Karen Lynn Poulos has been actively involved in the interior design industry and yachting industry since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design/interior architecture from the Art Institute which she received in 2002. Karen Lynn founded Karen Lynn Interiors in 2001 at age 27 (while still in her final year of design school) when she was given the opportunity to work internationally and do the interior of M/Y Shalimar a 102ft PR Marine new build yacht project built in Germany. Before the formation of Karen Lynn Interiors, she worked for 2 yacht interior design firms, interned at Patrick Knowles Designs and worked for a naval architect/boat builder as a design assistant and support staff; she has worked her way from the bottom up over the past 28 years. Karen Lynn and her team have primarily worked on yacht design projects for refit and new build for clients locally and internationally. Over the past 23 years since the formation of Karen Lynn Interiors, she has worked directly with several shipyards and internationally and locally such Cheoy Lee, Trinity Yachts, Benetti, Ferretti and Johnson Yachts to name a few. Karen Lynn has also worked directly with several brokerages such as IYC, Marine Max, Gilman Yachts, HMY, and One Water Yachts. She offers her yacht design expertise and experience to yacht brokers and industry professionals and to local and international clients for interior design support before, during. and after a sale of a yacht and/or yacht charters. Karen Lynn Interiors has also done residential and private aircraft projects for several VIPs and enjoys working on a variety of types of interior design projects. She been published in multiple magazines including Greek Yachting, Boat International, Lux et al, Boat International USA, Showboats International, Yachts International, Power and Motor Yacht, Mega yacht Hard Cover Series IYBA COMPASS, Dock Walk and The Wave and more. Karen Lynn Poulos was honored in 2018 as the one of the top 100 women in Broward County. She was also the winner of the 2019 International Yacht and Aviation Awards in 2019 for Best Yacht Design concept for M/Y No Limit. She has been nominated for several other awards as well and in 2023 was a 3-time Finalist for the 2023 WORLD SUPERYACHT AWARDS in Istanbul Turkey, the 2023 International Yacht and Aviation Awards in Venice, Italy, and for the ISS Design and Leadership Awards during the 2023 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show for her major refit on M/Y ALL IN. Karen strives for excellence, integrity and transparency in everything she does. Karen Lynn enjoys mentoring and coaching young designers on business strategies and sharing her professional journey, and she has recently began coaching other professionals in various industries on spiritual character development and solid and powerful leadership in the market place


What does it mean to be an ISS judge?
To be a judge is an honor and a privilege. It means so much to me to be able serve and participate in the judging process in the yachting industries gold standard awards program- The ISS Design and Leadership Awards. I enjoy being able to review and critique these amazing yachting projects and learn about the industry professionals who made them happen and recognize their amazing achievements.

What do you like about the ISS awards and Gala?
It’s a beautiful and elegant event that is always so much fun in which the yachting industry from around the world gathers to recognize and reward those who put in the time and amazing efforts to create spectacular well done yacht projects.

How did you get your start in the yachting industry?
I worked my way up from the very humble beginnings of first becoming a design student, beginning in 1996 with my degree focus while I was in design school on yacht interior design. Then moving into the role as intern for well known yacht/ aircraft interior designer, then on to a designer assistant for a naval architect and then a yacht interior design firm, and then after 6 years of preparation and training under others, in 2001, I formed my own business-Karen Lynn Interiors.

If you could choose your next travel adventure where would you go?
I want to travel to Thailand on my next adventure. I find the Thai culture and people fascinating, I also think the food is amazing, not to mention amazing inspiration for design, nature, and beauty.

What is the most effective daily habit that you possess?
I like to start my day with waking up at about 5:30 am and going out for a one hour walk. This time of the morning is very special, and I love to get my exercise in and get my mind ready for the day with a walking mediation and prayer time.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature. I am huge nature lover especially flowers and plants. There are many forms, colors and textures in nature, and of course the awe-inspiring beauty of the ocean, majestic mountains, gorgeous trees and variety of unique and interesting birds and animals all with different shapes, colors, sounds, forms, textures which inspire my thoughts when creating something beautiful.

What advice do you have for the next generation?
My advice would be to DREAM BIG because ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE but also you must be willing to work hard and put in the time it takes to achieve your dreams. It also requires patience. Self-control and discipline, and being steadfast, but you will be rewarded and eventually achieve it and it will all be worth it!