a new roof to prevent leaks and reducing the number of windows
The pair have so far spent four years renovating the vessel (left) but Julia (right) said they still plan more home improvements
The family now spend their spare time cruising across the UK from the comfort of their home.
The mother-of-one said: ‘We were paying a combined £2,000 per month to live in London in shared accommodation.
‘We didn’t want to use our savings on a mortgage because we knew we’d be in a lifetime of debt.
‘Will liked the idea of buying a boat and as my dad was in the merchant navy, it was something I was familiar with.
Julia and Will have renovated the inside of the former tourist barge to create a homely and functional living space (pictured)
They are also proud of creating a cosy sleeping area (pictured) that has been finished with wood paneling to the walls
The couple said they have spent their summers having a BBQ on the roof (pictured) and sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine
‘We wanted to live off grid, rent free and when we spotted the ex tourist bought up for sale at such a bargain price, we knew we had to buy it.
‘It needed a lot of work even though everything appeared to be working, it wasn’t the easiest place to live.’
Julia, a broadcast journalist, continued: ‘We move every two weeks but one of our favourite spots is the River Lea.
‘In the summer it was amazing as we’d have a BBQ on the roof and sit on the top deck enjoying the sunshine.
The couple have introduced a wormery to cut down on waste and now only use limited diesel for electricity and warmth, especially during the winter
Since the move in 2016, Julia gave birth to baby Montgomery, now 14 months, who also lives aboard (family pictured)
‘The boating community is great and everyone is always so friendly.
‘I’ll hotspot my own phone so I can use the internet on my laptop.
‘We also have a wormery on the boat, where we put most of our food waste.
‘This we later use for planting meadows on our roof. We also had a duck come and stay with us last summer, until she hatched herself some baby ducks, it’s lovely being so close to nature.’
But Julia said that she and Will, who works as a bike courier, still have a lot of work to do.
She said: ‘We have spent a lot of money our home on the water, but it’s great that we own it and it’ll always be an investment.
‘It has taken four years to get it to the standard it is today but considering it used to be a tourist boat, we think it looks pretty good already.’