Jonathan Adler blew into Washington last week to visit his Georgetown store and see what his customers are buying for gifts — and for themselves — for Christmas.
Looks like his Lucite pop art pills, supersized meds in three sizes from $98 to $248, are a hit. Adler likes them grouped casually in several colors on a coffee table or piled in a corner. He says they’re the “accessory of the moment” and they let your guests know that “they are dealing with someone formidable and eccentric.”
You can’t miss Adler; he’s the one in the white jeans (he owns 40 pairs of the Uniqlo white pants). They are his uniform, he says, for friend’s brises or to wear to weddings. And they are perfect, he says, for a December store visit in chilly Washington.
Adler, 50, is known for his mod and crafty furniture and accessories. He says his goal is to create products, whether gold lip-shaped place-card holders or rocket-shaped decanters, that appeal to “picky people.” Adler started as a potter, but ended up forming his own design company 23 years ago. In addition to working on pottery, he designs beds, desks, rugs and lighting and writes books. He and his husband, Simon Doonan, Barney’s New York creative ambassador-at-large, live in Manhattan and Shelter Island, in homes full of mid-century modern, glam lighting and Adler’s creations.
What’s Adler got going on in 2017? He’s in the process of refreshing the Parker Palm Springs hotel, a place he first designed more than 10 years ago. The redo includes the installation of a seven-foot-tall bronze banana, his first foray into public sculpture.
We sat on one of his low-slung sofas in the shop and talked trends for next year. Here’s his take.
Mixed metals: “I love brass and nickel together,” says Adler, who is wearing metallic silver Adidas X Raf Simons Stan Smith sneakers. He likes the shine, shimmer and movement of metals in interiors, whether on mirrors or in side tables. In his line he has designed Electrum Boxes, storage boxes that open up to reveal velvet linings to hold treasures and jewels. Electrum is a “sparkly alloy of both gold and silver,” Adler says.
Lucite: Whether bar carts or cocktail tables, clear Lucite is turning up in every room of the house. “Lots of people are living in small spaces,” says Adler. “Lucite is very glamorous and makes a room seem larger. I think it’s like jewelry for the home.”
Jewel tones: “I like strong colors,” Adler says. “Jewel tones can energize a room and you can mix them together for a great look.” He is partial to emerald, lavender, turquoise and cobalt. He’s also a fan of the new Pantone Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery.
Statement pillows: Pillows are a quick way to glam up your spaces, he says. Adler’s favorite pillows these days have sparkle such as sequins or beads. The motifs include butterflies, ships and birds.
Less calculated decorating: Look for interiors to be more quirky and eccentric, Adler says. Since millennials are more random and “less stylistically dogmatic” in what they choose, he thinks there will be a movement toward rooms with things in myriad styles. “I find this kind of liberating,” Adler says. “Since millennials collect images more than stuff, it will force designers to work harder. If people are less acquisitive, everyone will have to work to make irresistible stuff.”