In the 13 charming, informative, and inspiring episodes of Decorate like a Designer, with Jonathan Adler, learn all the major rules of good design and decoration and finally say farewell to feelings of intimidation. Along the way, while you consider the vast and eye-popping history of design, you’ll be introduced to some of Jonathan’s biggest influences and inspirations and you’ll learn handy tips and tricks to use just like the experts.
Decorate like a Designer, with Jonathan Adler
Jonathan Adler is a potter, designer, and author who launched his namesake brand after leaving his day job to pursue his first love: pottery. In 1993, Barneys bought his collection of pots, and five years later, he opened his first store in Soho. Jonathan’s desire to design all the bits one needs to create a flawlessly chic home led to more and more. Today, Jonathan Adler is a design company with stores worldwide, a thriving e-commerce site, a full slate of residential and commercial projects, and a wholesale business with more than 1,000 points of distribution globally. It is dedicated to bringing Modern American Glamour to your life.
01: Decorate to Communicate
Great interior design communicates confidence and your unique voice. Here, Jonathan shares his foolproof formula for communicating effectively who you are—and who you want to be—through your design choices. You’ll also get a look at how Jonathan arrived at his own personal style, and the major design movements that shaped European and American design.
02: Find Your Style
Pop, natural, and deluxe are three style tentpoles that can help you decide who you want to be. Even better, they can be applied to any style or type of home. Learn how each tentpole comprises its own set of materials, inspirations, and influences, and how mood boards can help you corral all your design elements into one place—even if you start one mid-project.
03: All about Color
People tend to want to fit in, which is why color can sometimes feel outrageous. But it’s actually the key ingredient to adding character and swagger to your design space. Here, Jonathan teaches you how to wield color’s remarkable power to tap into our emotions and feelings, and how to introduce it into a particular room. (One tip: When in doubt, use more color!)
04: Use Branding as Your Design Guide
The first step in designing and decorating a space: creating a guidebook to remind you of your goal. That’s where branding comes in (no, it’s not just for companies). Discover your three-word branding guide based on three adjectives that describe a personal trait, an environmental vibe, and a lifestyle or occupation. Here’s a fun example: well-read Scandinavian barista.
05: Salvage, Save, Purge, Splurge
If you’re looking to design the way you want without a big budget, Jonathan recommends salvaging old objects, saving by using whatever’s free, purging what you don’t need or like, and splurging on a piece you really want. In this episode, get a host of tips and tricks for being a resourceful designer—and a few rules you’ll want to follow when the money’s a little tight.
06: Layout and Flow
What are you looking at when you enter a room? Where is your eye going to travel? Where are you going to travel? Layout is all about how shapes interact with one another in a room, while flow is all about how you move through a space or between rooms. Discover how the dichotomy between layout and flow can help you think about designing based on geometry and experience.
07: Design Do-Overs
In truth, we all made bad design choices, once in a while. But that doesn’t mean these problems can’t be solved. In this episode on design do-overs, Jonathan teaches you how to conquer decorating challenges by recognizing what annoys you about a space and how to figure out what you can do about it. You’ll also learn about the best tools and solutions for your particular budget.
08: Minimal versus Maximal
There’s a constant pendulum swinging between minimalism (using the fewest objects to say what you want to say) and maximalism (using as many fabulous objects as possible). Along with seeing how both modes have worked their way into fashion, art, and architecture, learn how careful curation is the key to nailing whatever design look you’re going for.
09: Put Wasted Spaces to Work
People often complain about wasted spaces in their home: a large closet or the space under the staircase, for example. But Jonathan says to think of these spaces as opportunities, instead. They can be a great way to add function to your home, or they can serve as an exciting canvas for self-expression. Here are some tricks and inspirational notes to do just that.
10: Decorating with Light
Lighting, says Jonathan, is everything. In this episode, discover how lighting choices can make or break a room, and spend time considering three different categories of light. Along the way, you’ll discover how to use any natural light to its best advantage, what to look for in window treatments, and how to map out the perfect light plan for whatever room you’re designing.
11: Take Design Outdoors
Design opportunities don’t just end at the boundaries of your home. Learn how outdoor design can set the dramatic stage for your perfect interior designs. Green thumb or no, suburban lawn or city fire escape, you’ll learn how outdoor design is about more than just gardening. Here’s a secret: The same fundamentals of interior design apply to designing around Mother Nature.
12: Say It with Accessories
Incorporating accessories to create a mood for your space is usually the last step in the design process. Unfortunately, by that time, some of us have run out of steam and just want to get it over with. Master the art of scaping (arranging objects on a horizontal surface, like a mantle or table), and learn how to acquire accessories based on their content, scale, shape, and color.
13: In the Pottery Studio with Jonathan
In this final episode, join Jonathan in the pottery studio for a look at how he makes a pot. It’s a fascinating opportunity to watch a master at work—and to learn more about Jonathan’s life and career, as well as his particular design path.