Multi-talented interior designer, stylist and digital creator, Cathy McGovern (inset, right), founder of Carrow Lane Designs, is renowned for her eclectic style, mixing vintage pieces with upcycled creations to give an overall contemporary feel, transforming the spaces she works in.

One of her latest projects – a boat – shows the Derrylin woman’s talent for taking something old and giving it a new lease of life.

Calling the boat a “work in progress”, the exterior is still in its original form, with Cathy planning to paint it eventually. However, the impact of her design work inside is all the more dramatic for the boat’s inconspicuous look.

Walking through the doors of the main cabin, you are transported to a bohemian paradise as Cathy introduces her take on boating interior design – a far cry from traditional nautical style, with not a Breton stripe to be seen.

Her signature Carrow Lane style is evident as vintage gems are balanced with modern and handmade furniture.

The contemporary colour palette of neutral shades is offset with the odd pop of colour, often provided by Cathy’s choice of vibrant house plant or soft furnishing.

Talking about the inspiration behind renovating the boat, Cathy told this newspaper: “We are interested in starting a tourism business on experiences on Lough Erne so I thought of a boat experience taking people around in rustic- or vintage-style boats rather than something ultra-modern, which is more my taste.

“So that’s really how it started. We got the boat in Athlone, so we had to bring it all the way back up here, which was relatively pain-free apart from when we had a two-year-old and a five-year-old with us.

“The two-year-old roared all the way through several lock gates, but other than that it was good,” she laughed.

When they got the boat back to Fermanagh, Cathy got to work.

“There was nothing really in it, so it was just really a shell. The main cabin luckily had no inbuilt features, so we had free reign, and then the kitchen, it was just horrible and dated.

“I work with Crown Paints, so we did a few different projects with them on it and painted the cabin.”

When asked where she gets her decorating and styling inspiration from, Cathy said: “Most of the stuff I buy are antiques or vintage from auctions and secondhand so that dictates a lot in the project. Style-wise, it’s Instagram or Pinterest [that can also provide inspiration], that sort of thing.”

However, Cathy would say that budget is her “number-one inspiration” and she will always hold out for the right piece, even if it takes time.

“I source auctions every week and I spend a lot of time on sites, [Facebook] Marketplace and things like that, looking for specific things that I want, and I’ll wait for them. I live without something for as long as I can.”

Giving an example of a piece of furniture that she is still waiting to find but has found a creative solution for in the meantime, Cathy said: “The sofa on our boat at the minute is our children’s cot. We just modified it into a sofa, and it fits perfectly.

“Size-wise, it has been great, and it was free! I can’t find a sofa bed we can fit onto the boat that I like, so we’ll just use the cot until such time as we find something, so that’s the way we kind of work things, how we do it.

“We do like to save up for, say, a good antique piece, or make things ourselves.”

When asked about her favourite part of the boat that she has made over, Cathy said it is probably “the main cabin with the big windows”.

“There’s just loads of light; it’s brilliant to sit in all weathers and look out at the view. I use it as my office as well, so it’s great just to have a change in view; it doesn’t feel like work.

“It’s lovely and light and airy, and then we’ve got the old wood and the cot as the sofa, and we’ve got nice cushions and throws to give it a nice, relaxed feel.

“That’s probably my favourite bit,” she told this newspaper.