January 29, 2017

Q&A with David Santiago of Casa Santi, LLC

David Santiago of Casa Santi talks to us about his full-service design firm, his love of wallpaper, his Strictly Santi line of furniture, and his table design for the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge event.

by New York Spaces

David Santiago of Casa Santi
Table Design by David Santiago of Casa Santi for the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge Event.

Q&A David Santiago, founder of Casa Santi,LLC

DarioAcosta David Santiago of Casa Santi
David Santiago; Photograph by Dario Acosta.

NYS: When and why did you found your firm, Casa Santi, LLC?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: Casa Santi, LLC was found in 2012. The name "Casa Santi" actually translates to "House of Santi", an abridged version of Santiago, my last name. I founded Casa Santi, LLC because I felt I had to take my journey and aesthetic as an interior designer to the next level.

NYS: What was your background prior to starting your firm?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: I started in the fabric/textile business, as well as in the world of window treatments and soft furnishings, which quickly led me to become a specialist in that field. I then acquired a position at a design firm in Madison Avenue, where I became an interior designer. Fast-forward a bit and my last position was a color consultant for a flagship Benjamin Moore store.

David Santiago of Casa Santi
Design by Casa Santi.

NYS: What services does Casa Santi offer?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: Casa Santi is a full service interior design, project management and consulting firm that specializes in residential as well as commercial projects. Casa Santi has a wide range of specialties. We pride ourselves in taking on smaller projects, including directives such as room make-overs, nurseries, fabulous dressing rooms, a gentlemen's retreat, and even a beautifully curated space. We love window treatments and soft furnishings, and we have a particular passion for wallpaper.

NYS: We understand you are very good at staging apartments. What is the secret to staging?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: The secret to staging a space/ an apartment is to create a story that Universally appeals to everyone or immediately takes you to the characteristics and definition of someone's home and compliments the design concept.

NYS: What trends are you seeing in residential and commercial design these days?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: One of the current trends I see is a smart amalgamation of different styles to create unique and comfortable workspaces for many personal and professional needs. I also see a fast movement of industrial-meets-modern design with a cool casual vibe; Downtown meets Uptown with a great lounge area where meetings are held; Lifestyle approaches to a workspace.

David Santiago of Casa Santi
Design by Casa Santi.

NYS: Tell us about the custom furniture you design! Do you have a collection in stock at all times or is each piece made to order?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: There are two concepts of the custom furniture I design:
1) I design furniture from concept to inception for clients if it serves their specific needs. For example, a custom bed/chair/sofa or custom wall unit for an entertainment and home office is often done.

2) My Strictly Santi Furniture Line. I take original pieces that are no longer into production (ie. camelback Century sofa) and redesign them and finish them with one of a kind fabric designs. I sometimes have a few pieces in stock otherwise they are made-to-order.

I'm currently working on a "Strictly Santi chair design" for the Bailey House Charity Gala Event, which will be featured at our IDS NY Vignette this upcoming March 2017.

NYS: We love that you are an Opera singer. What was your experience like in that world and how do you combine your many artistic talents into an approach that takes advantage of all your skills?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: When I was studying at Mannes Conservatory I had the privilege of performing at the New York City Opera for ten years at the State Theater in Lincoln Center, the second largest repertoire company at that time in New York. Working in the Opera world and as an interior designer had its benefits. My creativity was always stimulated by music and my passion for Opera. It was the perfect marriage for me; Theater and Design. Therefore, it made sense to utilize my experiences and talents in both fields. Interior design for me is the stage where I perform now.

Strictly Santi Logo
Casa Santi Logo.

NYS: Where and what would your dream home look like?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: My dream home would be a celebration of any styles...Mario Buatta, Mark Hampton, Herman Miller, Dorothy Draper, Franco Zeffirelli and Raymond Waites. To top it off, my very own Strictly Santi Style—traditional, unexpected, and beautifully curated.

NYS: We loved the table you designed for this year's Hope Lodge event. What was your theme and how did you approach it?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: Summer was my theme. "A Spanish Summer" influenced by my heritage from Spain and Puerto Rico. The key elements were lush embroidery and linen in a beautiful, strong and contrasting color palette with a classic ticking stripe to keep it neutral.

NYS: What are you working on now?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: I am currently working on three projects: Updating a Saddle River estate; Renovating a residence in Colts Neck, New Jersey; Phase 2 of a commercial project in the West Village.

NYS: What is on the horizon for Casa Santi?

David Santiago of Casa Santi: Stengthening Casa Santi to become a competitive go-to interior design firm for the traditional aspects of style with a hint of the unexpected. If you love color, textures, mixing styles, and have a sense of fashion and are interested in a beautifully curated space, then Casa Santi is your firm. I am also working on marketing my passion for wallpaper as the "Prince of Wallpaper" and continue to develop my "Strictly Santi" Upholstery Line. Embrace a new change in your residential or commercial space and become Santified!

*Interested in more articles like this? Sign up for our Newsletter!