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Article: Designer Vision | Ocean Magazine

How to decorate and furnish your new boat

Designer Vision | Ocean Magazine

Great interior design doesn't happen in a vacuum; it is carried out in context. You, your yacht, and how you live are the context. For a successful project Sarah Egan suggests starting with a strong vision.

Beautiful yacht interiors are carefully crafted to capture the right mood and bring to life your tastes and aspirations. By bringing together the elements of scale, proportion, colour, light and function - combined with intention, planning, calculation and understanding - an experienced yacht interior designer can guide you through the process, while avoiding costly mistakes.

Function before form

Before a designer can create a design plan, they must know how you expect to use the boat. I prefer to deal directly with the owner to discuss the key elements, and ask questions that will detail how you live onboard. It is one thing to choose fabrics for adults who want to entertain a few friends: it is quite another to plan for an active family or larger numbers. The key is to find a compromise between something that looks good and will work practically from day one.

Fine tune your theme

Great design is timeless. By creating a continuous theme inside and out, a designer can bring a sense of harmony to your yacht. To achieve a connection between spaces, designers use a varied selection of materials, colour, pattern and textures that speak to each other in the same language - too many foreign finishes and details will result in visual mayhem.

Visual focal points and accents introduce an element of surprise, and can lead the eye away from less attractive features and towards elements that give the room character. 

Carefully selected artwork, sculptures and decorative objects can also bring unity to an awkward space.

Custom versus production

Building a custom yacht is the ultimate blank canvas, but the process can take several years and comes at a high price. Alternatively, production boats offers fewer options for materials and finishes but are usually available within months and are more cost effective. When ordering a new production boat, ticking the right combination of boxes can reap design rewards, so engage a designer early.

Generally, production yachts are built much like a spec house, with a layout and palettes that is designed to be neutral. But this doesn't mean that you can't put your own stamp on it. The simplest way to personalise an interior is to change up the soft goods. Add colour, texture and interest by upgrading upholstery and soft furnishings, adding floor rugs, bedding, art and accessories. These extra elements can transform a lacklustre interior to one that truly reflects your personal style.

Refit rewards

Refitting a yacht interior takes careful planning to achieve a great outcome. Designers and shipyards are best qualified to transform cabin spaces to meet your lifestyle needs. Work with professionals to set a budget, develop a timeline, and create a design concept before undertaking any work. Remember, it can be costly to change your mind in the middle of a project. 

Whether you choose to build, buy or refit, to achieve a beautiful yacht interior be sure to create a clear vision, plan carefully and always use skilled professionals. It's worth the effort.



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