Interior designers of motor or sailing yachts know the problem: no matter how big the boat, the space on board is always limited. “Although the shipyards always try to plan for maximum living space, even in a luxury yacht the design possibilities are much more limited in comparison with a property on land. But this challenge is exactly what appeals,” says Christa Wild.
For about two years, the German – who resides on Mallorca – has advised yacht owners from all over the world about redesigning on-board interiors. She brought extensive experience and professional knowledge to this task. For example, Wild has been managing the worldwide active charter online agency Rentabo.com for more than 10 years.
“During this time, I received a lot of feedback from our customers’ furnishing requirements.” Her first, and to date, largest yacht interior project was a self-experiment: the complete modernisation of their own, almost 24 metre-long motor yacht ‘Nirvana’, which Wild has been offering for charter in Palma per day or per week , together with her spouse and business partner, Darius Wozniak.
Although the flybridge cruiser, which was launched in 2003, was technically and visually almost impeccable, in terms of interior design it was completely out of date. “Taste has changed dramatically over the past ten years,” says Wild. “Before, luxury yachts simply had to look like their owners or passengers had big bank accounts. Today, luxury on the water is much more discreet and not shown off as much.”
A good example of this is also ‘Achilles’ of Andratx-based Italian yacht manufacturer Sanlorenzo, which is currently on sale in Mallorca. The approximately four-year-old steel ship, which costs almost 18 million euros, encompasses in its 46-metres length almost anything that can be imagined on a floating luxury palace. Its four decks are connected by an inner, atrium-like spiral staircase. But in spite of the opulent materials of the finest chrome, gold, aluminium and leather on board, the interior does not look ostentatious in any way. “Modern, discreet and elegant,” sales manager Attila Oeder-Erikson describes the style concept of this motor yacht for sale at Sanlorenzo.
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Basically, the trend for interior design on private luxury yachts is moving towards a more light and open-air feeling. “Yacht owners today do not want to sit in dark-wood-panelled cabins,” knows Marc Händle from the renowned broker and charter company Ocean Independence in Palma.
Therefore, large window fronts in the interior or outer decks covered with glass panels are trendy among all leading yacht manufacturers. “In principle, yacht owners and guests do not want to live in a space that’s inferior to that at home. Light-flooded spaces with light, high-quality materials, and the highest comfort reflect the current maritime spirit,” says Händle.
For Christa Wild, it is mainly about one thing in terms of yacht interiors: less is more. “We worked with the maximum of three colours for the interior design of ‘Nirvana’ – grey, white, and brown.”
The salon, for example, was panelled with light-grey noble wood in a country-house style, the sitting areas with sofas were also clad in various shades of grey Alcantara leather – a style concept that continues in the three comfortable double cabins. In between, you can find discreet panelling, handrails or window frames made of dark, gleaming walnut. “They were part of the original interiors. I kept them, however, as it gives the interior decoration a first-class image,” says Wild. She generally believes: “When modernising the yacht interior, one should always try to integrate already existing, high-quality furnishing materials such as marble and wood into the new style concept.” This saves work, effort and, ultimately, money.
Nowadays, the lighting plays an always-important role on board. “It must be discreet and modern at the same time,” says Marcus Händle of Ocean Independence. For this reason, staircases and cabin corridors with LED strips are standard on luxurious motor and sailing yachts. And talking of technology: in the past, even larger boats had only simple CD players with the quality of a car stereo; today, modern yachts are equipped with complex audio and video systems, which can often even be controlled via smartphone or tablet.
“Consequently, USB plugs for charging mobile phones are included in each cabin,” says Christa Wild about ‘Nirvana’. Also essential: The aesthetics of the final result have to reflect the style and interests of the owner. “The individual components of the facility should always merge and form an integrated unit,” says Wild.
The mantra is: everything has to look as if it were from one single mould.
Photos by ’Nirvana’ owner