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An Art Deco Retrofit for the Modern Yachter

Southern California native Yvonne Colacion designs the M/Y 360° with visions of a luxury boutique hotel at sea

Yvonne Colacion has spent her career designing the corporate offices of some of L.A.’s biggest business moguls, but her focus has shifted in a sort of work-hard-play-hard fashion. Lately, the interior designer has taken on projects involving these executives’ homes and special retreats—like luxury charter yachts. “Early in my career I had the opportunity to work with a developer in Southern California on the interior design for private jets,” Colacion tells DuJour, “and immediately found that designing intimate spaces is an interesting challenge worth exploring.”

Yacht design hits close to home for the Southern California native (quite literally, in fact), who lives where homeowners dock their boats just feet away from their front doors. Colacion’s in good company, too: her social circles are comprised of sailing enthusiasts with whom she’s spent time sailing to Catalina, the Southern California Channel Islands, the San Francisco Bay and later, the South of France on a luxury super yacht.

“Life at sea takes on the best of both worlds,” says Colacion, describing the difference between commercial and lifestyle design. “Commercial projects demand an understanding of a corporate brand, short- and long-term business objectives and changes in corporate culture to support a large group of individuals. Residential projects [are] a much more intimate experience, addressing how an individual, couple or family live their daily lives. Yachts operate like a small business. Understanding the day-to-day business of running a small boutique hotel at sea is a challenging endeavor. And it’s also important to understand the role in managing superb accommodations, service and comfort for up to 20 people on a super yacht the size of M/Y 360°.”

So when the client tapped Colacion to design the retrofit for the 47.5-meter M/Y 360°, originally built by ISA Yachts, she quickly jumped at the challenge. With so many details to consider during her redesign, of most important to Colacion was “to always keep the guest experience in mind. It’s critical to understand that guests who holiday on a super yacht have experienced some of the most beautiful hotels and resorts in the world. A super yacht needs to feel, look and function like a five-star hotel at sea.” Captain Pierre Makdessi, who has been at the helm of the M/Y 360° since its procurement, agrees, adding that the yacht attracts a host of “international guests with a discerning taste for quality design.”

Inspired by the sweeping lines of the exterior and the elegance of glamorous ’20s Deco design, Colacion played up the M/Y 360°’s unique interior with glamorous ’20s-style finishes and furnishings for the modern yachter. Colacion is steadfast in partnering with high-end artisans who share her design vision. “I have been fortunate to travel extensively and become acquainted with some of the oldest textile salons and artisans in Europe, including Atelier Charles Jouffre, so I knew that they would help to create one-of-a-kind furnishings. Locally, I also collaborated with Decorative Carpets, which hand-wove a number of custom carpets, and Murray’s Iron Works, which employed a traditional sand casting technique to create the architectural grillage, flanking the dining area.”

As for amenities, up to 10 guests can enjoy a wine cellar, a Jacuzzi on the flybridge and panoramic views from the Main Salon and Observation Lounge, in addition to several well-seated spaces for entertaining and socializing.

“I have been studying yacht interiors and what makes them sumptuous and successful for a long time,” Colacion says, “but the M/Y 360°, my most recent endeavor at sea, is the dream project of which I am most proud.”

The yacht is available for exclusive charter through Neo Yachting. Click through the gallery for an inside look.