It’s rare that one can walk through the interior of a superyacht without being greeted by a host of lacquered tables, lacquered pillars and lacquered walls – in fact, often, most of the wooden detailing in the interior is lacquered. It almost seems that there has been no room for a more natural or textured finish, at the owner’s request I’m sure, but why has this high-gloss effect become such a popular finish within the superyacht market?

“The shiny lacquered surfaces in a superyacht industry is born out of the client’s perception that this is what luxury should look like,” says Tim Gosling, founder and director of Gosling. “This comes from the shops where luxury brands are sold – look at any store and this is where the shiny surfaces are born.” Gosling thinks that because clients are shopping in these types of places, they associate a high-gloss, highly polished surface with luxury.

While it’s all down to personal preference of course, my feelings are that a more organic surface with less of a sheen can look wonderful as part of a superyacht’s interior. It’s interesting, I’ve heard designers say that they strive to create a relaxed, beach house feel to an interior, yet flood it with varnish, which to me seems counterintuitive. But this is just the way superyacht interiors have developed, and evidently is what the market has wanted. Until now, that is, where a new appreciation seems to be budding for more organic and textured interiors.

As Gosling explains, “the sophistication of not doing everything in high gloss has only just started”, so there may be superyacht interiors emerging that have less or even no lacquered elements to it. “Design interiors are now splitting into cultures,” continues Gosling, “ones that use muted tones and textures and the ones that still see high-lacquered surfaces as luxury.”

This could be a significant turning point in modern superyacht interior design, where we may start seeing many more interiors that do actually have a relaxed beach house feel to them. From my perspective, the more textured approach would suit some interiors so much more than high glossed surfaces, which can often look a little stark or even out of place on board a modern superyacht.


Images from the collection at Barn in the City

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