The Other Mackenzie-Childs Home Is For Sale, Only This Time, It Floats!

Back in 2013, Victoria and Richard Mackenzie-Childs decided to sell their home. I shared a tour of their whimsical, fairytale home in this previous post: Mackenzie-Childs’ Estate is for Sale: Take the Tour.


The home was warm and cozy inside as you can see from this view of the living room.


But there was no mistaking Victoria and Richard’s fanciful style throughout the home. Every room was a display of its owners playful personality and whimsical design style.


The Mackenzie-Childs own another very unique home, only this one isn’t on land. Back in 2003 they purchased a historic ferry boat named the Yankee Ferry. In this photo below, it’s seen docked in New York at the Henry Street Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn. This home is just as unique inside as the Mackenzie-Childs estate was, and it’s now available for purchase.

The ferry, built in 1907, has a remarkable history, including being the oldest existing Ellis Island Ferry. It’s quite large, measuring 147 feet long and spans several levels. Initially it was a passenger steamer, ferrying folks between Portland, Maine and the Casco Bay Islands. Over the years it was employed during several wars, including World War I when it was commissioned by the Navy to transport men and supplies between Boston and the Navy’s Bumpkin Island Training Station.

After the war, it was employed to ferry immigrants from Ellis Island. Can you just imagine all the stories this ferry could tell! Its fascinating history doesn’t stop there. Next it was used to carry sightseers around the New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty. It was put back to work again during World War II.

After the war it exchanged owners a couple of times. One of the owners, Jim Gallagher, worked on restoring the ferry prior to selling it to the Victoria and Richard Mackenzie-Childs, who purchased it in 2003, just two years after leaving the company they had founded back in 1983.

Let’s go inside and take a peek!


Right away we see unmistakable Mackenzie-Childs design in the decor.


Note the rope “drapery” surrounding the alcove housing a grand piano. Umm, wonder who that is playing the piano! Looks like he may have a bit of trouble reaching the foot pedals. 😉


This also makes me think of Mary Engelbreit for some reason. I also loved the whimsical checks she worked into her decor.


Lots of nautical charm, throughout.


This is the master bedroom. I thought this was two single beds, but it’s just a large mirror on the other wall. Note that the canopy above the bed is actually a beautiful painting. I’ve never seen this done before. Would be a fun way to fall asleep each night, as long as it’s a pastoral or happy scene.


This is my favorite bed or sleeping quarters on the Yankee Ferry. Cozy and romantic!


I think I read that there are 11 bedroom on board.


Another cozy area for relaxing. This would definitely be a unique lifestyle, wouldn’t it? A private little getaway just minutes away from the bustling streets of New York.



There are tons more photos at the listing site, way too many to share in this one post.


If you would enjoy reading more about the history of the Yankee Ferry and would like to see additional photos, check out the listing where these photos were found, here: Yankee Ferry.

Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.


Tour Richard and Victoria’s farm in this previous post: Mackenzie-Childs Estate.

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  1. I love their style so much! I wonder how they can bear to part with their homes? Perhaps they get the itch to start creating all over again. Be interesting to see what they’re on to next…

  2. I’m not sure a water based home is for me, but it was interesting. Just a side note, the two twin beds in with the mural above is actually just one bed. The wall to its left is made up with about three or four mirrors. It had me fooled till I noticed the white wall.

  3. Oh yes, this is so great. The video of Victoria guiding a tour on this ferry displays her quirky personality oh, so well!

  4. That is so interesting what they can do on a boat. A large boat, but a boat none the less. I am wondering, also, what their new project will be. I went back and looked at the house since I missed it. I have a bunch of junk I have collected. I have already seen a couple of ideas to turn it into something interesting. I will probably be moving in about two years…who starts over at, well by that time I will be 67 but who says I can’t. I am going to have the cottage I have always longed for. This gives me so many ideas, thanks for sharing.

  5. I have always liked their style, it works so well in their homes. Unique vision of true artists. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Juanita in OH says

    WOW, what a treat that was. Their home and boat are beautiful. I don’t know how they can part with either. I LOVE their whimsy, they do it in a very special way. I agree, Alice in Wonderland is the perfect translation for how they decorate. Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful fantasy to my eyes and heart. TFS.

  7. BamaCarol says

    I could take one room of this style but it is really too much color and stuff for me. I do love seeing how others live though – thank you so much for bringing us all kinds of interesting homes both on and off the water!

  8. Iris McCloud says

    I saw this home on TV a number of years ago. I really don’t remember much else about the show . It combines a whimsical look with romance and formality. Very interesting.

  9. You know…I luv that bed with the painting above…what magical minds they must have…hope the “floating home” goes to someone who will keep it that way…franki

  10. Susan, what an amazing ferry turned into a home. I love all of the MC style. Thanks for sharing!

  11. My husband and I accidentally found the studio in upstate New York while my daughter was in college nearby. It was an unexpected treasurer then, and I enjoy seeing the MC artistry and creativity whenever I can. The ferry is truly a unique work of art and history.

  12. What a whimsical place , I love her work.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I remember reading about this boat a while back. She has left her signature style once again! The boat certainly has an interesting history doesn’t it!

  14. Before retiring to Pennsylvania, we lived in the area where MC had this
    wonderful house, with fascinating grounds including barns, duck ponds, bricked walks, lovely flower and vegetable gardens and as well as a charming restaurant. It was a must see when out of town guests came to visit. As it was also where they had their craft shops, the grounds included many small shops with “seconds”.
    I have a decorative “doorstop” that was meant to be a leg on one of their upholstered hassocks…unique and colorful. In summer it becomes “garden pottery” outdoors for me and during the indoor months I use as a doorstop. One of their daughters was married from this unique place.
    That night the long brick paved road that led into the property was lined
    with flaming pots and the entire grounds truly a wonderful a sight to behold. One of the barns housed the reception where among the many treats haggis was served. One of the major decorating magazines covered it at the time.
    MC provided employment for the nearby towns. The only down-side was that the MC were very insistent that their employees follow some rather strict religious observances while on the grounds working.

    Indeed a sad day when the whole magical scene was sold and closed down forever. Oh….and they had peacocks too that strolled the place. Just a magical place to while away pleasant summer hours. It must have been pure agony to shutter the place for the owners who put their very souls into this amazing fairyland.

  15. What a special magical place, it does seem a shame that it probably won’t stay intact. They certainly have an interesting view on life being able to create these kind of quirky,wonderful treasures.

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