Case Study: Christina Miles, This One Floats
By Victoria Smith
Jun 18, 2021
One of the things we think makes our tiles so special is their flexibility - they work well in so many different spaces, and we’ve seen them used creatively in all sorts of surprising spots. In the case of this gorgeous project, a set of our Churrianas have found themselves perfectly at home on a stunning houseboat on the Thames, and they look fantastic. Owner Christina Miles tells us more about taking the plunge into river living, and creating a dream home on water…
Full name: Christina Miles
Occupation: Creative Operations Manager
Style and location of your property: A modern approach to living afloat, based in West London on the River Thames.
Who lives there: I live with my partner Rohan, our two-year-old daughter Elara and our dog, an Alaskan Klee Kai called Aluki.
What prompted you to live on a boat?
Rohan grew up around boats and has been desperate to live on one for years. I finally cracked when we were pregnant with Elara and realised this was the only way to get him to put some roots down!
Did you build it from scratch or was it a refurb?
We converted a commercial vessel (a 1965 Belgian Spitz) which once transported goods on European waterways into a three-bed family home. The shell was there, but nothing more. In many ways we saw much more opportunity than you would in a typical residential refurb as we were starting with a blank canvas.
How would you describe your interior style? Was it easy to achieve the look you wanted in an unusual space?
I am a huge lover of nomadic style and bold colour and patterns. My ambition when planning the space was that it would feel both sophisticated and far from the style of a traditional boat. Turns out there is good reason boats often have certain design aspects (such as panelled walls) as there is so much movement and expansion that is demanded from your building materials! A great deal of problem solving and thought went into the smallest of details.
Tell us about how you used Bert & May tiles in the project…
I loved the idea of a statement kitchen, but we were restricted by the amount of available wall space (we have 360-degree windows throughout) so I only had the lower half of the kitchen to play with. Unable to tile my walls, I chose to tile under the kitchen island bench as a statement feature. We used the Churriana tiles in black. The bold mono pattern is so striking against any colour, I was confident they would grab your attention.
What you think they add to the space?
Given the river views and pastel colours, the kitchen is very tranquil. The tiles add an interesting focus and a great deal of style impact when you take in the space.
What led you to choose Bert & May?
Bert & May speaks to me because it has the earthy boho sophisticated vibe that I really love. From the start of the build, I always knew I wanted to use Bert & May tiles somewhere as they look high-end but in an aged, cool way.
The boat before and after
What are the best things about living in a houseboat? And what are the challenges?
We love the security and community that comes with living in the boating community, and the connection with nature which we are now completely immersed in. There are certainly challenges getting items on and off the boat, and we have to watch our daughter closely around water – but it’s 100% worth it!
Check out Christina’s beautiful home in Instagram: @thisonefloats