As the go-to design guru of the yacht world, renowned interior designer Patrick Knowles has perfected the art of squeezing grand concepts into compact spaces. He’s designed more than 100 gorgeous yacht interiors throughout his career and says the inherent challenges that come with the territory are oftentimes the most exciting part.
“No matter the size, there never seems to be enough room. When you’re working in spaces that typically have an overhead height of seven feet, the scale of everything changes, and if it’s not respected, the space can appear heavy-handed or clumsy,” explains Knowles. And then there’s the challenge of designing a deck space that complies with maritime certifications but simultaneously respects the owner’s requirements—like landing a helicopter on deck or housing a submarine, motor bike or car. Knowles also has to carefully consider the layout of bedrooms—specifically where the beds are placed, as owners can be sensitive to the direction they’re facing while sleeping.
“Another obstacle is the ‘law of attachment.’ Boats move, and so do the components inside them. A yacht designer is always striving for what I call ‘operational utopia,’ which means that every time a yacht leaves port, anything that has the potential to move can be put down or stowed,” he says. “Over the years, we’ve fine tuned this process to a science. I personally find stimulating.”
Click through the gallery for a peek inside a few of Knowles’ favorite projects.