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Design People Profiles

Final Take Sergio Mercado

Designer Sergio Mercado shares his inspirational insights.

Final Take Sergio Mercado

One of Mercado’s favorite projects, a home in Watermill, New York.

I’m currently designing the remodel of my own home in Stanfordville, NY, in the Hudson Valley, so that is my dream space! My personal style always involves indoor/outdoor living, high end but low-maintenance finishes that can be used both indoors and out, and design components that include built-in seating and storage. The hues of the architectural finishes and furnishings I’ve selected are tonal to create a soothing visual palette and environment. My idea of a dream space is one that is soothing to the touch and to the eyes.

I find inspiration in architectural materials of all kinds. Last year I attended Salone del Mobile in Milan, and I found myself taking pictures of paneling, staircase railings, carved-stone wall murals, and inlaid floors. There were so many beautifully designed products, lighting, and furniture I returned stateside completely inspired by what I’d seen.

I’d love to be in Paris before WWII. To experience the city with the likes of Giacometti, Jean-Michel Frank, and Cocteau. Not to mention the artists and fashion designers that were emerging at that time. What a period of creative Renaissance!

Two projects come to mind, both of which were recently completed. A home in Watermill is what I describe as one of my dream spaces. The limewashed walls, wide-plank natural hardwood floors and undyed linen drapery—you can feel yourself decompressing the minute you enter the home. The other project is a home in Palm Beach. We layered textural stones, slatted wood with upholstery materials and rugs that also have texture and dimension. Another tonal experience but with textural interest that touches on all the senses.

Final Take Sergio Mercado

Left: His primary bath in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.
Center: Mario Bellini’s Cab chair.
Right: Formerly the creative director for Clodagh, Mercado opened his own New York firm, Sergio Mercado Design, nine years ago.

I love sketching by hand; it’s a lost art. Working through a design by hand is very fulfilling and makes you feel that much closer to understanding the space. I also like working through technical design details by hand sketching.

There is a trend right now toward transparent television screens, which eliminates the need to house or hide the television. How exciting would that be for our design community? I’d also love to see the industrial trend make a comeback. I’ve always been drawn to industrial materials and their use in designing space: metal mesh, concrete, resins. I feel like we’ve moved away from that vernacular but there’s al- ways a home for that aesthetic.

I’d be the Cab chair designed by Mario Bellini. Made of leather stitched over a rigid structure, it’s strong, stable, and very comfortable. It’s a modern classic!

No matter how much memory your phone or PC has, why does it always feel like it’s not enough? I always feel like life moves faster than the information and research.