x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Terence Disdale's Kogo: a splash of style

With its richly textured decor, Terence Disdale's design for Kogo balances contemporary elegance with relaxed comfort - as well as an intelligent approach to the use of space.

Step on board Kogo and you will immediately be struck by the unusual beauty of the interiors Terence Disdale created for its owners: the layering of textures, the rich detail, the tactile materials - all rendered through a coolly restrained colour palette. Spend more time on board and you will discover that the spaces work and flow together in an almost intuitive way, despite being a departure from the conventional layout of contemporary large yachts.

"It's quite an unusual boat in many ways," acknowledges the designer. "Not just from the aesthetic point of view but because of the fundamental thinking behind the project." When the owners came to Disdale (and to Tim Heywood, who designed the superstructure and general space arrangement) they brought many years of yachting experience and, consequently, a clear idea of what they wanted. "A lot came into it," says Disdale, "from the big things like how they would live on board, how they would entertain, the fact that they love diving - down to the smallest details of their daily routine."

The master suite, for instance, doesn't use the full width of the deck because, Disdale explains, the owners thought it was unnecessary. "They didn't want to go to bed in such a vast space, so we made the suite more intimate - dividing it into separate bedroom and sitting room areas. We used Shoji screens to separate them so the space can be opened up whenever the owners want." Also with the owners' privacy in mind, the main deck is used for the yacht's tenders rather than for outdoor living. Because this is the main entrance to the yacht, an elongated entrance lobby screens the tenders and leads into the heart of the boat.

Here, the living spaces are equally unconventional: on the main deck, rather than placing a formal dining room forward of the main saloon, Disdale divided the space longitudinally, placing them opposite each other. "These are really evening spaces, so we designed the saloon to be used for drinks before dinner and relaxing or watching movies afterwards." The main living space is, instead, on the deck above, which has been designed as a huge indoor-outdoor living room. From the enclosed section, which has a games table, bar and lots of different seating, double glass doors open on to a big, shaded deck that houses a beautiful custom-made wooden dining table and wide, built-in sofas. Being higher off the water, this space is also secluded from prying eyes.

Perhaps the most stunning thing about this deck is that its floor is pale limestone - a real shift in thinking about materials. Not only does it look beautiful - lending an almost ethereal coolness to the space and contrasting with the dark oak floor in the enclosed area - it feels wonderful beneath bare feet. And here lies the essence of the yacht's décor: combined with hand-carved wooden panels, vellum-covered chests, custom-made carpets, etched silver panels, lacquered tables and hand-woven wall coverings are simple materials such as tatami-style matting, industrial-style "distressed" metal stair rails and bare oak floors.

It is rich and refined - yet has an inviting, kick-your-shoes-off casualness that feels absolutely right on a yacht. www.terencedisdale.co.uk