The most noticeable trend is in color. Clients are leaning toward neutrals—gray, black and mineral tones—that can be mixed and matched easily and use bold color only for small accents according to DiCondina. She speculates that people are using a neutral palette to create a calm respite with their décor and counteract their world of high-stress jobs, social discourse and shifting political environments. As in real estate today, gray is dominant but it’s often accented with soothing rose or coral ornaments.
In wood tones, walnut has popped up everywhere, whether on 100-foot superyachts or 50-foot production boats. Interpretation of the shade varies, but the trend is unmistakable. A stroll through new models at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show also underscored the return to high-gloss finishes on paneling and cabinetry.
Color is heavily influenced by lighting, which is almost entirely LED-based. Thanks to technology, five shades of white are now available in LEDs, which is paramount since what works in a showroom may turn greenish or blue once aboard. Instead of ornate chandeliers, indirect lighting has become popular with light cords hidden behind valences and under furniture edges for a soft glow effect.
The use of natural or synthetic stone (think Silestone) is still de rigeur, but gone are the marbled colors, specs, flecks, and sparkle of yesterday’s slab granite. Instead, white and off-white countertops highlight a cleaner, sleeker aesthetic.