Inside track: The yacht interior design brands to know this season

DKT Artworks

If you're looking for custom artwork, sculptural furniture or a show-stopping centrepiece for your superyacht then London-based design firm DKT is the one to call. Priding itself on a site-specific approach, DKT's skilled craftsmen can turn their expert hand to almost any form of decorative work, including mosaic, sculpture and bas-relief in metal, glass and stone, trompe l'oeil, gilding, paint finishes and mirrored artworks, and have undertaken commissions for no fewer than 62 superyachts. Recent projects include custom designs for Ulysses, Joy, Dilbar and Plvs Vltra.

Visit dkt.co.uk.

Suzanne Lovell

A degree in architecture and a passion for fine art were the foundations of Chicago-based Suzanne Lovell Inc, which comprises a 20-strong team, and has been listed in Architectural Digest’s top-100 interior designers and architects. For more than 30 years, the company has built up an impressive portfolio of luxury residential projects, from superyachts to sprawling penthouses, Manhattan pied-à-terres and whimsical California beach houses.

Using a client’s personal taste as a launch pad, each project is undertaken via what Lovell calls the “Three-Dimensional Experience” — an all-round approach encompassing architecture, interior design and fine art, with an understanding that this trio are integral to the process. It’s an approach that echoes the practices of Ferrari and his contemporaries Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto and Giò Ponti. These giants of design were creative polymaths, often experimenting with art, furniture design, textiles, ceramics and glassware.

Craft is undeniably at the heart of Lovell’s hugely successful business. By collaborating with an array of niche design talent from her extensive network she ensures each finished project is a unique masterpiece. Art also takes a central role, with antiques and auction-sourcing an integral part of the process. “Sir John Soane inspired the creation of what he referred to as the ‘poetry of architecture’, where art can happen,” Lovell explains of her inspiration. “His words are telling: ‘Think and feel as a poet, combine and embellish as a painter and execute as a sculptor’. I believe this is what we do every day at Suzanne Lovell Inc.”

Visit suzannelovellinc.com

Loro Piana

Many brands claim to provide comfort and functionality, but few strike the balance with such finesse as Loro Piana. Its clothing and accessories are made from the world’s finest raw materials and enhanced by innovative in-house engineering — its revolutionary Storm System treatment, for example, will make even the most lavish of fabrics, such as vicuña wool, 100% waterproof.

It’s no surprise, then, that the company is well established in the yachting industry. Loro Piana Yacht Interiors has cleverly adapted to the unpredictable conditions of life at sea without losing an ounce of quality. More than 600 varieties of customisable materials and special blends, including tussah silk woven with wool and horsehair, and fine merino wool blended with linen or silk, are employed in its stylish yet durable wall coverings, cushions, upholstery and light-blocking curtains.

Visit loropiana.com

Bottega Veneta

Italian style is no stranger to flamboyance so Bottega Veneta’s subtle and discreet Home Collection is perfect for the superyacht owner who prefers a more muted colour palette. Founded in Vicenza in 1966, Bottega Veneta began producing luxury leather goods in the master craftsman tradition. That approach, rather than trend-driven fashion, has remained the cornerstone of the brand.

In 2006, the year it opened a school dedicated to training the next generation of leather artisans, the company launched its Home Collection. Creative director Tomas Maier started it all in 2001, when he began commissioning bespoke furnishings for select retail stores. The pieces soon attracted the attention of discerning clients but, rather than selling them (as was often requested), Maier promised to make the customers their own versions instead.

Ten years later the Home Collection is now an integral part of Bottega Veneta. It favours modern, functional pieces that bear the trademark intrecciato leather braiding motif. Each item is elegant enough to work as a standalone accessory or as part of a set, and the look suits an onboard setting just as well as one on dry land.

Visit bottegaveneta.com

Once Milano

“Veneto is full of artisans and is famous for its furniture, textiles and glassware. It’s very much the fashion here to have everything made by someone local,” explains Allegra Marchiorello. “Every little house in this corner of Italy has its own company in the backyard.” It’s one of the reasons Marchiorello co-founded Once Milano with his long-time friend, linen aficionado Valeria Piovesana Thompson. The house’s Italian-made linen is of the highest quality, made from the longest threads, using flax grown near Milan. The weave is the smoothest, strongest and most absorbent money can buy: cooling in the summer months, cocooning in the winter.

When the company was approached to produce a collaboration with Sanlorenzo, it seemed a very natural fit. “Linen is the perfect material on a boat: it’s light, low-maintenance and understated, yet incredibly luxurious,” says Piovesana Thompson. “That’s the beauty of it,” agrees Marchiorello. “It never looks contrived. It’s also all custom-made — we’ve worked with clients to create bespoke finishes and have included their monograms.”

Designing a collection for boats proved an interesting challenge. “It’s quite different to designing for a home,” says Marchiorello. “For starters, the water is such a central element, and the space you’re working with is contained. We wanted to create something that was sophisticated yet highly refined.” The brand’s covetable Piping Collection was born from this collaboration, and Once Milano enjoys a good working relationship with Jonathan Fawcett, one of the UK’s leading luxury supplier to superyachts.

Visit oncemilano.com

Pratesi

As part of luxury Italian linen house Pratesi’s ambitious five-year plan towards international expansion, it has launched a new range specifically for yachts. The collection of sumptuous bedding, table linens and towels is made to order, with customisation options including bespoke monogramming available.

Run by the fourth generation of the Pratesi family, the house is focused on delivering faultless craftsmanship, drawing on the skill of its team of designers, weavers and embroiderers, who create the linen in its Florence headquarters. COO and future CEO Simone Bocchio and president Federica Pratesi bring a personal insight into the yachting industry to the production of timeless, elegant linens.

Visit pratesi.com

Christian Liaigre

“Offshore is an inhospitable world of wind, waves, rain and ultraviolet light,” designer Guillaume Rolland once said, “so the belly of a boat must be a nest — a place where one escapes all that.” Rolland heads the yacht division of the eponymous company founded by fellow Frenchman Christian Liaigre in 1987. He has been working with Liaigre since 2001, initially involved in all projects within the company, which is known for subtly luxurious furniture and interiors that make an elegant, understated use of natural materials, such as raw linens and woods weathered by the sea.

As the yacht interiors side of the business took off, Rolland, a lifelong sailor who regularly competes in regattas around the world, took charge of the company’s yacht design studio. Projects he has undertaken include Vertigo, a 67 metre sailing yacht that was awarded Sailing Yacht of the Year at the 2012 World Superyacht Awards. With Vertigo, the design studio worked closely with the boat builders from the start, so that the interior was created along with the yacht, rather than just made to fit into it. The design includes glass panels and doors in the cockpit areas that can be made transparent or opaque at the flick of a switch. So escaping the elements — or even your fellow guests — is simple.

Visit christian-liaigre.fr

Molteni&C

Architect, industrial designer, artist and publisher, Gio Ponti was a giant of 20th century Italian design. During his long and fruitful career, Ponti developed an all-encompassing approach to his work, creating not just the structure of a building but also conceiving its entire interior scheme, from furnishings to lighting fixtures. His finest achievements include the Pirelli Tower — Milan’s first modern skyscraper — and the distinctive, castle-like Denver Art Museum.

One of Ponti’s most enduringly popular designs, however, is something altogether closer to home. The 1957 Via Dezza chair is an angular, upholstered armchair built on a linear metal frame. It was created by Ponti along with the entire furnishings of his self-designed Milan home (pictured) from which it takes its name.

For those coveting a slice of Ponti’s creative genius, the armchair and select Via Dezza gems have been reissued in an exclusive collection by Molteni&C. One of Italy’s most renowned furniture manufacturers, Molteni is a natural platform to preserve and present Ponti’s talent. The company works with some of the world’s best designers on a variety of high-end real estate and marine projects. The Via Dezza chair adaptation, Armchair D.153.1, stays true to the original, is available in two Ponti-designed fabrics and is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the waves.

Visit molteni.itv

Richard Ginori 1735

Italians can turn everyday objects into works of art and this is certainly true of the exquisite porcelain from Richard Ginori 1735. Delicate, hand-decorated patterns and illustrations of 19th century botany and rare birds adorn its charming collections, which will turn any on-board dining experience into an event to be remembered.

The distinguished porcelain company was founded nearly 300 years ago in the foothills of Monte Morello near Florence. Over the course of its illustrious history, it has collaborated with leading Italian architects and designers including Gio Ponti and was recently acquired by Gucci.

Visit richardginori1735.com

Summit Furniture

As one might guess from a furniture company with a name that evokes adventure, Summit’s speciality is extremely high-quality furniture specifically made for the outdoors. Crafted in sustainable, plantation-grown teak, which is water-resistant and strong, its chairs, tables and loungers are as ideal for the deck of a superyacht as for a domestic garden.

The Californian firm collaborates with leading designers like Linley, with which it created a clean-lined, curved collection (lounge chair, above, €5,487), inspired by the interiors of the top classic yachts. It is made to be stacked or stowed — perfect for sailing purposes.

Visit summitfurniture.com

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