Agis Variani, chief stewardess and owner of Yacht Design Solutions, and Peter Mallard, owner of Sogni d'Oro, will be teaming up at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show to offer all yachts in attendance free interior refit consultancy, encouraging captains and owners to consider refit from a different standpoint – that of the crew.
Variani and Mallard met at SuperyachtDESIGN Week, where Variani held a workshop focusing on the importance of crew in the design process. It was from this meeting that the idea to offer a service that takes crew into account in the refit process.
“Chief stewardesses are in the front line of service and the best people to know owners’ tastes and habits. Therefore we are the ones who know the interior spaces and working areas can be better distributed and used,” explains Variani. “We always have problems with space, storage facilities, material maintenance and organisation. Hiring a chief stewardess that understands these issues with a realistic and non-intrusive point of view can make everybody’s job easier: designers creating a winsome and smart project, owners saving money and avoiding future repairs or replacements, shipyards not having to rebuild during the warranty period and the crew having a functional workplace where they are able to deliver faster and better service. Efficiency doesn’t compromise design, it actually complements it.”
- Agis Variani, chief stewardess and owner, Yacht Design Solutions
In the past, Vaiani believes interior crew have been somewhat forgotten when it comes to design – something that is surprising considering the service aspect of owning a superyacht. “The impression I have is that sometimes the interior is relegated to the background, being left in the hands of the designers to decide on it and it is not so closely watched as the engineering and deck departments. And although the designers are brilliant in their job, creating astonishing looks, they don’t know much about our routine and workflow.”
So how is this ethos put into practice? Mallard offers a number of examples. “Let’s look at a scenario. A yacht needs a lot of electrical work done and pipe work done on the boat, which is all behind the furniture in the main salon, so they take out all the cupboards which they’ll then have to put back. Why not at this point say, hang on a minute, we’ve got to replace various bits and pieces, so let’s get the shelves put back in to fit what we’re going to get. I’ve got 185mm wine glasses to 210mm wine glasses. If your shelf height is 185mm there’s no point in even looking at the 210mm. It’s limiting your options. So look at the products you want to put in there first. Don’t get your cupboards built and then fit products that fit the cupboards. Choose the products you really want and have your cupboards made to fit your products.”
And whether it’s wine glasses or the size of the draws to keep the folded linens (“Will the linen fit the draws or will you have to fold the ironed linen three more times to get it to fit?” – another question from Mallard), the knowledge from interior crew clearly has a role to play.