Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler is on a mission to bring Modern American Glamour to homes across the globe. Through his timelessly chic furniture and home accessories he is succeeding in this mission across the world, from his native New York to London, UK. We speak to this icon of modern interior style and finds out why fearlessness is his best interior style advice…
What do you enjoy being most; designer, author or potter, and which is the most challenging?
Being a designer/author/potter is about problem solving. Each has similar challenges – a sofa has to be comfortable, a book has to be readable, a teapot has to pour tea. The hardest part of my day is running a business like mine – whenever your job involves shipping large, heavy and fragile things around the globe there are going to be headaches.
What do you think is the secret to great interior style?
Fearlessness. Don’t worry about any so-called rules. We live in an “anything goes” world, and if you love it, it will work. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Has opening stores in Britain taught you anything new about British interior style – how, if at all, does it vary from American tastes?
Our customers in Britain are more bold and daring than our customers in the US. American consumers play it safe, while my British consumers go for over-the-top stuff like my giant Perspex foot or my brass bird bowls. Plus, nobody understands patina the way the British do.
You work with non for profit organisation Aid to Artisans – can you explain a little about their aims and why you chose to work with them?
Aid to Artisans pairs designers with craftspeople in developing countries. It’s through them that I discovered the unbelievable talented craftspeople in the Peruvian workshops where we make pottery and textiles.
Your style of “irreverent luxury” is truly unique, how do you remain inspired and continue to create designs that are unlike anything else on the market?
Inspiration is an unpredictable sprite, and I try not to think about it too much. I keep my eyes and my mind wide open.
What is the worst advice you have ever received?
My pottery teacher in college told me I had no talent and I should move to New York City and become a lawyer. It was the best advice I never took. Every creative person needs a naysayer to rebel against.
How would you describe your own interior style and what is your favourite room in your home and why?
Three words: Modern American Glamour. Our apartment is grand and fun and comfy. My favourite room is my dining room – it has amazing double height ceilings (rare in New York City) and it makes eating my morning granola feel like a special occasion.
What is your most treasured possession?
If there were a fire I’d throw my hubby Simon over one shoulder and our rescue pup Foxylady over the other; the truth is the rest is just stuff.
You’ve just discovered a time machine that can take you to either the past or the future, what year do you go to and why?
I wouldn’t mind a trip back to the jet-set ‘60s, but the truth is I’m always looking forward.
How would you spend you perfect day off?
Paddleboarding, reading, watching TV, and eating roast chicken at our home on Shelter Island. Not all at the same time.
What does the rest of 2017 hold for Jonathan Adler, can you tell us about any upcoming projects or new ranges?
More, more, more. More brass, more acrylic, more Modern American Glamour.