As I wander round Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour for Focus/17, it’s astonishing how many showrooms pick up similar trends in their new collections. While all the designs are different in their general appearance, numerous showrooms will amass a particular colour scheme, texture or stylistic element into their new collection, whereby all often end up having very similar qualities to those in other collections. Trends in the design world are fast paced and change over each season, so how does the superyacht industry translate interior design trends?
In a recent interview with the senior designers at Winch Design, in issue 182 of The Superyacht Report, head of architecture Simon Tomlinson says that, “the great thing about residences is that we have far more creative freedom to try things out than we do within the constraints of a yacht”. Essentially, many of the trends that work exceptionally well in residential design may not translate quite so well into the interior of a superyacht, and this may not just relate to spacing or coping with the marine environment.
There were several prominent trends creeping into the midst of numerous autumn/winter campaigns across a multitude of showrooms, such as small metallic accents appearing into fabrics and wallpapers; the new ‘Legend’ wallpaper collection by Lizzo, for example, and metallic chests by Julian Chichester, both on display at Focus/17.
But how these trends relate to the superyacht market is, perhaps, a different story. Starting with the lead time, the design process of a superyacht can be years, which means the designer would essentially needs to pre-empt an ‘on-trend’ style up to four years in advance, which is simply an impossible task. However, in no way does this make residential interior design trends redundant in the superyacht market, but it does make it tricky to incorporate current residential trends
A more complex understanding of space and proportions is another boundary that calls for an entirely different approach when it comes to superyacht interiors. Merely achieving a yacht interior which doesn’t appear cramped or claustrophobic is a whole new challenge, and a problem rarely faced in the world of luxury residential design.
While a direct translation into superyacht design may be impractical, a well thought-out interpretation of popular residential design is something which is very much a tool for incorporation for future superyacht interior design. Despite the fact that a particular trend may have been and gone in residential terms, there is no reason they can’t be used to inspire some longer-lasting trends for superyacht interiors.
While there are countless differences between the two industries, a cross-fertilisation of the two can provide invaluable inspiration and a more three-dimensional approach to superyacht design. And although superyacht interiors may call for more entrenched design trends, an understanding of spatial requirements, among other things in comparison to the residential interior market, the role of residential design trends is certainly an essential tool for superyacht interiors.