From Tennis Player to Architect & Interior Designer, Gideon Mendelson Entertains

Self-described "regular guy," Gideon Mendelson seemed destined to become an interior designer. His grandfather was an architect, his grandmother an artist, and his mother had her own interior design firm. He grew up surrounded by blueprints and fabric samples and remembers doodling on paper-covered tables when sitting in restaurants with his family.

But, even though he enjoyed a natural artistic talent and graduated with a degree in architecture from Columbia, his career took a detour. Mendelson also enjoyed a talent and passion for tennis. He was a nationally ranked junior and captained the Columbia team. He credits tennis for the independence, entrepreneurial and relationship skills that are the hallmarks of his success today.

Assuming that he would make a career as a talent agent, he went to work for the William Morris Agency. One quiet business day, while working for Joni Evans, he decided to rearrange her furniture, style her books, and hang her artwork. Her eyes lit up when she saw what he did with her office, and Mendelson knew it was time to listen to his inner stirrings. He then went back to school to complete his interior design degree at the New York School of Interior Design while working for Steven Gambrel. Not long after, someone approached with a project he couldn’t refuse, and in 2003, Mendelson Group was born.

Mendelson grew his firm slowly and methodically, focused on fresh and innovative design delivered with great attention to detail. He loves the relationship with his clients and counts many as close friends. The design process evolves naturally and results in timeless interiors designed and executed for gracious living.

When asked about his mother’s influence, Mendelson said, "My mother has the best taste of anyone I know. She has a killer sense of color, and a great sense of proportion and scale. It’s always fun to have her drop by the office and contribute her ideas to our projects."

A recent project – The Hampton Designer Showhouse - proved both challenging and inspiring. When Mendelson first learned that his firm was to design the "back landing" of the house, he was concerned. The space was small and functioned mainly as a transition from the main foyer and back stairs to the bedrooms. These difficulties inspired his team to create an upstairs den with an aviation theme, a "Landing Pad." The space features grass cloth with sponged stripes, nail head trim, and an actual World War I mahogany propeller. The Sag Harbor Express recently published a great review of the whimsical space. 

Mendelson Group’s goal is to create functional, comfortable spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also timeless in design, youthful and energetic. Since its founding, Mendelson Group has been involved in the architecture and interior design of numerous projects in Manhattan, Westchester, Miami and the Hamptons. While his projects are diverse in both scope and design, his firm focuses on a single principle: client satisfaction.

When asked what project he would most love to do, Mendelson said, "Wouldn’t it be fun if Joni Evans called?" Go to to learn more.

Gail Doby

Gail Doby is an author, international speaker, interior designer and small business consultant. She is co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of Design Success University, a global continuing education university for professional interior designers. As seen on CNBC, Reuter's, Luxe Magazine, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, K+BB, Interior Design Online, Decorati and Ava Living. ...(Read More)

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