They say “home is where the heart is”. For NYC designer Gideon Mendelson, his weekend home in Sagaponack is a heartfelt reflection of things that are important to him — family, history and beauty. With his husband, Gideon toured over 30 houses before settling on this shingle-style rambler, then set out to create a home meant to help build a lifetime of memories.
Throughout the home, Gideon blends old with new to forge eclectic spaces that appear to have evolved over time. His signature use of color, pattern and texture creates a unique and personal environment for spending quality time with family and friends. Critical elements of this retreat are relaxation and comfort, so Gideon provided plenty of informal seating and conversation areas, welcoming outdoor spaces and restful bedrooms.
We thank Gideon for sharing this important and personal space with us and providing some insight into his Modern Sanctuary.
How often do you get to your retreat in the Hamptons? What is a typical visit like? Family, friends, entertaining or quiet times with your husband?
“We have 3 kids, so I’m not sure what you mean by quiet times! We try to get out there as much as possible but birthday parties are getting more and more in the way. We spend about half of our weekends there throughout the year and a few weeks in the summer.
“These days, when it’s just the five us, it’s a combination of playing outside, going to the beach, the nearby Children’s Museum, baking and cuddling at home. We’re often entertaining family and friends. Cooking is a big part of the experience out there and I have lots of friends who I love to cook with. We have a wonderful vegetable and herb garden which keeps me busy. Getting the kids involved, especially with the weeding, is really great too.”
Custom Sofas: Mendelson Group
In the living room, Gideon honors the traditional “beachy” scheme of blue and sand, then updates it with pops of color.
Nada Debs–Designed Cocktail Table: Antony Todd
What is one small design element that can make a big impact?
“Introduce something in every room that is a little overscale and doesn’t quite coordinate with the rest of the color scheme. It will add tremendous interest to the room.”
We love the unexpected colors of this settee in the living room. It adds a punch of drama to an otherwise calm and serene space.
In the library, Leather Ceiling Covering: Osborne & Little | Table: Lee Jofa
What are some important things to keep in mind for readers who want to create their own Modern Sanctuaries?
“Take the time to really think about the way you live and how you want to live. Write down how you spend your day and what your fantasy life entails.
“Take an inventory of all of your belongings before designing any millwork or storage for your home. There is nothing more comforting than knowing there is a place for everything and everything has a place!
“Surround yourself with the people and things you love.”
Textured wall coverings and bold, graphic curtains add interest to the den.
Your attention to detail is so impressive. We particularly love your ceiling finishes. What are some of the most creative ceilings you have designed?
“This summer we designed an interesting ceiling for the dining room of the Hamptons Designer Showhouse in Sag Harbor. It was grounded by a custom, leather upholstered, octagonal medallion. It also included three different wall coverings by Phillip Jeffries – a faux granite, a silk and a black, Japanese rice paper. It sounds like a lot, but the mix of textures and the graphic punch of the black really made for some visual interest.”
White Enamel Pendant Lights: Ann-Morris Antiques
In the kitchen, the traditional cabinetry and backsplash are offset by a mid-century table, chairs and lighting in the eating nook.
Chandelier: David Weeks
“The existing space – it’s history and its surroundings often help to inform me architecturally. Rooms and circulation are created after a close investigation of a space. The same goes for the look and feel of a space.”
Wall Covering: Romo | Ceiling Treatment: Silvère Boureau
Your home office is a favorite of ours. What was the design inspiration for this room?
“My husband and I attended a wedding many years ago in San Francisco where we stayed at the Fairmont Hotel. We both fell in love with the celestial map design on the ceiling in the library of the Penthouse suite. We created our own!”
Wall Covering: Carleton V
You use an abundance of pattern and color in your home. What tips do you have for mixing multiple patterns, color and textures?
“Mixing multiple patterns, color and textures in a space can be fun, but tricky. There are a number of elements to consider and the first one is scale. If you’re using multiple patterns in one room, make sure they don’t compete, especially if the patterns are layered against each other. Keep large, open prints next to smaller, tighter patterns.
I design with similar rules when it comes to texture. Make sure there is variety. You don’t want a boucle next to something else that’s has a chunky texture. Spread different textures around a room.
When it comes to color, I tend to like a home that has a consistent color story or palette throughout. From there, I like to add various colors to give rooms their individuality. My advice is to trust your instincts and have fun with it.”
Each space has a distinct personality. Do you have a favorite room?
“I really love the master bedroom. It has a very peaceful, soft palette and tons of natural light. At the same time, there is an interesting theme of horizontal stripes that create lots of energy in the space. Finally, I get to sleep in delicious, custom sheets by Casa del Bianco!”
Jelly Jar Pendant: Remains Lighting
Punctuated with colorful stripes and a map wall covering, the mudroom is a happy space.
Bistro Chairs: Maison Gatti | Table: Restoration Hardware | Console: Mecox
My home in Sagaponack is my Modern Sanctuary. It’s where I spend most of my time with the people I love. Gideon Mendelson