While superyacht interiors may be worlds away from residential interior design, does that mean there can’t be a relationship between the two? In issue 181 of The Superyacht Report we speak to the team at Winch Design about how they work across departments and adapt a multitude of design trends in different industries.
Trawling through the Houzz Report 2017 (the leading platform for residential design with over two million users in the UK), distinctive findings include feature walls, creams and neutral tones, greenery and Scandinavian-style bathrooms that have flooded the interior design world so far in 2017. But, due to the vast differences in surroundings, will these residential trends translate into the marine environment, or will superyacht interiors focus on more classical styles and those that are more popular to superyachts?
“Yacht designers are being recognised for creating something different from the mainstream,” says Simon Tomlinson, head of architecture at Winch Design. “Increasingly, land based developers want to align their brand with ours and tap into our marine legacy for land-based projects. In part, I think that is because we don’t just look at things aesthetically, but really engage with their environments.”
Most owners use their vessels intermittently throughout the year to varying degrees, and this will have an influence on the design itself. Whether the yacht is designed for short intermittent periods of entertaining, or as a family-orientated vessel, its use will be reflected in its aesthetics. For example, 60.6m Feadship Sanoo (Ex-Kingdom Come), designed by Pierre Tanter, is certainly unique in its style. So much so that with numerous large figurines, stuffed animals and historical elements – such as the interior flooring that was the original floor of the Bank of England – the style of the interior isn’t in keeping with any particular land-based trends.
Due to the vast array of tastes and preferences in the market, it is important that each design studio has the capacity to break away from current trends and perhaps be more open to unusual stances on design, much like the interiors of Sanoo. “At Winch Design, we don’t have a house style. We ask our clients about their goals and aspirations, and we build our design approach from that, with no preconceived ideas,” says Tomlinson. As a result, the team are able to spread themselves across very different approaches to interior design, without being labelled as specialists in any particular style.
“Land-based projects often provide greater opportunities for creating spatial drama than is possible on yachts, where we are always trying to make spaces feel larger than they are,” Tomlinson explains. “But for a recent project in Knightsbridge, London, our clients challenged us to achieve the same level of drama that you might find on one of our yachts.” In this example, it was yachts that were the inspiration for a residential project, demonstrating that for Winch Design, the studio’s affiliation with yachts could transfer into a home.
It is this cross-fertilisation in design that Tomlinson thinks also benefits Winch Design’s yachting division, upon which the studio made its name, “The great thing about residences is we have far more creative freedom to try things out than we do within the constraints of a yacht, so when we see something that works really well on a property, we consider whether it might also work well on a boat.”
The trouble with interior design trends like those identified in the Houzz Report, is that they can change very quickly, so by the time they have been integrated into the interiors of a yacht with an average build time of four years, the trend has passed. “If we sought to follow trends, we would quickly be out of date,” admits Tomlinson.
Find the full article in issue 181 of The Superyacht Report, the Monaco Yacht Show Issue – click here to subscribe. If you are an Owner, captain, chief engineer, first officer, designer, broker, yacht manager, investor, owner’s representative, or shipyard CEO sign up and get your complimentary VIP subscription here.