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Fern Santini Feels So Lucky to Work in Austin Interior Design

With 30 years of great success as an interior designer, Santini notes her gratitude for the architects, designers, and logistics team with whom she collaborates

"Austin in Stereo" by Fern Santini (photo by Douglas Friedman)

Fern Santini is an interior artist who took a stab at the corporate world before realizing it just wasn’t for her. “I got fired from my first job for painting the walls in my office,” she laughs.

She then pivoted to the world of fashion before ultimately hitting her stride in interior design. Now, she leads a team of a dozen through an always-stacked lineup of high-end residential projects primarily in Austin, but ultimately spanning the nation, noting upcoming projects in Beverly Hills, Connecticut, the Palisades, and, of course, right here in Tarrytown and on Lake Austin.

“Lake Austin Jewel” by Fern Santini (photo by Douglas Friedman)

“If I were to pinpoint the one thing my work revolves around… it’s collaboration,” says Santini, who’s at a loss for how to best express her gratitude for the architects, designers, and logistics team (El Sol Logistics) with whom she collaborates. She notes this ecosystem as what is most responsible for her 30 years of success in the Austin interior design business, that without them, she wouldn’t be able to do the work that she loves.

The location, the architecture, and the client — that’s the genesis of any given project for Santini. From there, it’s all about mood boarding. “I’ve always cut out magazine clips, and I still do,” Santini explains. “But nowadays it’s easier than ever with Pinterest and Instagram. Clients can come to me with very clear visions of what they want, and then it’s up to me to make it happen.”

“Austin in Stereo” by Fern Santini (photo by Douglas Friedman)

Santini takes that as a challenge. “It’s all about creating something greater than the client could have even imagined,” she says. She cherishes the process but relishes in the reward. “The look on their face when they see the final product… that’s what my work is all about.”

To read more about Fern Santini and view a full portfolio of her work, check out her website.