famous architects and decorators known for their land-based projects are increasingly taking to the water, where they’re proving they’re anything but “at sea.” Armed with high-level yacht orders, these designers are throwing overboard the cookie-cutter layouts and tired aesthetic tropes of typical marine interiors. Instead, they use more gracious floor plans, luxe furnishings, and top-notch artwork that would feel right at home in the most sophisticated urban pied-à-terre.
The strength of this change could be felt at the Monaco Boat Show in September, where new designers brought an outside perspective to the industry. One particularly impressive example: Oceanco recently launched an initiative to reinvent the super yacht from the top down, bringing in forward-thinking Dutch interiors studio Tank as well as former Rolls-Royce design chief, Giles Taylor, to make it happen. While we wait to see and sail on what they’ll create, we’ve assembled an elite team of star decorators, many of whom are new to aquatic life, whose gender-changing work is currently out on the water.
Bergman Design House
This studio launched its superyacht branch, Njord, in 2020 to meet the needs of residential customers who are spending more time on the water during the pandemic. “They loved their yachts for a week or two, but the boats didn’t feel like home when you lived in them for months,” says co-founder and creative director Marie Soliman-Berglund, whose team strived to give the ships this particular atmosphere. . Besides adding decadent details such as French flooring supplier Oscar Ono’s decking and state-of-the-art air filtration technology, Njord has created taller rooms, or the illusion thereof. The 249-foot main saloon Eden features a metal fabric ceiling and an opening to the floor above. Combined, the interventions give the space a “sense of height and elegance” that is hard to achieve in the tight spaces of a ship.
Italian shipyard Sanlorenzo has recently built on its award-winning aesthetic credentials by bringing in Spanish-born Urquiola for ongoing collaboration. Featuring a central staircase clad in bronzed steel and oak travertine and pieces from Urquiola’s own furniture collections, SD96 puts a refreshing emphasis on flowing spaces and open views. “I love working on projects where the client asks you to do something you’ve never done before,” says Urquiola, who notes that being “a newbie in the industry helped me come up with my own way. experience the boat, ensuring that the usual comforts of a home are reproduced in a smaller space.
Praised for his recent work with Maybourne Hotels, including Connaught, Berkeley and Claridge’s in London, Irish-born O’Sullivan creates superyacht interiors that incorporate his signature mix of custom pieces, mid-century furniture, interiors, and interiors. artwork, rich textures and colorful accents. Its 164 feet Mosaic and 221 feet Icon impress with nautical furniture as atypical as a one-tone serpeggiante– a marble bathtub, a Vladimir Kagan glass coffee table and a curved sofa, Pierre Chareau light fixtures and custom pieces from Apparatus. Currently he is working on a complete refit of a 230ft yacht and annual updates to Icon.
Mikic, a former fashion designer, actually got his start at sea, making items for London property developers for the Candy brothers’ yacht in 2006, which led to Elisabeth Murdoch commissioning Mikic to decorate her entire 159 feet Elisabeth F. two years later. “I designed it in a way that looked like an apartment,” he recalls of the ship, which won prizes at boat shows in Monaco and Antigua. “I had almost no built-in furniture, which is crazy.” Today, it continues to go against marine standards. Combining classic elegance with playful colors, patterns and textures, he gave a 109.5-foot yacht a bachelor pad feel, and he now dons sheepskin-upholstered Fritz Hansen chairs and tufted bouclé sofas on a 195ft sailboat alongside contemporary British artwork by the likes of Bridget Riley.
Yale School of Architecture graduates Eric Clough and Eun Sun Chun, whose projects include a 6,000-square-foot penthouse in Houston and more than 150 Christian Louboutin boutiques, recently completed their first marine commission, a redevelopment of the 105ft MCY 105 from Monte Carlo Yachts. for a customer in Hong Kong. Chun and Clough selected surprisingly seaworthy fabrics from Loro Piana and Hermès, furniture from Blackman Cruz and Carl Hansen, and lighting from Urban Electric Co. A particularly welcoming vignette shows classic Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs surrounding a walnut dining table French under an abstract painting by Heures Laurent.
Foley and Cox
Founding Director Michael Cox and Design Director Zunilda Madera bring a keen appreciation for luxury detailing to yacht interiors (thanks in large part to the decade Cox spent with Ralph Lauren’s house brands). For a client’s 152.5ft vessel whose homes in Monaco and Austria they decorated, the duo combined bespoke furniture from DeAngelis – including plush upholstered sofas with a depth and softness that defy expectations at sea – with finds from the Paris flea market. These idiosyncratic pieces, they say, bring an eclectic, collected patina to the yacht, reflecting the client’s personality.
An accomplished showman, Fulk has just completed his first yacht interior, a wooden sailboat for long-time clients. It combines historical inspiration with whimsical contemporary twists. The ship’s name, Halekai, means “house on the sea” in Hawaiian, which indicates the mindset of the clients and the design team. With Honolulu’s Iolani Palace as his starting point, Fulk combined the European and the indigenous, creating evocative details such as carved teak doors and custom teak and koa wood marquetry and headboards. embroidered quilts based on a royal Hawaiian wedding quilt.
Known for designing hotels and restaurants from Chicago to Osaka, Bernerd first brought her industrial flair and masculine side to the sea nearly a decade ago. “Yacht interiors so often veer towards the traditional,” she says. “We sought to bring a fresh, contemporary and sporty feel with pale washed woods and beautiful linens mixed with textured fabrics.” On a newly completed 102-foot Sanlorenzo yacht, marble inlays adorn the built-in closets while green onyx panels cover the walls of a bathroom and the forward of the glamorous bar below deck.