Fort Lauderdale yacht interior designer maximizes storage onboard

How to maximize storage onboard when working on a yacht interior design project.

Main salon design concept for yacht refit 116’ M/Y NO LIMIT featuring hidden storage in all furnishings, plus a coffee table doubles as hidden storage with drawer and ottoman seating including additional storage.

Main salon design concept for yacht refit 116’ M/Y NO LIMIT featuring hidden storage in all furnishings, plus a coffee table doubles as hidden storage with drawer and ottoman seating including additional storage.

When designing a yacht’s interior, I always look for various ways to maximize storage. As we all know space is very hard to come by, so every square inch counts onboard a yacht—whether the boat is being chartered or is privately used. 

As a yacht interior designer, I always custom-design all new loose furniture such as sofas, chairs, tables and accent-seating to have maximum storage compartments useful for storing everything from wine, to exterior towels, life jackets, and even stocking paper towels and bulkier dry goods.

Yacht refit for M/Y WINNING HAND featuring custom-made pieces with storage in all salon furniture, coffee table with opening lid that provides access to hidden storage plus ottomans and sectional sofa al including additional storage.

Yacht refit for M/Y WINNING HAND featuring custom-made pieces with storage in all salon furniture, coffee table with opening lid that provides access to hidden storage plus ottomans and sectional sofa al including additional storage.

For example in the base of a large L-shaped sofa, I will create a huge hidden storage cavity which is wonderful and especially useful for the crew. Depending on the style of coffee table, I always try to custom create a piece that will have a dual purpose function—a coffee table as well as a place with plenty of storage capacity. Often times even in the smaller pieces of furniture throughout the boat, like smaller sofas, ottomans and cubes, I will custom-make or modify pieces (in the case of a yacht refit) so they will have a storage compartment while also be functional as comfortable seating options. 

Yacht makeover and refit featuring master cabin design with bed base created with a hydraulic lift to provide convenient access to huge hidden storage underneath. Shoji screens at the windows also have hidden storage behind them, practical for soft luggage and duvets.

Yacht makeover and refit featuring master cabin design with bed base created with a hydraulic lift to provide convenient access to huge hidden storage underneath. Shoji screens at the windows also have hidden storage behind them, practical for soft luggage and duvets.

Another aspect I pay close attention to is the storage in the built-in furniture throughout the boat’s interior, particularly in the woodwork. In a new-build, I try to design all woodwork to maximize storage and minimize wasted space. I try to utilize all bed bases onboard for storage and often times incorporate a hydraulic lift on the base lid or create drawers in the bed base for easy access. I try to maximize every inch of space even in places like behind window shoji screens / boxes to store bulkier items such as bedding and luggage. During yacht refits, I have often created small lockers or cubbies for items such as books and clothing from space that had been previously unutilized.

Maximizing space and creating a beautiful and functional interior are keys to successful yacht interior design, whether in a new-build, a yacht refit or a yacht makeover project. The crew and owners always appreciate all the extra storage they can get and are grateful as life onboard is made easier due to these practical considerations.

Modern Galleys Onboard Superyachts

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When designing a galley onboard a superyacht it is important to understand how the vessel will be used. The most important question is whether the yacht is charter or private? Also, understanding the guest capacity for service is key as well. I usually consult with the chef or captain (if there is no chef) to understand what are the equipment requirements and the level of the food and beverage service. We work together to come up with a list of the appliances, refrigeration freezers and equipment and we discuss the space in depth. I then layout the space for approval and feedback from the Client and the Crew. Once that is approved and finalized I then produce multiple 3D images of galley to present for final design confirmation.

Featured here is the galley which was a part of a complete 36M

The 3 advantages of using 3D renderings for Yacht Refits

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It gives the client an exact "photographic image" or the final look and design which can be changed with the click of a button before the project is built.

It helps the interior designer to determine if adjustments and changes to the design are needed as far as form, color, function, etc before the project is built out and completed.

It assists subcontractors with understanding the project workscope and estimating the project.