For superyacht designer Brenda Van Zoeren, being able to cultivate projects with outstanding results is what makes her job so satisfying. In her formative years, the visual virtuoso worked as a chief stewardess — and so it may come as little surprise that the Yacht Chandlers’ designer knows a thing or two about what the inside of a superyacht’s needs. Here, SuperYacht Times gets a fascinating insight into her world as she runs us through the key considerations that she had to make during a week working on her proudest project. Photo: Thomas DrouaultReceiving the brief
When starting a superyacht project from scratch it all begins with the brief. When the 50-metre Perini Navi superyacht refit project started, Van Zoeren tells us, “I was given a colour palette, a few brand names that the owners were specifically fond of and some style advice from their personal assistants. Other than that it was a ‘carte blanche’, which did not necessarily make it any easier to make a choice! There were a lot of essential decisions to be taken very early on.” Starting with an empty vessel
The full length of the 50-metre yacht had been completely stripped by the previous owner — not a single item was left in the cupboards. That meant fitting out the entire yacht from scratch: “From top till bottom and all within a week!”
“We worked day and night to get all the required bed and bath linens for guests and crew, the table and serving ware, the crew uniforms, the pantries, the laundry, the decks, the crew mess, as well as all the accessories for the styling of the saloons,” Van Zoeren explains.Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesCommunicating with the client
In order to develop a design that clients love, communicating directly with them about their hopes and expectations is a crucial part of the process, says Van Zoeren. “It means decisions can be made very quickly, which is imperative when time is of the essence.” Selecting the best items and materials
When it comes to creating striking and innovative design features, the right materials and objects are usually the pièce de résistance. “Of course it all depends on the budget and time frame,” she tells us. But items are chosen based on the style or mood YC Interiors is aiming for too.
“We look for patterns and colours in the rendering in order to find suitable brands to continue the style and standard.” Here, experience provides a helping hand. “After fifteen years in the outfitting business we know what is around so we are able to choose brands and items quickly, but sometimes it takes longer to find that one brand with a particular set or item that makes the perfect match. We never stop looking for inspiration and are always excited when we find a new and suitable brand that we have not worked with before!” Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesCoordinating the suppliers
For a speedy and successful project, a seamless provision of supplies is key. “This particularly helps us to complete a project in a short time frame if we make sure to keep the organisation tight, plan the time correctly and, of course, a bit of luck in terms of the availability of certain items always helps!”
According to Van Zoeren, one trend in particular appears to stand out. “Sustainability has always been important in the yachting industry but even more so in the interior design and in the outfitting of yachts. Organic, environmentally friendly, durable and robust products are what is popular at the moment.”
In practice, that means designers spend more time using earthy and natural-looking materials like wood and stone. “They use them for walls, floors and surfaces. Iron and copper metal can work well for doors and windows and organic fabrics like linen and wool are ideal for textiles. This tendency is being continued in our interior outfitting."
Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesEnsuring the design is timeless
For Van Zoeren and the team at YC Interiors, quality is everything. Ensuring there is no compromise when it comes to the design elements of a yacht will result in long-lasting interior and outfitting. “While current fashions and trends are important to follow, it is more important to create an interior where the client feels the most comfortable. The more personal the style, the more timeless it becomes for the client.”
From using art with a personal meaning or incorporating family heirlooms into the design, Van Zoeren has a knack for making sure her interiors are beloved by owners. As such they are undoubtedly capable of withstanding the tests of time.To find out more about YC Interiors (part of Yacht Chandlers) and its services – which includes supplies, new-build management, tenders and toys and many other yachting requirements – contact the company directly via the information found below.
Yacht Chandlers Europe
21 Avenue Mirabeau
06600 Antibes, France
T: +33 (0)4 93 33 98 21
Yacht Chandlers US
750 W Sunrise Blvd
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315
T: +1 (954) 761-3463
Yacht Chandlers Holland
Prikker 24, 8281 NC
T: +31 (0) 6 11 35 05 87