The custom furniture designer speaks to The Luxury Channel about his yacht interior designs and where the future of superyacht design is going….
David Linley and his team have worked on yacht interiors and custom furniture for over a decade, designing custom pieces for builders such as Feadship and Alloy Yachts and design firms such as Redman Whiteley Dixon. But now he is putting more emphasis on offering clients a full scheme by his entire interior design team, from materials to design to finished products.
What is intriguing about designing interiors for yachts today?
I consider yachts to be the 21 century version of a dream house, where people can live out their dreams.
What do you think about trends in yacht design today, like the urban-chic style?
I think it’s incredibly important not to generalise, and to give the client classic, long-lived design. Our mantra going forward is to do luxury re-designed, to create a minimal design that is long-lasting and works at sea. It’s all about how will people live on the yacht.
What does that translate to in terms of design?
It means you think about fabrics and how you attach them, how will they need to be cleaned and so on. What gives the owner pleasure and ease at sea, essentially.
How has yacht interior design changed since you worked on your first yacht project?
Technology has come on by leaps and bounds – there’s the ease with which you can communicate now, and better refrigeration which means food lasts longer. Twenty years ago, there weren’t any flat screen TVs to fit into the design. There was no internet. Now you have the ability to get e-mail 24 hours a day and download films, and so you have to incorporate an office and really think about how people plan their time and how they will live on the yacht. People really are completely as if they were in their own house with everything that one would expect.
What other major shifts have you seen?
People are more sensitive to the environment, how they fit into the landscape, the use of materials. They are interested in the green aspects of living on a yacht. Since 1987, we’ve planted a tree after every commission in our customer’s name, and our manufacturers have to work to our specifications. I feel we have really been ahead of the curve.
What about new places opening up to superyachts, like Montenegro?
Yes, there are a lot of new places and so people are asking where can you go that’s new. The temperature changes in climate mean new wind patterns and new places people can sail to. There will be some new thinking about yacht design and how and where you can live on a yacht.
What does Linley bring to this new era of yacht design?
We offer a unique combination of expertise. There are custom designs that only we can do, from individual pieces of furniture to the ship’s interior design, and even industrial design. The only frustration comes when we don’t have the opportunity to realise these visions!