Designer in Profile: Leonardo Santi, Founder of Leonardo Santi Design

Name: Leonardo SantiLeonardo Santi Design

Company: Leonardo Santi Design

Position within company: Founder



Tell us a little about your background in design.

My education background is both classical – thanks to my high school classical studies – and technical – due to my degree with top marks in Interior Design at Firenze University.

Beside this, my family has a tradition in constructions, which had surely an influence in my education.

I start my job experience in an exclusive event organization agency, when still a student. In 2012 I entered the yachting world as an Interior Architect in the Style Department of Benetti prestigious shipyard in Viareggio. With years passing by, I became responsible for Benetti Classic, Classic Supreme and Fb700 lines, taking part to the definition and development of 15 yacht.


How would you describe your personal design style?

I believe my distinctive feature is elegance. I always try to mix design and clients’ requests, not forgetting the fil rouge of the project which to me can be summarized in “Style and elegance”.  My quest for style is obsessive. Every detail is studied, every material has a story, its reason-why in the project.


Where does your design inspiration come from?

I was born in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, a place where architecture, art and history come together and create something extraordinary.

My inspiration stems from my roots, from my travels all around the world and from the continuous desire to experiment with new styles. From the continuous search for beauty.


In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

The design world is becoming increasingly multisensory. The clients still look for functionality, but, above all, they want an experience. Designers try to involve clients from a 360 degrees perspective, making them part of the project and not just the end users of it. In the end, the result should be the expression of their personality.


Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.



If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

We, yacht designers, are dream-realizers and extravagant requests-responders. I believe the best suggestion I could give to my colleagues is to learn listening to clients, but not surrendering to each request. We need to be able to direct our clients, by helping them realizing their dream.


How important are The International Yacht & Aviation Awards?

They are very important. They could mark a turning point in my career and hopefully represent the beginning of a professional rise.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on various projects for both yachting and luxury residential.


What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

I hope to close a deal with one of my major clients, lay the foundation of my professional career and, last but not least, marry the love of my life.


Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:


Your most treasured possession?

My family and people who love me


Your favourite holiday destination?

I love to travel: the world is my favourite destination


Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

 There is always a new one that I want to visit, but for now my favourite hotel is the

Armani Hotel


Your favourite book, film & song?

 Book: The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

Film: Amici miei – Mario Monicelli

Song: Sultan of Swing – Dire Straits

I just called to say I love you – Stevie Wonder


Your favourite food and drink?

A good beef steak “Fiorentina” and a glass of Brunello di Montalcino


Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

 When I have an hour off, I love playing tennis

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

 I don’t’know, probably I would have liked to become a ski instructor during the winter and a diving instructor during the summer!


Anything else interesting?

 I’m a car, motorcycle and watch lover. All games that make a man happy!


Leonardo Santi Design have been shortlisted for Interior Design – Concept in The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2020.

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