Name: Tony Dixon
Company: Redman Whiteley Dixon
Position within Company: Design Director
How does working on the interiors of yachts differ from other projects?
We need to be much more detailed and integrated designs within its surroundings, being in a restricted space, and environment that encapsulates all the services needed to operate a yacht.
What items in a yacht is it essential to splurge on?
Sofas and special decorative finishes that really define the comfort and atmosphere of the spaces.
Where and how does the process for decorating the interior of a yacht begin?
As much as possible we ask the client to express their vision and influences to help us to understand their lifestyle, we can then try to feel the same expressions as our client when making decisions. The more information and tastes we can identify from our client then the more we can understand their vision and give a holistic approach in harmony with their character.
What elements and stages are involved in the process?
Firstly, a well prepared layout plan and some theme boards identifying style elements. Then follows preliminary colour sketch visuals to describe rooms, before further discussion and making final accurate visuals. At this stage we would also be presenting samples of hardware, surfaces and fabrics to establish the colour and textures involved.
Where does the process being and end?
We start from the moment we first visit the client and until the yacht is launched; even then we remain in contract for anything else that we can help with.
How common is it to go with bespoke items versus ordering from a catalogue?
This varies according to each individual client but often we have some special items made specifically to link with the yacht because they are so personalized due to their close involvement in the project.
What are your five must-have elements/features you would advise for someone to opt for when decorating a yacht?
Use original and natural materials as much as possible.
Include some bespoke furniture elements.
Use a Specialist lighting consultant.
Maximize the light penetration into the yacht through all decks so as not to feel buried in the hull.
What design elements would you suggest for creating a stylish interior of a yacht?
Set out the room proportions first of all and work out how to make it exciting. Don’t make the scheme too overcrowded or you may lose the effect you are trying to create. Blend colours tonally but add some contrast in places for feature excitement. Establish a focal point to each room.
What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
I do not think you can say we follow any one direction. We are inspired and influenced by so many variables including our client’s own characteristics and desires, let alone each designer’s individual take on everything. I do think there is more interest in materials how we use them and creating special surfaces to generate a specific feel to a space.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
It is not easy, just ask our partners at home! I enjoy my work so do not mind spending time there, but I make sure that I take regular breaks however short.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
We have several launches next year which is very exciting for us, including one of our largest projects a 96m Feadship at the end of this year with its two custom tenders which we designed in the same style as the mother ship. At the same time we have several new projects starting for both interior and exterior designs and a large property in London.