Top Interior Designers | Fern Santini
Top Interior Designers | Fern Santini

Architecture & Design - September 18, 2015

Principal designer of Austin-based Abode, Fern Santini directs the creation of unique and striking interiors that have been featured in Metropolitan Home, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Western Interiors and Renovation Style among other publications.

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Texas based designer, Fern Santini belives that balance in lighting flooring, colour pattern and fabric are the elements that contribute to a well-designed interior, but the paramount consideration is always the client´s lifestyle. She uses art and architecture for inspiration but understanding how a client lives – and how they want to live – is the basis for her work.

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SEE ALSO: Bahia Serena by Rachel Horn Interiors

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The Most Iconic Project

Cove House

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A tract house on a verdant cove on Lake Austin was nearly awash in bad seventies’ architecture and interior design. But the site was incomparable, with the lake fronting two sides of the property. The new owners loved the location and even wanted to save the house, which spoke to them about casual lakeside living. Furman+Keil Architects rendered a stunning renovation to the wood and glass building, turning it into an indoor-outdoor house that’s perfect for entertaining both formally and informally.

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Fern played up the new architecture with elegantly relaxed furniture and an expertly curated array of contemporary art by local artists. Touches of absolute luxury—such as plaster walls in the master bedroom, all-out glamour in the gold-and-white tiled master bath, and a Kyle Bunting rug in the dining room—are reminders that being casual doesn’t preclude being very very stylish.

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SEE ALSO: The best interior design projects by Sherry Hayslip

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Principal Projects

Compound Interest

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This casual compound designed by the San Antonio architecture firm Lake/Flato is the second home for a busy couple who lives near San Francisco and loves the water. High above Lake Austin, the main house keeps the couple walking on air, thanks to a catwalk that connects it to one of the three out buildings. Fern’s ruggedly casual décor makes for relaxed living, and is punctuated on high with stylishly whimsical pendant lighting. Porches encourage outdoor living, and separate yoga studio and exercise room are for well-being. A lake pavilion and boat house complete the setting.

SEE ALSO: Top Architects USA | R. Scott Ziegler from Ziegler Cooper

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Italian Vista

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The owners of this Palladian-style villa in the hills just west of Austin admired this house long before it became theirs. Once the couple bought the house, they asked Fern to make the grand-scale dwelling with panoramic views of the lake better than it had been. With new surfaces, luxe finishes, a mix of French, English, and Italian antiques with modern fabrics and colors, the house was reinvented to become a more authentic version of its former self.

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Texas Country House

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Architect Paul Lamb designed this Westlake retreat with the great twentieth-century British architect Edwin Lutyens, in mind. Lutyens was best known for his imaginative adaptations of traditional style, and both Lamb and Fern have followed suit here. This limestone residence is cozy in front, but opens to the lake with mullioned floor-to-ceiling windows. Oushak rugs, a subtle palette, and comfortable sofas aren’t so serious when paired with quirky occasional chairs. Glamour is serious, though, in the master suite where luxe is a pleasure to behold.