Home Tour: A Designer Beach Pad That Toys With Tradition

Designer Gideon Mendelson’s elegant getaway is full of welcoming details and playful twists on traditionalism.

THE DOSSIER: NAME: Gideon Mendelson TRADE: Interior designer and principal of Mendelson Group. VIBE: Traditional with a beachy, eclectic twist. ABODE: Five-bedroom, traditional shingle-style home in Sagaponack, NY.

When New York-based interior designer Gideon Mendelson and his partner Tom purchased their beach house in quiet Hamptons hamlet Sagaponack, NY, it was a milestone: the designer's first piece of real estate. "I didn't feel a need for permanence until I had children," he says. The five-bedroom, traditional shingle-style house became the perfect escape from Brooklyn for his three children, as well as "an opportunity to show of my collection of things," he says.

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Mendelson's home had been built as a spec home -- a residence built without a particular buyer in mind -- so one of his biggest challenges was to make it feel more personal, as if it had been designed for him. "The red oak floors were a challenge because the pink tends to come through," he says, so the designer applied a floor stain with a hint of olive-green, a hue that continues in pops of chartreuse throughout the house.

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Oval Boi Chandelier, Price Upon Request, David Weeks Studio Map Wall Decal, $129, Pottery Barn Promenade Caned Armchair, Price Upon Request, Lorin Marsh
_2 Another way the designer "de-specked" the house was by designing custom furniture. Overall, "there's a sophisticated, cohesive environment with a few very unlikely characters." The unusual cast Mendelson refers to are bespoke pieces with his signature "nod to traditionalism." In the library, he designed a bookcase that "plays on the old English libraries where they used to hang art on the verticals," he says, with little niches framed like paintings. In the sky-blue living room, the designer upholstered a custom settee with two separate pieces of brown and chartreuse linen, creating the illusion of a stripe. "I love marrying unexpected things," he says.
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Longacre Small Table Lamp, $336, Circa Lighting "Bamboo" #2107, From $225, Farrow & Ball Border Frame Duvet and Shams, From $68, Serena & Lily
_3Whether it's a custom piece or a unique antique, Mendelson has a true knack for creating an element of surprise. "Everyone expects a big convex mirror over the mantel, but mine has an odd kind of Tim Burton effect," he says proudly of his spindly round branched Hervé Van Der Straeten mirror. His eye for the unusual led him to the Pebble Table, a multi-tiered, re-configurable cocktail table by Lebanese designer Nada Debs. "I've always loved it. It's going to become an icon," he says.
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Eton Club Chair, From $749, Ballard Designs Gwenwood Wall Sconce, Price Upon Request, Urban Electric Large Silver Decorative Horse, $150, Chairish
_4Cool and welcoming, the house feels just as a beach getaway should. "My friends come and feel really comfortable. Every room gets used, and it's a place everybody wants to come." What more could you ask for?
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Herve Van Der Straeten "Branches" Mirror, Price Upon Request, 1st Dibs The Pebble Table by Nada Debs, Price Upon Request, 1st Dibs Steam Press Wheel, $99, Restoration Hardware

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Living Room Sofas Mendelson Group Kitchen Pendant Lights Ann-Morris Antiques Stairwell Runner Patterson, Flynn & Martin
Outdoor Woven Stools Mecox Office Ceiling Treatment Silvere Boureau Family Room Club Chairs Roman Thomas
Children's Room Wallpaper "Havana" #2502W-0 Carleton V Office Wallpaper "Florence" 209/04 Romo Master Bedroom Bed Mendelson Group
What's your favorite room in Mendelson's house? Tell us in the comments or by tweeting to us @domainehome. Photographs: Eric Piasecki
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