Dan Menchions and Keith Rushbrook, partners

Working with Crystal Cruises on what started as a retail project more than two decades ago aboard the Crystal Harmony has seen II BY IV DESIGN (pronounced two by four) expand the relationship, recently completing stateroom and public area projects on Crystal’s new series of river vessels.

“It’s not so much about a theme, but about quality,” said Keith Rushbrook, partner. “It is a consistent quality and dedication toward a luxury, timeless and residential feel.”

Among the highlights on the new river ships is what Rushbrook described as an unexpected entry into the reception area.

“It’s beautiful and incredibly high-end, with durable finishes.”

The focus in the design behind the staterooms has been on the view, with full height windows, Rushbrook said. Additional special attention has been paid to lighting, using LEDs.

Adjustable Tear Drop Table

“The staterooms have this home away from home appeal.”

He explained that the average age of luxury cruise passengers has come down significantly, but that does not mean the Toronto-based firm is designing for trends.

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“One thing we avoid is trends,” Rushbrook continued. “We want timeless finishes and a timeless color palette. We look at the grand hotels that have been around for 50 or 60 years, those hotels have aged so gracefully. There is nothing trendy in them.”

Also having been involved in countless drydocks for Crystal and the newbuilding of the Serenity, it comes down to three basic things for the firm.

“Time, quality and price,” Rushbrook said, adding that weight was a critical factor, especially on river vessels. “We work a few years ahead of time, from when we are hired through the end of the drydock.”

As Crystal expands its fleet and a surging industry orderbook takes center stage for the next decade, the Toronto-bsaed design firm is also expanding and recently launched IMO-rated light-weight furnishings.