sneak peek: josie curran and barnaby girling


British stylist Emily Rickard lived in Australia for the past 10 years and just packed up her life and moved to New York for the next chapter. Before crossing the oceans, she stopped on home turf and teamed up with photographer Anthea Williamson to capture the amazing river home of Josie Curran and Barnaby Girling. The houseboat is situated on an island in the Thames, just a short commute via train to London. A mix of super-vibrant colors and quirky flea market finds, the colors reflect how happy the family has been to start their life together there and welcome their two children, Herbie and Kitty. The home is undoubtedly an inspiration for Josie’s writing and Barnaby’s work as a creative director. They’re getting ready to move on to their next chapter, as well, but we’re thrilled to share this place before they find their roots in a new home. Thanks so much to Josie and to Emily for helping coordinate and assisting with the descriptions while Josie is busy with their new three-month-old. — Anne

Image above: A multi-coloured reading “nook” is home to a salvaged armchair and shelves full of Josie’s many books. Josie has a talent for mixing bold, big colours and creating playful spaces. “Kiss Her” print by Bianca Hall.

Image above: In the master bedroom, “Silence” reigns over the bed, a Bianca Hall limited-edition glitter print.

The rest of Josie’s river home continues after the jump!

Image above: This nurtured armchair passed down from Josie’s grandmother sits on the deck, soaking up the afternoon riverside sun.

Image above: The antique writing desk in the master bedroom, where Josie creates new ideas for each of her books, is also a visual delight, with an antique mirror, jewelery and trinkets.

Image above: The surf-specific art on the walls hints of Barney’s passion for the wave.

Image above: As the doors open at the front and back of the house, the family gets to really experience living on the river in the true sense.

Image above: In Herbie’s nursery, the vintage cot reveals Josie’s knack for the perfect flea market find.

Image above: Collectibles give even the bathroom a nautical feel.

Image above: This brightly colourful Madonna artwork was a chance find — an ex-prop from the backdrop of Fame Academy.

Image above: A colourful kitchen makes for year-round fun in the playful family home.

Image above: Josie and Barney have the traditional megaphone on hand, an essential item for life on the water.

Image above: A secret garden leads through to the back door of the boat, across a small moat, and through artfully grown shrubbery and flowers.


OMG! That throw at the end of the bed & that bag next to the desk!! Want! Great, colorful place!!

Heather French

Really pretty. I just wrote a post on pop’s of color in homes and this house does it well! Really beautiful! What I would give to live on a river! What a fun place to raise a family!

European Chic

Living on a houseboat in Paris is my dream!

I love this adorable houseboat, especially the artworks.

Greetings from Paris!


Is that on Taggs Island?…my old hood I miss that river stretch :-) How on earth have you trained your son too keep away from the river? Lovely lovely home.


LOVE IT! My favorite home in a long time. Where’s the PLAYER’S PLEASE trunk from and the pink print in the master bedroom?


Wow! I love this so much! The bedroom set up, the two couches, and the use of Expedit shelves the way I have always wanted to is superb!

Anne Kea

Wow, this is really one of my favourite sneak peeks I have seen up to now and how cool it must be to live on a house boat.


Wonderful from head to toe. Definitely my favourite is the bedroom and the bathroom nautic details. But the holw house make sense… and it’s absolutely inviting!


I love that reading nook! I could spend all day curled up there with a good book, a cat and a neverending cup of tea…bliss x

Wave Avenue

silence! fave bedroom statement, fave bedroom piece.. and the dining chairs in different colors are just darling. =)


I wanted to see inside (or stay on!) a houseboat so badly when I was in Amsterdam! It’s great to see one featured here. You have a beautiful and unique home :) I love the lavender chair on the deck; I don’t think I’d want to ever get up.


Adore the light and colour, excellent images and a beautiful home!!! Thank you for sharing.


Sorry to put a damper on this. The crib looks very unsafe. The child could get his head caught in it. Maybe take that one photo down?


I agree. That crib really concerns me. A child could suffocate on that type of bedding. But otherwise the home is gorgeous. It’s had to believe it’s a boat.


Beautiful – do you know where the floral cover on the bed is from?

Emily Rickard

Hi there – Just wanted to leave a couple of responses as I am the stylist who provided the shots…. we added a few bits into the Herbie crib shot…. so don’t be alarmed that there is all that bedding in there…. Herbie has way outgrown any crib now, but it’s such a beautiful piece that Josie has kept it in the home. Also – some of you asked about the prints, they have been credited on here already but go to ..
Thanks for all your wonderful responses!


Oh my!!! That armchair is salvage-alicious!!! And all the color and comfy looking blankets, this is a great post. Makes me drool a little.

Char Glassley

I see a few comments asking for this already, but I really must echo them in asking where that beautiful duvet/quilt/throw came from? That floral print is gorgeous and I can’t seem to find anything that comes close!


where is the teal and fuchsia lamp from ????????? <3 <3 <3 <3