Interior furnishings: highlights for 2020

Jon Ingleton looks at some of the latest collections that will impress guests sailing on passenger ships

Interior furnishings: highlights for 2020
The Orb from Chelsom's Edition 26 collection

Newbuild activity has stalled and refurbishment projects have been postponed but the passenger shipping interior design community is still very active.

Many cruise lines, ferry operators, designers and shipyards are taking advantage of this pause in their projects to explore the latest product ranges from the interior supplier community. And this search also provides an opportunity to check out what’s available from a broader range of companies.

We are also searching the marketplace for products to feature in the 2020 edition of Cruise & Ferry Interiors and we’d like to share some highlights to supplement your own research. Sign up for the Cruise & Ferry e-newsletter to make sure that you get our next issue when it is published in June.

It’s easy to get lost in JC Hospitality’s website and mesmerised by the company’s Op Art collection, including a truly Psychedelic Op Art Mirror. The Quirky Vibe section of UHS Group’s new Lookbook is worth spending a few moments browsing, including work that was exhibited at Clerkenwell Design Week last year. If you’re seeking custom furniture, FZ Collection is an easy choice with a wide range of quality pieces, including the versatile Claude chair.

Quality matters even for unseen product components – Njords Ark provides a compelling video demonstration of the quick dry benefits of porous open cell structure foam on its website. The canyon between quality and cost is somewhat bridged by XH Custom Furniture, though the company’s small online collection belies its extensive manufacturing capabilities.

For something fresh, how about the Icónica from Capdell? Designed by Gabriel Teixidó, the architectural styling of this chair really holds the eye. If you’re seeking to refresh rather than renew, Xaler Systems is on hand for all of your upholstery requirements.

Fresh water is a precious commodity and Grohe is a master of water-saving techniques. Beyond Water is the company’s magazine, don’t miss the story on Icon 3D – a very sharp tap design. Eumar Design has built a strong fanbase for its washbasins – the Washbasins for cruise vessels catalogue presents the range but talk to the company directly to appreciate the extent of its custom design service.

Sometimes your bathroom furniture (and other interior products) might just need a little love and attention. If so, look into the services of Magicman for invisible repairs to all hard surfaces.

Ulster Carpets has a very cool Design Portal that boasts a repository of over 9,000 carpet designs. You’ll have to register to get access but it’s more than worth it for the volume of inspiration on show. Meanwhile, Brintons has a specialist Design Studio portal, but don’t skip past the collections or you’ll miss Novae – a series inspired by ‘the elements of the universe.’

The Flotex FR range from Forbo Flooring Systems dispels the notion that handsome flooring can’t also be hard wearing. Look out for the Tibor Reich design but note that anything is possible with this custom solution. Streamo by Gerflor is designed specifically for marine environments and the mineral patterns are particularly appealing.

The Bolidt Innovation Center is extraordinary – I was there for the opening and marvelled at the company’s scientific abilities, but the real magic comes from its concept creativity. Have a look at Bolideck LED and dream of the possibilities. Bergo Flooring also offer a neat recyclable polypropylene tile solution for decks.

Wall coverings
Decorative films from Muraspec are one of the great illusions of design. Strateflex vol.10 provides a comprehensive review of the company’s range – don’t miss the Japanesque section. Metalcolour’s laminated metal wall panels and ceilings deliver on safety and aesthetics. The company’s DOBEL branded products have won many plaudits – my personal favourite is foil no. 1395.

“Design is important but function is vital,” according to Gislaved Folie – yet the company delivers both with its flame-retardant interior foils. Browse the company’s furniture foils that can laminate pretty much anything. Laminates don’t come with a much better pedigree than Pfleiderer’s Duropal HPL IMO range for interior fitting and furniture. Vescom has a broad range of wall coverings but its reference digital printing projects are especially eye-catching.

For statement lighting take a look at Chelsom’s show reel – the company’s bespoke designs adorn some of the smartest hospitality sites in the world. But my current favourite is Orb from the Edition 26 collection. For theatres at sea, Elation Lighting is firmly in the spotlight – watch the showreel for the Proteus Hybrid to fully appreciate its strengths.

Scarcely visible lighting is a neat design trick and Hera has shared its secrets in Lighting for Designer. More visible but still beautifully subtle is Libeccio, a stylish bedside light from Beadlight.

Ligeo encourages you to get creative with its Plug & Play concept, particularly effective in industrial design reference work. TVV Marine Lighting has been supplying the cruise industry for over 20 years. The company’s LED specialism, bespoke designs and personal service make it a firm industry favourite.

Fabrics and textiles
Elmo Leather became carbon neutral for energy last month – yet another sustainability tick for the Swedish firm. And its 2020 colour collection was released in January. The company’s traditional Elmovintage remains a personal favourite.

Established in 1887, Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik knows wool. The company has a range of textiles for the cruise industry use, including Bredal, ‘a classic patterned jacquard.’ Skopos Fabrics has a broad range of fabrics for marine interiors and its Bauhaus-inspired geometric designs are stunning – the chair upholstered with the Boulevard chevron design is exquisite.

Carnegie Fabrics has released Cause & Effect, a trend review for 2020. The company has thoughtfully aligned fabrics with macro trends – check out Cane Embroider in the Down to Earth section.

Featuring Spaces from ICArt is a huge collection of mostly contemporary art and photography. I was particularly captivated by Elisabeth Rønne’s playful collages.

If you’re not sure what you want, perhaps consider appointing an art curator. SMC Art Consultancy, YSA Design’s art consulting and Artlink all provide expert programmes – the pin-mounted petal artwork from SMC Art Consultancy in The Living Room will blow you away.

Dauerflora’s area of expertise would ordinarily see them categorised differently, but the company’s work fulfils an art definition. Browse the company’s references, particularly its work for AIDA Cruises. Likewise Hale’s creative output on Glass Inspiration warrants an art classification in the hands of an accomplished interior designer.

Stone and Ceramics
Elle Marmi has been working marble since 1946 and is an important consultant for architects and designers around the world. Carravaggio is now a personal favourite in both oil paint and marble, both are apparently similarly difficult to source.

Daltile’s Builder Studio is home to a mighty repository of stone tiles and mosaics, including a striking tile named Mouq Parisian in the D_Segni collection. Emser Tile has released its Outdoor Collection for 2020 and its earth-toned stone will remain relevant for many years to come.

We’ll continue to search for and share more interior highlights in the weeks and months ahead. In the meantime, please do send us your own personal favourites.

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Jon Ingleton
By Jon Ingleton
15 April 2020

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