Saturday, 18 July 2009
Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan's Happy Chic
When I got to meet Jonathan Adler and interview him about his new Palm Beach residence my heart raced one thousand miles per hour. Why? His mantra is everything I believe in how to help achieve a happy home. Plus I know we would be BFF if I got to hang out with him. I love colour he loves colour, I love animal ornaments he makes animal ornaments, he is funny and I love to laugh. Sure sometimes his interior design is a bit too polished for us European's but you can't deny when you walk through one of his creations you get caught up in his quirky take on glam. It's obivous there is a lot of fans out there. His hotel renavation of The Parker in Palm Springs in 2004 has been splashed across the press with great acclaim and faithful fans have pilgrimaged to the welcoming and ecelectic hotel full of charm and character.
Jonathan shares his Seventies Palm Beach apartment in Florida with English-born Simon Doonan, the creative director of Barneys New York, and their beloved Norwich terrier, Liberace. And though Simon is no stranger to taste with a capital T, Jonathan admits he had free reign when it came to designing their beachside getaway. 'Simon lets me play. He's always amused by what I bring into our home,' says Jonathan.
His signature style of modern shapes, vibrant colours, organic patterns and wry sense of humour works perfectly in this dreamy and airy holiday home in eccentric Palm Beach. 'We love it here - it's glamorous, posh and comical. It's worth being here just to see the women with their lacquered hairstyles and the to-die-for vintage furniture stores,' he says.
Jonathan has filled their home with quirky finds, all surrounded by a backdrop of white. The result is a unique, witty and liveable home that's the ideal escape from the harsh winters in New York. 'Happy chic is my design philosophy,' explains Jonathan. 'I wanted this house to represent sun, sea, fun and happiness.'
I asked Jonathan his tips for modern glamour...
ON WHY SIZE MATTERS
'To stop a home feeling depressing and bland, it's good to have a sense of eccentricty. Opt for oversized objects and pieces that make you smile to add a sense of the fantastical to a room'.
'I love to exhibit everything from pottery to furniture and textiles. Aim for choreographed disarray: I don't think anything should look too perfect.'ON COLOUR
'The key to our home is my love of colour. As far as I'm concerened, if the colours are strong then they don't clash'.
ON CREATING A NEUTRAL CANVAS
'The first thing I did was paint the whole house white and then set the tone with the luxurious limestone floors. A neutral backdrop makes the layers of bright colour instantly more vibrant and alive.'
'Using a large graphic rug is the perfect way to anchor furniture in an open space.'
ON ETHNIC TOUCHES
'I try to use a lot of ethnic craftsmanship. I work with Peruvian artisians who hand-loom a lot of my woven textiles'.
'I'm always drawn to quirky and idiosyncratic bits; I'm an eclectic rooted in Modernism. I suggest being true to yourself and buying stuff you love. You must have confidence in what you purchase because to make a visually strong display you need to have a lot of it'.
ON KEEPING THINGS FRESH
'I bring new pieces home all the time so I'm constantly moving things around. The house functions as a lab for me to try out different ideas.'
'You should never be scared of colour. Add vibrant hues to a neutral backdrop to give a room playful punctuation.'
ON THE FEEL-GOOD FACTOR
'Your house should be fantastic and fun. Sometimes the road to happiness is simply a great pad'.
Super talented New York based photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo flew down to Palm Beach, Florida to photograph this story for me.