The quiet majesty of these principle spaces can be attributed to a more unsung feature, the soft color and suede-like texture of Venetian plaster walls, so sumptuous that the surfaces themselves practically sigh. Even so, the kids and their friends stampede through the spaces blissfully unfettered, a familiar and comforting cacophony for Scott, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who also grew up in a family of six kids.
Compared to other subdued details like the tonal stile-and-rail wall panels in the grand salon, the swooping sash railing that accentuates the curves of the main staircase, or the brass hardware on the doors and windows—Scott designed the home’s literal jewelry, taking inspiration from the finery of old doorways in Florence, Italy—an art collection of mostly midcentury abstract paintings is bolder and more energetic. “The art gives immediate authenticity to the architecture,” says Santini, who worked with art consultant Amy Sawtelle to curate the pieces. “Their vintage lends some age to the house, which has a historic spirit but brand-new bones.”
The hushed-and-handsome equation is strikingly reversed in a few maverick spaces where chromatically drenched walls are playful, even provocative. In the loft-style library, for instance, Scott hosts business meetings against a super-glossy teal backdrop that bears its blatant brushstrokes with pride and gives everything from color-coded books to brass animal sculptures an impressionistic reflection on the walls. “This room is all about depth and drama,” says Santini, whose patron saint for the project was the late American designer Tony Duquette, known for his enchanting and extravagant jewelry and interiors.
Scott tasked one of her oldest friends, local interior designer Amy Lutz, principal of Butter Lutz Interiors, with the home’s more informal spaces. Lutz’s theatrical takes on the kids’ rooms, for instance, are either galaxy-inclined (starstruck murals, an orbiting Sputnik chandelier) or Neptunian in nature (splashy porthole-size aquariums). In the wine cellar, lined in fiery fumed eucalyptus, an archival photo of siren Sophia Loren, in hostess-with-the-mostess mode, presides over a bottle collection that’s heavy on Domaines Ott rosé, the homeowner’s favorite pour. And to glean atmospheric cues for a basement “speakeasy”—subterranean rec rooms stir Scott’s childhood nostalgia—Lutz embarked on a reconnaissance mission to the SoHo House in West Hollywood.
The designer’s sultry interpretation of the private-club vibe is embodied in the speakeasy’s moody palette, threadbare Turkish rugs, storied gas-station neon, and vintage photos of music legends like Janis Joplin and fellow Austinite Willie Nelson. Though the space is architecturally anchored by a well-stocked bar constructed of electrifyingly veined Kenya Black marble, its leisurely diversions—shuffleboard, pool, and state-of-the-art McIntosh deejay equipment—have unsurprisingly emerged as the main attractions, considering the majority of the home’s lodgers are under the age of 21.
“Even if the speakeasy doesn’t necessarily fit the overall vibe of the house, it still feels like it belongs,” says Lutz, unwittingly emphasizing the transportive nature of the Scott estate, where historical charm meets modern-day panache in an enchanting forest, on a meandering lakeshore, deep in the heart of Texas.