Insight into the creative processes and collaborations behind the interior design of the multiple award winning 32.6m/107’ light-weight carbon composite sailing yacht Inukshuk; Part 3 of 3.
Following on from Part 2 where we discussed the special items of furniture and wall lights in the multiple award-winning Inukshuk’s interior, here we look at the lichen inspired bed heads, soft furnishings and finishing touches that bring the interior to life.
The client’s design brief called for feature bed head panels that were to mimic granite covered with lichen. After lengthy trials involving trompe l’oeil and decorative paint effects, all of which appeared too whimsical, we enticed Hannah Woodhouse (our lighting designer and maker) to venture into a world of bright green, bright orange, and yellow ochre to enhance her fabulous stone-like finishes. She threw herself wholeheartedly into the process by making natural pigments using the berries from plants sourced from the Lakeland region that was driving the brief. This gave the owner a physical as well as an emotional connection to his favourite place.
Ikat fabrics were a specific request of the owner and it was a stroke of luck that Ikat weaves were a current trend with the major fabric houses at the time we were sourcing and specifying for Inukshuk. The tribal qualities of this kind of fabric worked well with the backdrop of natural looking materials and finishes and this was further homogenised by using the lichen colours from the bed heads combined with colour combinations borrowed from the paintings in the art exhibition I had attended at the beginning of the design process. The interior, being mostly neutral grey tones, needed some life to put everything into context and these bold patterns and colours worked extremely well.
The artwork was a series of specially commissioned photographic images of the owner’s favourite region by Janusz Wrobel which meant that had we misinterpreted the brief, this would really highlight it!
When it came to tableware, linens and accessories it was clear that, as with everything else on this project, something different would be required. Hand thrown Antipodean earthenware was selected by the owner for its imperfect hand-made feel, every piece being a slightly different shape. We worked with the owner’s housekeeper (who introduced me to the most fabulous local white tea!) as well as our friends at Gillian Weir Limited to put together much of the interior outfitting items, which all had to fit the ‘with nature…not with glamour’ project mantra!
During commissioning, just prior to delivery, I worked closely with Daniella the chief stewardess to establish a theme for the flower arrangements that would provide the finishing touches on-board. Unlike more conventional displays we worked on a theme that had woodland plants, tree bark planters, twigs and moss as their main focus. Daniella managed to find an open-minded florist locally in Jakobstad, Finland who indulged herself in the philosophy with huge enthusiasm and delivered some wonderfully fitting arrangements.
It was fascinating watching the shipyard workers’ reactions as the interior came together at the last minute; the grey and neutral interior gradually turning into a brightly coloured homage to the owner’s favourite place in the world! It’s the most rewarding part of the process when it all comes together at the end and the designer’s vision is realised.
I am immensely proud of everyone involved in the Inukshuk project, particularly the shipbuilders, artists and specialists with whom we collaborated so successfully.
Look out for further Adam Lay Studio diary series’ which provide a unique insight into some of our other projects.