Cover Jonathan Adler

Home decor guru and design empire mogul, Jonathan Adler is a distinct voice in the design space

Potter. Interior designer. Author. TV host.

Jonathan Adler is an internationally celebrated and multi-hyphenate creative. Trained in semiotics and art history at Brown, Adler began his design career in pottery and first came to fame in the 1990s when Barneys bought his collection of pots, leading to a store in Soho.

Soon, Adler branched into home design, captivating the design world with an aesthetic drawing from influences that flitted between the highest and lowest culture. As anyone who has had the pleasure of browsing in one of Adler’s wondrous stores may attest to, Adler’s tongue-in-chic accessories inevitably trigger the brain’s pleasure senses. His furniture is classic, sleek and can be made to order in a range of upholstery fabrics to look as sober or as snazzy as you desire.

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These days, Jonathan Adler is an interior design brand with 17 stores (and counting) worldwide, a wholesale and e-commerce business, a full slate of residential and commercial projects, and collaborations with diverse brands such H&M Home and Yellow Pop.

Available internationally at, his signature exuberant style now reaches Malaysia courtesy of Point 21 and to celebrate this, Tatler Homes speaks to Adler about how far his brand has come and where it’s going.

What is modern American glamour? How did you arrive at this to encapsulate your brand?

'Modern' because I strive to make things that are modern. 'American' because I hope to capture the optimism that I think is at the core of the American sensibility, And 'glamour” because it's always glamourous. It’s been said that

Pottery is your first love. What about it appeals to you?

I felt a connection from the moment I first touched clay at age 12. It’s mud and water, it’s primordial. And yes, everything we make still start in our pottery studio in New York City.


How did you grow from a small indie label to a globally recognised brand? Was this something you always wanted?

To be honest, I’m not sure! I surround myself with super creative, talented, hardworking, and hilarious people who allow me to spend every day making everything I could possibly dream of. I make what I want to make and hope that people like it as much as I do.

What are your thoughts on your career trajectory? If you were starting out again, would you have any words of advice to yourself and would you change anything?

My career has been the most amazing creative odyssey I could have ever imagined. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. 

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You’ve designed some amazing hotels like The Parker Palm Springs hotel. How do you approach designing projects of this scale?

I approach every project the same way, by imagining who is going to spend time in the space and creating a design that makes them feel like the most eccentric, glamorous version of themselves.

Did you enjoy your time as a judge on Top Design?

Yes, it was both fun and tiring (in that order). It was fun to do another show. Check out Design Star: Next Gen on HGTV and Discovery+.

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Of all the collaborations, do you have a favourite? Is there something about the collaboration that has to resonate with you before you do it?

It’s impossible to choose! I like to work with other companies who are the best of the best in their respective spaces, and I never shy away from a challenge. I’m
a restless designer: the more I make the more I want to make.

Which aspect of designing do you enjoy most?

All of it. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

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What would you say is the most important ingredient to good design?

Good design looks like it was uncovered rather than created. It looks like it’s just supposed to be that way.

Is there something you haven’t designed yet but want to?

I’m desperate to design a car. Call me!


How has the pandemic affected the business?

I’m grateful that our Jonathan Adler family has stayed safe and healthy over the last 18 months. It forced us to get creative and do business in a new way and, thankfully, business is great. I was lucky to spend a lot of time outdoors getting inspired.

What are your hopes for Jonathan Adler, the brand?

Three words: More, more, more. Products, more stores, more fun.

What and who inspires you?

Mother Nature—she’s the best designer who has ever existed.


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