It’s difficult not to gush over potter, artist, interior decorator and author Jonathan Adler.
His playful creations range from cheeky white vases and customizable floor rugs, to yellow chevron chairs and dinnerware so delectable you almost don’t want eat off of them. His products are instantly recognizable and fiercely cherished by his fans.
Adler recently stopped by Neiman Marcus in Town Center to meet with shoppers and fans, and celebrate his new accessory line. Beefing up his already impressive resume (which includes redesigning California’s Parker Palm Springs hotel and Mattel’s “real” Barbie Dream House), Adler recently launched a 300 piece line of wallets, purses, belts, hats and handbags.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Adler about his fabulous accessories, Pinterest and his love for Ke$ha.
How do you describe your style?
I define it as style, craft and joy. It’s something that I’ve thought a lot about and style really [refers] to the fact that everything should be chic. Craft is the key to everything I do. I started out as a potter and I believe everything should be beautifully crafted and made of amazing materials and really considered. Joy is about the spirit I try to infuse in my work, I want everything to be optimistic and hopefully make people feel good. So style, craft, joy!
What is one thing every room in the house should have?
Good lighting is sort of the under appreciated hero of interior design. I think lighting can make or break a space. It should always come from multiple [locations]. It should come from a ceiling lamp, a floor lamp, a table lamp.
Where do you begin when decorating a blank room?
I always like to start with a kapow rug. A rug of note.
What colors are trending for 2013?
If you are looking for a neutral, look no further than gray. I am thrilled to see the ascent of emerald. My two favorite colors are orange and turquoise.
How do you balance a room full of color?
People think I love color, and I do, but I’m actually very restrained in my color sense. What I like to do is use white, white, white, white, white as the basis for everything and then a neutral and an accent color. If you go with white, gray and orange, or turquoise, you will never look back.
White is just like a palate cleanser for the eye. Everything I do just has tons and tons of white in it because it’s clean and bright and optimistic.
What was your inspiration for your accessories line?
Jet set glamour should be the inspiration for everything. I think design should transport you and make you feel richer, thinner and more glamourous than you ever thought you could be. That’s what I strive to do in all of my work and in my new line of accessories. It’s about creating an evermore eccentrically glamorous you.
Did you learn anything new when designing for the accessories line?
It’s kind of all the same stuff. I wish I could say that it was new. Same issues, just new canvas and new challenges. My whole job is an unexpected delight. I welcome and love a new design challenge. It’s been a blast.
What are your thoughts on sites like Pinterest and Etsy?
I use them. I love them. I think they are the best thing thats ever happened, on earth, ever. It’s genius. The only problem with all of these sites is that they’ve destroyed my, and everyone else in my office’s, productivity. But other than that, I think they are amazing tools.
When I started, none of that stuff was available to me. I wish I could bring Esty back 20 years so I could have had a platform to sell my stuff when I first started.
You often reference a certain college professor who suggested you stop designing and become a lawyer. Have you run into this professor since graduating?
I have run into her and there was a little light gloating and appreciation because I think everyone should have a discouraging naysayer to rebel against. Anybody who wants to do anything or achieve anything needs a meany to discourage them.
What is on your iPod currently?
My musical tastes are really embarrassing. I have the musical tastes of a 16-year-old [girl]. It’s all Kesha, Kesha, Kesha and then more Kesha! I feel like she and I are one person.
[Mattel's Barbie Dream House]
Are you as happy as you seem?
I’m really not. People think I’ve very happy but in all honesty, I am deadly serious about what I do. It takes a lot of angst and thought and struggle to make my stuff. I’m being totally sincere. I’m a happy person in general, but my job is very challenging. I lose a lot of sleep and I go through a lot of angst.
I’m happy when something comes out really great. I’m happy when I really nail it with a product, but the process of getting there is often quite torturous.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
Honestly, my life is great. I just hope I get to be as happy and fulfilled in ten years as I am today.