For the last twenty-five years Fern Santini's firm Abode has been designing superb interiors.
Santini is based in Austin, Texas and her work features repeatedly in prestigious design publications including House Beautiful, Traditional Home and Modern Luxury Interiors.
As we explore her projects we discover the clever ways she selects antiques and vintage pieces to make livable and ageless homes.
Fern Santini is passionate for antique mirrors and uses them in imaginative and intelligent ways in modern and traditional interiors alike.
Nineteenth Century Louis Philippe mirrors have an elegant and simple silhouette making them a lovely choice for bathrooms and bedrooms. Usually finished in silver or gold leaf, the frames have minimal decoration such as a running pearl to the inside of the frame.
In this traditional bathroom, Santini places a Louis Philippe mirror between wall sconces to great effect.
A dainty gold chair with a long-hair fur cushion is complemented by a gilded Louis Philippe mirror in this feminine vignette.
An elegant powder-room shimmers with mosaic tiles, a crystal chandelier and a petite gilded Louis Philippe mirror between wall appliques.
A large gold Louis Philippe is hung above a marble top vanity in this airy bathroom.
Santini proves that an entry needs only a few key pieces to be functional and beautiful. Here a moody, two-pane antique mirror with wonderfully timeworn glass contrasts with an antique bench seat with a white patina and rustic upholstery.
Classic French touches
Vintage French leather club chairs are cozy, chic and their rich brown leather accentuates other natural materials. A 19th Century Biot jar overflows with olive branches to make a stunning display on an antique table while referencing the history of the jar. (These shapely pots were originally used for transporting and storing olive oil so olive branches are a thoughtful choice.)
Louis XVI chairs
Louis XVI chairs have a versatile and timeless design with tapered legs and subtle ornamental decoration.
Santini's original use of leopard print upholstery makes a strong contrast with the ultra-modern bathtub.
Antique decorative accents
19th Century confit pots are an essential part of any antique pottery collection. Half-glazed with ocher they are beautiful displayed in a collection or used as a vase as pictured here. There are also two nested in among the books in the niches either side of the fireplace.
Antique church candlesticks add height and interest and a touch of formality to this classic living room.
Discover more about Fern Santini and explore her fabulous projects at FernSantini.com. Take a tour of Jensen and Danneel Ackles home (featured by Architectural Digest) and described by Santini as “a cross between Joni Mitchell and the Serge Gainsbourg–Jane Birkin thing that was going on in Paris at the same time. It’s very hip but it’s low-key.” Happy reading!