Meet & greet: Jonathan Adler

Written by: Christina Kleiner

Famed potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler lets us into his world of design.



Q. You have an affinity for animals, faces and body parts, but what is it about pharmaceuticals that you find so fascinating? From Prozac-shaped pillows to brass pill boxes in the form of Quaaludes, what was the inspiration behind this particular collection?
A. I’m super clean living—I don’t drink or do drugs, I go to the gym twice a day—so I live out my hedonistic fantasies through design.

Q. We have featured a lot of Jonathan Adler products in Housetrends over the years. It is almost impossible to resist the unique pillows, lighting, pottery and accessories. Do you have any one product that is your absolute favorite right now?
A. First, thank you.  Everything I make is my favorite, or else I wouldn’t make it.  But the piece that I think I just nailed (if I do say so myself) is our Dora Maar Vase.  It doesn’t look like it was designed—it looks like it was uncovered.

Q. We’re seeing an influx of bold colors, unique motifs like Greek key, and funky patterns on everything from accent pillows to cement tile, what should we be on the lookout for in 2018?
A. I don’t really follow trends; I just make what I want to make and hope that people like it as much as I do.  But I think natural materials—unfinished wood, unlacquered metals, concrete—are the materials du jour.

Q. So your husband Simon Doonan, is a fashion extraordinaire, while your focus is on everything related to home design. How do the two of you work together when it comes to designing your own home?
A. People think we’re two gay guys fighting over how to decorate the mantel or how many throw pillows the sofa needs, but that’s not the case.  Simon is happy to hand the reigns over to me.  I don’t tell him how to dress, he doesn’t tell me how to decorate.  I’m constantly rearranging—the poor guy never knows what he’s going to come home to. 


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