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Welcome aboard the Flamingo Cafe houseboat, asking $350K

Don't panic. A sunken bath does not mean the houseboat is sinking

Pay no attention to the hatch in the floor of this houseboat, unless you want to take a bath - a nice warm, bubbly bath.

Small houses make use of every space. With only 670 square feet to work with, they possibly ran out of places for the air jet spa; so, they opened up the floor, dropped one in, and then covered it with a hatch for when floor space is more important than bubbles.

The one-bedroom, 0.75-bathroom home, dubbed the Flamingo Cafe, has innovative features throughout that manage to blend in well enough to be missed at a glance. The staircase is left open to keep from intruding on the open feel; and then has alternating, asymmetric treads to accommodate big feet in small places. Cabinetry is blended flush so the walls look uncluttered, even while supplying plenty of storage. The bed, which is surrounded by more storage, can fold into a corner couch, or lay flat for a bed. An office space fits at the foot of the bed, or beside the couch, depending on the configuration. While that's an efficient use of space, it dramatically decreases the separation of work and home life.

From the outside, the $350,000 (plus $450 per month) home has a cabin style, small and casual with pragmatic touches like the deck protected by canvas. Plenty of outdoor sitting space and plenty of windows mean the outside is easy to enjoy. You may have to paddle out for a better view of the lake, but that's simple enough. Sitting closer to the shore means shorter walks and a lot lower mortgage payment, two more affordable luxuries.

· 2542 Westlake Ave N Unit 9 [Windermere]