Adam Lay Studio Diaries: Salperton IV 3/3

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Insight into the creative processes and collaborations behind the interior design of the award-winning 45m/147’ aluminium sailing yacht Salperton IV; Part 3 of 3.


Sofa style, design and comfort were incredibly important to the owner and our trip to the furniture fair in Milano was mostly spent in pursuit of the perfect sofa style. Innovative Italian furniture maker Giorgetti Spa had a style the owner aspired to for his interior.

You cannot simply buy a Giorgetti sofa and fit it to a bespoke sailing yacht. Ducting and tanks intrude into the base of sofas that would normally be built-in around the structure. We set about working closely with Giorgetti to apply their style around the various intrusions which included a boxing to allow adequate headroom in the guest showers below the saloon.

We managed, together with Giorgetti’s expertise, to apply the same sofa style in all cases despite a combination of seating functions from a high observation sofa with less than ideal depth, to sofas which had to be suitable to dine from, to full depth lounging sofas. Giorgetti kindly made the seat and back cushions to complete the shipyard built carcasses. The result is as close to genuine Giorgetti sofas as is possible within an integrated interior.

Dining Sofa

Dining area sofa. Photo: Jeff Brown

We wanted the soft furnishings and cabin carpets to have a silky quality to reflect light and to give the interior some shine and a touch of richness. In the cabins, crisp white bed linen, supplied by our good friends at Gillian Weir Limited were offset by silver/bronze fabrics from Dedar, Fox Linton, JAB, Brian Yates and Romo . In the saloon, the massive skylight meant we could offset the lighter fabrics with rich bronzes and dark brown leathers on the coffee tables.

We worked closely with Porta Romana – with whom we had worked previously on Salperton III – to develop special custom wall and table lamps in bronze. Always keeping one eye on cost meant we struck a deal to develop some lights for Salperton that would become part of the Porta Romana range (and are consequently available with the Salperton name today) which avoided the cost associated with one-off manufacturing. This meant that we debuted the lamps on-board Salperton and enabled Porta Romana to supply them cost-effectively.

SIV Lamp

Porta Romana bronze table lamps in the upper saloon. Photo: Jeff Brown

As well as the aforementioned cabinet latches, other custom elements were taken on by Fitzroy Yachts such as the small rectangular courtesy lights on the steps. We could not find simple flush courtesy lights at the time so with their usual Kiwi “can do” attitude, they made them themselves.

Step Lights

Custom courtesy lights. Photo: Jeff Brown

Turnstyle Designs supplied the door hardware and Dornbracht supplied the bathroom hardware making sure the specification of this interior was suitably high-end. The bathroom stone is a French Limestone which was flamed and honed on the surface and polished inside the basins for practical reasons.

SIV Bathroom Taps

Bathroom taps and honed stone basin. Photo: Jeff Brown

On a more personal note, I miss working with Fitzroy Yachts. It was a pleasure to arrive into Auckland International Airport after more than 24 hours in the air and walk across to the domestic terminal past the Pohutukawa trees to catch the – at times scary – plane down to New Plymouth. It’s a long way away from Europe but being a world away from Europe is what makes New Zealand so worthwhile visiting.

It was a pleasure walking to the shipyard along the beach in the morning and back to the hotel in the evening. Below are a couple of the photographs I took while I was working in New Plymouth with Fitzroy Yachts.

Walking Back

Walking back to the hotel from the yard. Photo: Adam Lay


Fitzroy Beach

Fitzroy Beach surf. Photo: Adam Lay

Look out for further Adam Lay Studio diary series’ which provide a unique insight into some of our other projects.

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