Southern Boating

Mary Masri, President of MM Designs

Mary Masri, of MMDesigns, has a unique and colorful design sense.

Nine questions for Mary Masri, President of MM Designs

1. SB: How did you become an interior designer interested in yachts?
Mary Masri: My interest in yachts landed in my lap. I had finished a residential project for a longtime client earlier than expected, which is always cause for celebration. She was thrilled with the results and requested I design her son’s yacht.

2. SB: What are some of the signature styles that set you apart from others in your field?
MM: I love color and textures so both are used integrally via hard and soft materials in all of MMDesigns projects. There is always a meaningful amount of color in all of our spaces; it may be strong or muted, obvious or subtle, but it is always there to bring the project to life. Differing textures introduced through fabrics, flooring and hard surfaces give immeasurable visual interest to our interiors. You always want your client to love their yacht the 50th time they board the same as they did the first time they saw it.

3. SB: What is your favorite part of the interior design process?
MM: There are actually two parts: the initial meeting and revealing the finished project to the client. The initial meeting is the most informative part of the process. That first conversation with the client is where the heart of the project is shaped. You have to ask the right questions, listen to the client’s answers and be able to translate those answers into the client’s vision. If you have done it right the reveal will be nothing less than sensational.

4. SB: How has your company progressed most significantly in the last 10 years? What are some of the most noted changes?
MM: Branching out into the yachting world has been the most significant progression for MMDesigns. Contorting all of the comforts and amenities from a residential setting into the hull of a yacht with all of it restrictions is an intricate puzzle MMDesigns excels at solving.

5. SB: How has your company most notably impacted the boating community?
MM: We are a bit small to have impacted the “boating community” as a whole but we are on our way one boat at a time. With arguably the best service record and turnaround time out there, we are proud of the work we do and look forward to MMDesigns continued growth in the field.

6. SB: How do you see the marine industry evolving in your field over the next few years?
MM: With the economy improving and new overseas markets opening up at an enormous pace, the need for first time designs and refits is growing exponentially. Inventories are still tighter than I would like them to be and the workrooms that survived the economic downturn are at capacity. At this pace there is going to be a need for growth in the sector for the foreseeable future. It will be slow in coming as the bruises from the past are still fresh.

7. SB: How have you seen technology play a role in the advancement of boatbuilding/design in your field?
MM: Technology is allowing yachts to become greener and quieter without sacrificing speed and weight with the added option of remote maneuverability from handheld devices. Soft and hard goods are following suit with more options, offering superior durability against the harsh marine environment without sacrificing luxury and flexible applications, making the marketplace a virtual paradise.

8. SB: How do you marry the desire for performance and seaworthiness with the desire for comfort, elegance, and high design?
MM: Performance and seaworthiness do not have to come at the expense of comfort, elegance and high design. Everything needed to accomplish all of these things is in the market but you have to be willing to search for them. A project is limited only by the imagination and willingness of the professional to go above and beyond for their client. MMDesigns’ reputation was built and is maintained by doing just that for each of its clients.

9. SB: Where and what type of boating/fishing do you enjoy personally?
MM: I was brought up salmon and trout fishing and although I love being out on the open waters, my heart is still on the river, on its shore or on it under oar power!

By Christine Carpenter, Southern Exposure