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The boat house: Holiday home turned permanent retreat

A change of circumstances led this island holiday home to become a permanent retreat.


The boat house: Holiday home turned permanent retreat

By rights, the Captain’s Cabin should have been out of Louise Pollard’s life years ago. It was never intended as a holiday house and certainly never as a permanent residence. “We thought we would do a quick flick…but we got to really love it,” says Louise of the diminutive bach she and her husband bought near Oneroa 14 years ago.

Tropical plantings

They added two bedrooms, a veranda and a large covered deck. She threw herself into redecorating and developing a garden they could enjoy on weekends and holidays, when it wasn’t rented out to paying guests.

Builders installed the round window in the front door as a surprise for Louise.

Then, in September 2011, the bach unexpectedly became her fixed address.“When the marriage broke up, I found myself living here. It was important for me to have my own place. I fought to keep this.” While the early days were tough, Louise has come to relish her island lifestyle.


Captain’s Cabin is constantly evolving. In recent years, Louise has refurbished the kitchen and bathroom, added a summerhouse overhanging the pond and constructed a tenanted studio apartment out back.

The veranda is used all summer and the summerhouse, fitted with oars and other nautical pieces from her father, is a favourite party spot. “One New Year’s Eve we had 30 people squashed in counting down until midnight – it was so much fun.”


Next on the ‘to do’ list is the creation of a small formal garden at the front of the house. Louise admits to watering down the nautical theme in recent years as her city furniture had to be placed in the much smaller house.

“I think I’ve just made it into a home rather than a holiday place now. I like living on the island – it’s paradise really.”


Downsizing with style

  • Moving from a larger house means choosing your favourite pieces and keeping only the things you really love around you
  • Enjoy giving some of your excess treasures away to friends and family
  • Relish paying less to the energy companies
  • Open-plan living makes smaller spaces feel larger
  • White furniture and white walls create space and they’re also lovely to live with
  • Extend outdoor areas to provide additional living and entertaining space. A covered deck is ideal for this
  • Don’t stress. Follow the Balinese philosophy that says ‘only think of the present, not the past and not the future’

Words by: Sue Hoffart. Photography by: Helen Bankers.