Creative Genius Podcast

Season 7 Episode 3

The Never-Ending Journey (David Santiago)

The Never-Ending Journey (David Santiago)

The notion that life is a journey is as old as storytelling itself. We talk about finding direction or pursuing our career path. They are all parts of the larger journey that makes up our life. When we frame our life, our careers and our businesses as a journey, suddenly it changes our perspective on the obstacles we’ve overcome, those who have helped us along the way, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

In this podcast, Gail and Erin visit with David Santiago, owner and interior designer, Casa Santi Interior Design in Hackensack, New Jersey. In addition to his more than 20 years in the design industry, David is also a product designer, TV personality, philanthropist, professional singer, and the self-proclaimed Prince of Wallpaper. A past president of the New York chapter of the Interior Design Society (IDS), he is currently president of the New York chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), and serves on the board of several charitable organizations.

David began by talking about his design journey, from fashion and the window treatments industry to home furnishings and eventually to interior design and starting his own interior design firm. Having focused on residential design for many years, recently he has moved into commercial areas, such as designing TV studios and hospitality/residential blended spaces in a manner he’s dubbed “Hospidential.” 

Known for his use of bright, bold colors and distinctive wall coverings, David said he approaches interior design as the client’s journey, helping them to define their space, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to take a leap of faith that they will be delighted with the final result.

Coming from a Latino background and having branded his firm Casa Santi, David is also a staunch advocate for greater diversity in the design industry. He is one of the founding members of the High Point Market Diversity Advocacy Alliance (DAA), which seeks to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the home furnishings industry. He is also involved in the Kaleidoscope Project, which offers showhouse opportunities to up-and-coming designers from diverse backgrounds.

Following another path, David related his journey from his student days when he was encouraged and mentored to study music and singing to his involvement in opera and his current activities mentoring young musicians through a project called myFace Celebrates.

In his parting words of advice, David said, “Look back at your journey, it’s important.” Take time to appreciate where you’ve come from, where you’re at, and those who had helped and mentored you along the way.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, view the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

To learn more about David, his work and other activities, and his social media presence, visit his website at

You’ll find information about the High Point Market Diversity Advocacy Alliance at

For more information about the Kaleidoscope Project, visit the website at

myFace is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the faces – and transforming the lives – of children and adults with facial differences. To find out more about myFace and the myFace Celebrates program featuring myFace musicians, go to

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