Gideon Mendelson is a New York-based residential interior designer. Gideon graduated from Columbia University with a degree in architecture and a minor in film studies.
His architectural training has determined how he approaches projects, starting with function and circulation rather than rugs or fabrics. He credits his experience in film studies with his focus on composition, mood, and drama.
After discovering a knack for interior design, Gideon went on to attend the New York School of Interior Design and received his degree before starting Mendelson Group soon after. Today, Mendelson Group’s philosophy is built around Gideon's belief that great design can relieve stress, inspire conversation and help clients create memories.
Here, we delve into Gideon's and the Mendelson Group's work.
What is your design aesthetic?
'I consider myself a modernist at heart. I grew up in a very traditional home/aesthetic. I studied contemporary architecture in school. I was introduced to mid-20th century design, mostly 1930s to 1960s, in my late 20s. I was hooked and have never looked back.
'That being said, I’m very client-driven. I listen and try to create spaces that feel personal for my clients. They often come to me having seen my work, so we’re often on the same page. But, I love a challenge and I enjoy working in different styles.
'I'm not looking to just design a room in a "style" – I want to create places and spaces that make a family's life easier, more interesting, more relaxing, and more fun. I believe design can do that.'
What were your early inspirations?
'I studied architecture and film as an undergraduate at Columbia. I later went on to receive a design degree from NYSID.
'I’m still very drawn to Italian (Ico Parisi and Gio Ponti), French (Jacques Adnet and Jean Michel-Frank), and American (Edward Wormley and TH Robsjohn Gibbings) designers from the 1930s to the 1960s. However, at the end of the day, it’s my clients that drive my ideas and designs.'
'I founded Mendelson Group in 2003, but it certainly seems like my life was always on a trajectory toward interior design as my mother, Mimi Mendelson, was a designer for many years and she was my major influence and inspiration.
'I grew up drawing, talking about color, form, and proportion; analyzing interior magazines with her, and traveling and visiting museums. The rest is history!'
Tell us about your work?
'At Mendelson Group, we work on a variety of residential projects from NYC apartments to family homes in the Hamptons and Westchester County. Our clients tend to be in their 30s to 60s with children. They come to us wanting beautiful homes that are comfortable, timeless, and unique.'
What have you loved working on?
'One of my favorite projects was a renovation on Mecox Road (above), because I felt so much nostalgia for my childhood summers. I was tasked with designing a weekend and summer home for multiple generations – from grandparents to kids.
'The design was for a family home that was comfortable but still sophisticated. My client was from the South and loved Lily Pulitzer, so we incorporated whimsical designs and bright colors throughout the house as fun accents.'
'Another fun project for us was a West Village home (above) we designed in 2019 for a couple with three children. It was actually our second project together, so we already had a great working relationship with these clients.
'They loved modern themes but wanted this apartment to also be liveable and kid-friendly. They asked us to design a comfortable, modernist space where their kids could grow up and they could entertain friends and family. They knew they wanted something family-friendly that was also sophisticated, timeless, cool, and glamorous.'
'In 2020, we designed a Manhattan duplex (above, and yellow living room, top) for a couple who loved hosting and weren’t afraid to show their personality in their home, making for a really fun and unique design.
'We selected most of the furniture – a combination of vintage, antique and custom pieces – but they already had an extensive personal collection of art and ceramics that they wanted incorporated into the home.
'Because they loved color, we gave them wild, animalia-themed wallpaper in the dining room, and bright colors incorporated throughout the space, which the clients loved.'
Do you have any specialisms?
'I love layering – from mixing patterns, incorporating old and new pieces, and layering all kinds of lighting including chandeliers, wall sconces, standing lamps, and more. It’s so much fun!
'I’m also a dad, so I also really enjoy designing homes with families and children in mind. I love to design kids’ rooms that will not only grow with them, but serve their needs and interests over time.
'We also custom-design furniture, upholstery, case pieces, and lighting for many of our projects through our custom line, Made by Mendelson. Each piece is handcrafted across specialty workshops in New York. If it’s not custom-designed, we like to source furnishings locally or from Europe.'
'I get to do what I love with a team I respect and admire. I’m not sure I can ask for anything more other than having the opportunity to keep going and get better at my craft everyday.'
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Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine.
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