Copyright Design Unlimited 2018



‘Real craftsmanship, regardless of the skill involved, reflects real caring and real caring reflects our attitude about ourselves, about our fellow men and about life.’

Spencer W Kimball

In an age of fast moving technology it’s good to know that clients of Design Unlimited are becoming more and more interested in the process and what it takes to get a product made than ever before, that’s according to Nicola Brook, Head of Interior Decoration and Specification. She says, ‘There is an appreciation and receptiveness of where a product originated and how it came to be. I think if there is a story attached to a product it becomes part of the narrative about the finished vessel. It all becomes part of the boat’s story and therefore its history. And owners like that.’

Of course craftsmanship – the reason behind a product being in existence – is no stranger to the fashion world and Nicola points to fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli as a great exponent of such thinking. His philosophy in his own words, ‘I believe in the quality and beauty of craftsmanship, I don’t think you can have quality without humanity.’ He also believes in the restoration of beauty and dignity to the things buried under the ‘dust of time’.

Examples of this are in abundance throughout the designs currently being completed at Design Unlimited. One client is interested only in organic materials. ‘We showed her some photographs of cashmere throws being hand-made in Nepal. She immediately fell in love with them and has even recommended them to her friends,’ says Nicola. Her other favourites include fabrics such as linens, cottons and wools with man-made fibres very much taking a back seat. If silk is part of the mix then these will be more of the natural finish. Nicola explains, ‘These types of fabrics exude quality precisely because of their origin and the work that has gone into making them. They lend themselves to natural palette and any colour accents we recommend will also be taken from nature’s hues.’

This interest in a product’s development pertains not only to the soft furnishings on board. Floors reclaimed from an old warehouse and petrified wood too, thousands of years old, are being used aboard two clients’ vessels. Another client is keen to have interior walls plastered with a natural and tactile Italian plaster finish reminiscent of a bygone era – craftsmanship being the key to the perfect finish.

It is part of Design Unlimited’s Client Charter to really understand their client’s tastes, desires and needs and to that end every client receives a detailed questionnaire to complete before the design process even begins. ‘Answers give us a real insight into the mood and feel a client wishes to create on board their dream vessel,’ explains Nicola, ‘so where craftsmanship and an interest in process is highlighted we will make sure our research digs deep to find products that suit.’  At the very end of the process, once the vessel has sailed off into the sunset, Design Unlimited produce a photographic storybook of the boat’s design journey, enriched, in many cases, by the products and craftsmanship that have become an integral part of a newly designed or restored vessel.

Weave jpegs courtesy of Gillian Weir Ltd. For more information or interviews please contact Dawn Leahey in the first instance | 07941 469 923 dawn@extragroup.co.uk