Tag Archives: The New Guard

The New Guard: Gideon Mendelson

a metered mix of mid-century lines and contemporary color

Gideon Mendelson Entryway
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“Interior design is an art form and a craft that, at its highest level, takes talent, skill, education and experience.”

-Gideon Mendelson of the Mendelson Group

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Over the last few years Gideon Mendelson’s name has come up in conversations with my contemporaries, but I’d never had the pleasure of meeting him.  Then back in May I heard he’d created a wonderful room at the Designer Showhouse of Westchester and I decided to investigate his work. His decade old firm the Mendelson Group (coincidentally the cut-off age for a designer’s inclusion in The New Guard) is doing very well, and I was curious to hear what he considered some of the secrets of his success.
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We met for breakfast this week and talked about his childhood as the son of an interior designer, about his belief that design is a service industry, and what he considers the 4 key skills required to succeed.  Here’s an excerpt from our chat.
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The New Guard: Kati Curtis

At the crossroads of technical prowess & refined taste

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Several weeks ago my young friend Dustin O’Neal brought Kati Curtis of Kati Curtis Design‘s work to my attention.  In ‘The New Guard’ we feature designers who’ve been in business for themselves somewhere around 10 years or less, and whose talent we feel exemplifies the best of interior design today.  Kati certainly fits the bill.

I contacted her last week, and asked her to join me for coffee.  We spent an engaging hour chatting about design (honestly I ended up feeilng like we’ve know each other for decades), about her successful career in contract design, and about how she brings a mastery of mechanical knowledge to her stylish residential interiors.  Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

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The New Guard: Rachel Doriss

Pollack's New Design Director

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Last week I was invited to a luncheon at POLLACK’s design headquarters, to meet Rachel Doriss, the firms new Creative Director, and to see her first collection since being promoted to that position in the wake of Mark Pollack stepping down in the Spring of 2012.
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‘The New Guard’ has been, up till today, a column that profiles young interior designers whose work we admire.  After seeing the new collection from Pollack titled ‘We Love Color’, design editor Carl Lana and I decided to expand the concept of this bi-monthly post to include textile, furniture, and lighting designers.

One of the highlights of my visit was learning how ‘Etched Floral’ (an intricate machine embroidery in the collection) is manufactured, by watching a fascinating video Rachel shot on her recent visit to India.  She graciously shared it with me to embed in this post.

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The New Guard: Andy Goldsborough

of Manhattan based Andy Goldsborough Interior Design

AG Soho ResidenceSoho Residence by Andy Goldsborough Interior Design

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I can think of very few modernist interior designers who have as an encyclopedic knowledge of the 20th century’s decorative arts as Andy Goldsborough.  We met last year at an industry event, and as I investigated his work I became fascinated by his incredibly restrained and sophisticated rooms.

He’s well known for shepherding his client’s toward purchasing furnishings that will stand the test of time and appreciate in value – a concept ever more foreign in our increasingly disposable culture.  I asked him to meet me for lunch to talk with me about his career trajectory, his unique design aesthetic, and the projects he’s currently working on.  What follows is an excerpt of my conversation with this transplanted Southern gentleman.

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The New Guard: Suzanne Eason

Of Connecticut Based Suzanne Eason Interiors

tC_PD6K8lBDowHhRNxJeI59LopJ7P43JPujei3MYnwY,Co7DhIv-ETi1yTqbmYg0xHZgcG1g50kcbOPwjOVYVogSuzanne Eason Interiors for Holiday House 2012    Photo courtesy Marco Ricca

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“I guide my clients to reach slightly beyond their comfort level for results they will absolutely love and cherish for years to come.”

-Suzanne Eason

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Last fall I attended the press preview for Iris Danker’s breast cancer research fundraiser Holiday House You may remember I covered the event in a post here on the blog.  I had the pleasure of meeting many of the interior designers who decorated rooms in the show house, including Suzanne Eason of Suzanne Eason Interiors.

Turning the corner into Eason’s small office I was instantly struck by her use of exuberant color.  The second thing I noticed was the lacquered cobalt blue ceiling in contrast to the stark white walls, which I loved.  On the whole the room was a jewel box, and exactly what I like a decorator show house room to be – tastefully appointed, risk taking, and slightly theatrical.

Last week I caught up with Suzanne to chat about design inspiration, her aesthetic philosophy, and the top 10 vendors and products she currently favors.

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‘The New Guard’

Neal Beckstedt of Neal Beckstedt Studio

Lucida Office1…………………………

“My clients homes need to not only look beautiful, but function.   How to achieve that goal is critical to ascertain at the beginning of the project, and constantly kept in mind through to the installation.”

-Neal Beckstedt

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Two weeks before Christmas our Design Editor Carl Lana and I were scurrying up Madison Ave in search of some last minute holiday gifts.  We wandered down the sensational white staircase to the home furnishing shop at Calvin Klein.  After we were finished admiring the ‘devoid of decoration’ spruce (classic CK), I noticed Neal Beckstedt eyeing some porcelain.  Having seen him on design campus, I decided to introduce myself.  I’m a fan of his work, so I asked him to join the ranks of ‘The New Guard’, and he graciously accepted.

We caught up for coffee last week, and chatted about his career, his aesthetic, and his favorite vendors.

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‘The New Guard’

Lindsey Coral Harper of Lindsey Coral Harper Interior Design

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“I don’t think anyone that has ever seen my work would believe that I’m a minimalist.  I am much more of a maximalist, but I try to draw the line before becoming a hoarder.  What can I say, I love beautiful things!”

-Lindsey Coral Harper

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I keep my ear to the pavement when it comes to interior designers, so when Timothy Brown chatted me up about his friend Lindsey Coral Harper, I decided to investigate.  We met for coffee at her riotously decorated office (I’d call it a gigantic storyboard) earlier this week.

I came away with a clear understanding why she’s the current ‘it-girl’, and perhaps more importantly, why I think she’s going to be important in our industry for some time to come.  We had a convivial chat.  Here’s some of what I learned about this decidedly modern Southern Belle.

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‘The New Guard’

Timothy Brown of Timothy Brown Studio

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As a rule, I avoid trendy Manhattan restaurants at all costs.  You have to understand I moved to the city in 1983, at the height of ‘Nouvelle Cusine’.  Paying $40 for 3 ounces of poached salmon and 3 blanched snow peas at Richard Lavin’s joint on 39th Street revolted me.  So when I was asked to join a Christmas celebration dinner at one of Chelsea’s hottest brassieres, I cringed.  After some seemingly ceaseless prodding I buckled to the peer pressure and went.  In the end, the food was good, the crowd (albeit far younger, far taller, and favoring obligatory black fashion) was pretty, and the conversation among my design-ista friends was great fun.

Oddly enough, this man I’d never met, named Timothy Brown, kept surfacing in conversation, and in a consistently favorable way.  Phrases like ‘gloriously restrained’, ‘master at mixing finishes’, and ‘perfectly understated’ were the buzzwords of the evening.  So, the following morning I called his offices, and invited him to coffee.  Here’s what I learned in our charming and spirited interview.

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