Coral Ocean superyacht interiors, designed  by Sabrina Monte-Carlo

4 images

Rich colours make interiors more interesting, as seen on Coral Ocean, designed by Sabrina Monte-Carlo
Courtesy of Ahoy Club

What drives and inspires superyacht interior specialists and what trends are coming?

3 May 2024 • Written by Belle Rice

Three superyacht interiors specialists tell Belle Rice where they find their creativity, and the trends they're predicting...

Interior design trends can come and go faster than a Williams Turbojet, and what can seem innovative and chic one moment can quickly become de rigueur. Luckily for the superyacht industry, the very best in marine architects and interiors specialists lead the pack in cleverly incorporating design trends in ways that ensure rooms stay stylish and timeless for years, not for just the next fleeting summer on the Med.

So, what drives and inspires the designers who create the chicest, most innovative spaces? It’s all about the clients, says Cana Gökhan, co-founder at Red Yacht Design. “Understanding [their] personalities, tastes, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds is crucial. Our main inspiration comes from nature and the sea, and we always use colours and textures, in particular, to create a harmonious atmosphere on board.”

Games rooms are back
Credit: Yvan Grubski

For Vripack’s Marnix Hoekstra in the Netherlands, inspiration is found as far from his desk as possible, exploring cities to discover new art. “I really like to step out of the little bubble which is our superyacht and interiors world, and what I’ve found is the best way to do that is to hit the streets. We call it the ‘trend walk’,” he says, “and what we do is go out and discover – London and Amsterdam have great areas where upcoming artists are creating their ideas and art. Typically they don’t have a lot of money to make expensive stuff, but they do have passion and a clear mind and vision as to why they’re making something.” 

This gives him and the Vripack team a means to anticipate future trends, he explains. “It allows you to look at the zeitgeist, and then you find that in a couple of years that will extrapolate to the real world and all of a sudden, you see other companies picking [those trends] up in the mainstream.”

Read More/Pearls of wisdom: Bart M. Bouwhuis and Marnix J. Hoekstra of Vripack
Nature and the sea are always inspiring
Credit: Pozitif Studio

Coming from different walks of life and dotted about the globe, designers who specialise in the smartest of interiors all have at least one thing in common: a motivation to create fascinating design. “It’s all about making interiors interesting again, and fighting against bland, predictable looks,” says Manola Ballerio of Sabrina Monte-Carlo, noting with excitement that “rich, saturated, dopamine-inducing colours are back.”

Ultimately, though, you can always go back to basics to make sure you get it right. “It is challenging to consider practicality, function and aesthetics simultaneously in design,” says Gökhan, “and even in the age of all this ostentation, I am always looking for ways to simplify interior design. The concept of simplicity is my most significant source of inspiration.”

Credit: Marloes Bosch Fotografie

Trend alert

Auxiliary rooms

“While the walk-in wardrobe was the dream room in every residence, we’re seeing a trend of new ‘auxiliary’ rooms, such as a china pantry next to the dining room or kitchen to showcase collectable tableware. Post-Covid-19, games rooms are also making a comeback, and we love a good entertainment room with a bar, pool table or foosball with landscaped wallpapers or great lights.” – Manola Ballerio, Sabrina Monte-Carlo


“A lot of new materials, art and finishes are emerging from the world of sustainability, durability, upcycling and recycling. We use recycled textiles for wallpapers, and on Project Zero we used a leather-like material invented in Germany that is made from beeswax and pine, which has the advantage (over faux leathers that are made from fruit) of smelling like a fresh forest.” – Marnix Hoekstra, Vripack

Deck layouts

“Recently, the front deck has come to the fore; we often see closed or semi-closed uses in this area, but it’s not been very popular until now. Sustainability will always be a critical issue across the industry, and we anticipate seeing more asymmetrical, exciting and beautiful private and open-plan deck layouts in the coming months.” – Cana Gökhan, Red Yacht Design

First published in the May 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

Read More/Four North American designers bringing a fresh perspective to yachting

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