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Materials to use in Superyacht Interior Design

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

Unlike interior design for a home, there are even more factors that need to be taken into account when it comes to fitting out yachts.

The starting point for any interior design for an ocean going vessel is obviously that it meets the codes and standards required to achieve compliance whether it be for use locally, nationally or internationally.

Yachts lend themselves to a very particular tradition of design and aesthetic all of which can translate to challenges from a design perspective.

They are exposed to the elements and corrosive salt water all day, every day, they move at high speeds and the interiors are generally smaller than a traditional home.

Let’s start with the fact that they’re smaller. Ceilings are generally lower, bedrooms, bathrooms, the galley and stairways are all compact. So careful consideration needs to be given to how these areas are fitted out and how they interact with each other.

At KGID we generate renders of each space showcasing design and finishes throughout the design process. This allows for as many iterations as required until the design is perfect for our client.

In any home, whether on the high seas or suburbia, the outlook and views should be a focal point, so it is essential that natural light be allowed to flow in where-ever possible and design offers the best vantage point for views across the sparkling blue ocean.

Interior colour schemes should remain neutral with the addition of reflection to give a sense of space, whether that be through the inclusion of stainless steel, mirrors or lacquer or 2pac surfaces.

It’s important not to go too dark with finishes and if you do, make sure they are high shine.

A softer look can be given to ceilings by the introduction of padded panels and it’s essential custom furniture, cabinetry and walls don’t have hard corners.

Designs which use extensive curves in furniture, fixtures and fittings are reminiscent of the lines of the boat, but also have a more practical use making it safter to move about when the vessel is in motion.

Timber veneers that have been prepared using different cutting techniques can be applied to cabinetry and walling panels to enhance the curved lines of the boat.

When selecting materials, it’s important to consider weight (every material will contribute to gross tonnage) and sustainability.

We need to consider the high levels of salt and moisture the vessel will be exposed to and select only marine grade materials.

Care needs to be taken when applying veneers and only 316 marine grade stainless steel should be used for fixtures, fittings and accent pieces.

If sailing internationally, it’s a good idea to consider using fixtures and fittings, which are easily available throughout the world and thereby easier to organise repairs in any harbour.

It goes without saying that fabrics should be 100% solution dyed acrylic and don’t use feather inserts! That can be a catastrophe in a high moisture environment, although in larger yachts the airconditioned environment means that there are less issues from that perspective.

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