Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Alberto Villalobos and Mercedes Desio met in the summer of 2003 while they were both students at the New York School of Interior Design. After they graduated (in 2006 and 2008 respectively), they opened a home design store in the East Village, Etos, and also began taking on interior design clients. Alberto, who is Colombian, and Mercedes, who is Italian, wanted to "combine the eclectic and international sense of aesthetic acquired from their diverse cultural backgrounds, travels, and education." Today, the store remains on East 11th Street and their emerging firm, Villalobos Desio, has been commissioned to design homes in the U.S. and Europe for a discerning group of international clientele.

Villalobos Desio were given the challenge of decorating the smallest space in the Villard Houses for this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House, and they rose to the challenge. Using lots of sensuous texture, they transformed it into a dark and seductive space that strikes the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. The Kips Bay design is a good example of their aesthetic, which is inspired by a wide range of cultural influences, and their ability to successfully mix new pieces, antiques, and contemporary art.

Alberto said about his time at NYSID, "The school gave me extremely strong notions about color, the way to understand it and use it. The instructors always put a lot of emphasis on functionality, space planning; at the same time, they never forgot about finishes and fabrics --and what makes the design attractive. They made sure you know how to make a design work."

Another NYSID alumnus, Gideon Mendelson, comes to Kips Bay the more seasoned designer. He founded his firm, The Mendelson Group, in 2003 and has been involved in the architecture and interior design of numerous projects in Manhattan, Westchester, Miami and The Hamptons. His room for Kips Bay is a multi-functional yet elegant and luxurious space for the busy modern woman. The L-shaped room has a lounge, dining area, and a working den with a mix of mid-century furniture covered in leather. Unifying the room together is a luxurious teal suede wall covering trimmed with oak paneling.

Phyllis Greer