Interior designer Nathan Hutchins is more used to renovating historical buildings than classic superyachts. But when the owners of the 1930s yacht Marala commissioned him to undertake the boat’s extensive renovation, he couldn’t refuse.
Co-owner of British studio Muza Labs, Hutchins’s experience of heritage interiors ranges from Spanish UNESCO world heritage sites to historic buildings in London. Hutchins was first introduced to the classic yacht’s owners 20 years ago when he completed the interior on their Dutch river barge. Two decades on, Marala is his first-ever superyacht.
“I recently worked on two canal barges in France and I’ve just completed a sleeper train in South America,” Hutchins told Robb Report. “I think a lot of elements of pure design are very relatable, but technically it’s been a jump. For me, it’s about finding the spirit of the place and in this case, the yacht. How the owners want to enjoy it.”
The current owners, who purchased the superyacht in the summer of 2018, are only the fifth in Marala’s 88-year history. But the modifications made over time have “interrupted the elegance” of Marala’s original lines, says Hutchins. The owners wanted the designer to capture the spirit of the 1930s to regain its original essence.
The authenticity of the restoration, which is being carried out at Pendennis shipyard in Falmouth, UK, was aided by Hutchins’ discovery of hand drawings on the ship’s original blueprints located in the U.K.’s National Maritime Museum’s archives.
“We’ve been able to reference and reintroduce design elements using the original concepts, such as beautiful bookcases in the aft saloon,” says Hutchinson. “We discovered two original beds that had been cobbled back together that had featured softly curved corners and drawer fronts.”
Designer Hutchins had to be careful to keep the original charm and character, but also modernize the decor. During the restoration, much of the old woodwork uncovered under old layers.
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