Every superyacht interior is of course the result of highly individual tastes and preferences, but trends can still be observed; partly the result of the influence that clothing fashion exerts on interior design, and partly as new materials and processes expand the options available to designers and clients.
Working on superyacht interiors, designer and stylists Design Unlimited, has noted distinct changes in the colours and materials that superyacht owners are now selecting for their new interiors.
One recent major development has been the exceptional growth in interest in the use of exotic skins as finishes in a wide variety of applications. Those from rare mammals and other protected species are of course rightly prohibited, but suppliers such as Simpsons Mirrors and Furniture and Dentrohome are taking advantage of the rise in sustainable farming of species such as crocodile, snake and ostrich to bring these skins into the mainstream alongside old favourites such as parchment (derived from goat hide) and vellum.
|Photo: RMK Marine and Marc Paris|
Design Unlimited has used parchment furniture to great effect both in the interior of the 46m sailing superyacht Pink Gin and the recently launched 45m motoryacht Karia. For both vessels bespoke furniture elements were manufactured from parchment to the studio’s design by Tura furniture in Italy and supplied through Tatiana Tafur.
The trend has recently been taken a step further with the increasing demand for fish skins, again a by-product of sustainable farming. Beautiful when treated they are very tough, can be dyed to any colour, and can be applied to a range of surfaces.
Shagreen (from rays) has been in use for some time and the studio applied this material in large quantities on another superyacht project – the 36m Bliss – where the spine detail from shagreen skins was used as a recurring detail throughout the yacht
But now other skins from fish such as salmon and even cod are gaining wider attention, and additional species are sure to become available as they enter commercial aquaculture. Rook’s Books is one notable workshop active in this sector that over the years has expanded from bookbinding into applying natural skins to furniture and fittings. Last year the firm crafted a series of bespoke bedside cabinets with fish skin finish designed by Design Unlimited for the 45m motoryacht Karia.
This enthusiasm for exotic finishes has also been accompanied by resurgence in demand for fur for use as throws, cushions and headboards. The usual species, all ethically-sourced, remain popular, but once again the choice has been expanding with coarser-haired animals such as horse and pony being valued for their hard-wearing qualities. Effective fire-proofing is of course a given in order to meet regulatory requirements.
Design Unlimited believe the whole area of using natural skins in luxury yacht interiors will continue to be an exciting one as manufacturers experiment with previously unfamiliar species and the development of new processes to render them suitable for interiors opens up further possibilities.