How Kristine Irving and Marcel Albanese Revamped a ’60s Houseboat

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Photo by Joyelle West

As designers, Kristine Irving and Marcel Albanese often create gathering places for their clients. So when Albanese (a cofounder of Studio FKIA) purchased this 1969 Nauta-Line houseboat from a retired sea captain, the couple seized the opportunity to design an entertainment space of their own. Plus, the vessel was in dire need of a makeover: With Formica countertops, shag-carpet ceilings, and a foul stench, the interior screamed “Brady Bunch meets Home Depot,” says Irving, founder of Koo de Kir Architectural Interiors.

The pair soon got to work, gutting and rebuilding the 350-square-foot boat with wide-plank floors and painted mahogany cabinetry. Dubbed the p/v Num Num, the remodeled craft includes a custom dining table and a banquette, which doubles as storage for a queen-size mattress. The Num Num also boasts an oak-topped bar and a kitchen equipped with a cooler and grills for charring the fresh fish served up during frequent dinner parties. “All of our [clients’ homes] have Sub-Zero refrigerators, but I’m [content] with a cooler,” Irving says, with a laugh. “[The boat] is not as high-end as our professional work, but it’s where we’re happy.”

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