Whether it’s long-term luxury or a quick-fix refresh, multipurpose furniture and lavish built-ins can help yacht décor make a splash. 

The nature of the moving environment—the ebb and flow of gentle waves to the ups and downs of full-on cruising—makes yacht design a challenge for owners and designers, so getting creative is a must.

“Whatever [furniture] you have on your yacht, you have to secure it down,” says Orna Kadosh, vice president of Dania Beach, FL-based IK Yacht Design. “From larger pieces to accessories, like towels, pots and pans, and decorative pillows, you cannot just buy anything; it has to be designed for the yacht environment. Accessories should be flat, secured; the boat moves and goes through rough areas.”

So for quick and easy décor fixes, seek out high-style, multifunctional furniture. “Barrel chairs that open up to a drawer for magazines or bottles of wine, things like that are important. When you go to decorate a boat, look into the type of furniture that offers several purposes,” Kadosh says. “Most of our furniture has some sort of ability to convert; our tables have storage underneath. You can never have enough storage on a boat.”

While individual pieces of furniture can be updated as easily as a bathing suit, for long-term yacht makeovers, she suggests bringing in the experts. “We meet with owners; decide on plans, colors, and presentation; and bring the boat in and fabricate everything,” Kadosh says. “We do boats all over the world, from private owners in the United States to sheiks in Abu Dhabi.”

Designs by Dudgeon Sofas

Designs by Dudgeon Sofas

Style and comfort don’t have to be mutually exclusive, either. “A yacht owner should expect the same level of comfort on board his yacht as when he is relaxing at home,” says Hugh Garforth-Bles of Dudgeon Sofas of London, a maker of customized furniture for luxury yachts and residences. “No owner and no boat are the same, and none of their sofas need to be, either.” “Boat designers seek to use every cubic millimeter; the sofa, therefore, has to be built to an absolutely precise size. We always [try] to use eight-way hand-tied springs in the seats and backs of our yacht sofas. This is what an owner would expect at home. If the sofa has a show wood base or if the sofa is built in to the boat structure, it is normally possible to position springs inside the show wood or inside the built-in paneled base.”

And what of more aesthetic trends? “Gemstones are [among] our hottest products right now; LED lights as well, and they are often put together for a great result,” Kadosh says, adding, “For example, if you wanted to create a bar or coffee table area in your boat, or an entryway [with an embellished] floor, gemstones are all put together in a mold and installed with LED lights. Gemstones are a great thing in design now. They’re a nice accent for a single area—it gives it a little pop.”

But you don’t need a buildout to refresh and revitalize for the spring and summer seasons.

“Just changing some pillows or putting in some floral accenting can give [your yacht] a whole new look,” Kadosh says. “I would recommend that clients take [their yacht] for a cruise, feel the boat, and work from there.”



Turtles, sea horses, and starfish make a sunny debut this season on one-of-a-kind, Italy-made dishes that make entertaining a breeze. We love the coastal creatures featured on the Blu Mare assorted salad plates, crafted of Terra Bianca in blue and white; the Incanto Mare aqua turtle salad plate, crafted from Terra Marrone; and the Incanto Mare white sea urchin serving bowl.Whether you’re cruising in the Atlantic or Pacific, these vibrant-colored, shapely creations lend a fresh Mediterranean flair that will have you feeling like you’re on the Adriatic. moltobellaboutique.com