Bespoke Pieces for A Superyacht
Leading furnituremaker Silverlining has created three one-of-a-kind pieces for Moon Sand superyacht
Interview by Li Haohan, Photos courtesy of Silverlining
Published on 30 May 2022.
The owners have previously commissioned Silverlining to design furniture for their other yachts. This time the North Wales-based manufacturer collaborated with Bannenberg & Rowell who designed Moon Sand’s interiors.
The one-of-a-kind selection includes a credenza and a desk for the stateroom, and a set of chairs for the games table.
In an exclusive interview, Silverlining’s Head of Design, Jim Birch, discusses with Jetgala his approach to the particular demands of designing for yachts.
Jetgala: What are the principal considerations when designing furniture for yachts? What design standards apply to them specifically?
Jim Birch: There is a strict International Marine Organisation (IMO) and Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) pertaining to fire regulations that apply to fast displacement and sailing yachts.
In terms of design, there are practical considerations based on the requirements of occupants and the design of a yacht.
Let’s start with soft corners. Despite generous space and gentle waters, sharp corners are a concern. Our proposals normally have soft radiuses to eliminate the risk of bumping against a hard corner while on board the vessel.
We add fiddle rails to accommodate rolling at sea. Surfaces may also have a raised lip or fiddle rail to stop objects from sliding off surfaces. We integrate secret sea catches into most storage furniture so that doors or drawers don’t jump open when the vessel is on the move. We have introduced innovations to achieve this.
Lighting varies dramatically throughout the day and night, and therefore has to be considered. There is always a huge amount of natural ambient and sometimes direct sunlight in the day, as well as very controlled atmospheric artificial light at night.
The finishes, colours, reflectivity or textures of a surface behave quite differently in the different light levels and have to be taken into consideration. We also make pieces with the lighting integrated into the design so that the aesthetic or colour can change the mood as day turns to night.
Multi-functional furniture is ideal for yachts—for example, a large dining table that can become games tables, a coffee table that can expand and raise to morph into a dining table, and other pieces that swivel out of the way to create a different space.
We also pay attention to proportions. Ceiling heights are normally low on yachts and they affect how the furniture will be proportioned. There is a lot of design integration that goes on for technology, such as audio, IT, and air-conditioning, and storage in every available space, such as under the beds and in hollow spaces.
Does Silverlining have a separate custom range for yachts or does it only offer bespoke furniture to such clients?
All of Silverlining’s pieces are designed bespoke for the clients; therefore, each piece is one-of-a-kind. In more than 35 years of running the business, Silverlining has created many bespoke outdoor furniture pieces for clients.
However, new for this year is an outdoor table designed created specifically with yachts in mind. The table can be configured in 240 different ways—from different shapes and top designs to finishes and lighting options. The design is suitable for both a coffee table and a dining table, thanks to its technical base, which can change its height, depending on the clients’ needs.
Silverlining has a 62-member team of designers, makers, project managers, and other specialists who employ traditional and new techniques in creating exceptional bespoke furniture. The company is a double winner of Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognised for both international trade success and product innovation. It has been named a ‘gazelle’ business – one that has increased revenue by 20 per cent annually for over four years.