Archive for the ‘home decor’ Category
I was recently contacted by the winner of Cottonelle’s blogger contest, Stacy Wichelhaus of Hello Cupcake, and asked if I might be interested in featuring an interview. But not just any interview – an interview with designer Jonathan Adler. Yes – THE Jonathan Adler.
Stacy asked Jonathan some really juicy questions about overcoming fears, living a creative life, and a whole lot more. He even references The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Love that. I’ll let the two of them take it away…
Fear of failure is a paralyzing emotion that oftentimes holds one back from pursuing what they are most passionate about.
Stacy here from Hello Cupcake! I’m recently back from a trip to New York City where I had the opportunity to meet and interview well known designer Jonathan Adler in his SoHo loft. In choosing what to ask the “Happy Chic” designer with stores across the US, his third book in production and having collaborated with an impressive list of big name companies, I wanted my questions to resonate with people who are looking to kick start a creative career or act on their ideas no matter how scary it may seem. Having an Etsy shop and recently quitting my full time job at a San Francisco nonprofit to start a boutique public relations agency I wanted to talk about fears, failures and successes in the pursuit of following ones creative passions.
Stacy Wichelhaus: At 27, you vowed never to have a “real job” again. What led you to this leap and how did you overcome your fear of failure to do this?
Jonathan Adler: Lucky for me, I didn’t have to make a choice. I once burnt down an office building from a kiln fire and I got fired from every job I ever had. I was totally unemployable, so I knew I needed to figure this out. Sink or swim. I honestly think there have been so many times along that way that I should have sunk but because there was a sheer sense of panic to make this work I did.
SW: Have there been any words of advice given to you early on in your career that have stuck with you?
JA: When people ask me for advice I usually say that there is a lot to be said for “panicked stick-to-itiveness”. I look at someone like my husband (Simon Doonan) and I who have both been doing what we do for quite some time. Neither of us has bounced around. He has been at Barney’s as a window dresser for 30 years, and I’ve been here for 18 years. I think there is a lot to be said for staying the course.
SW: How did you handle your nay sayers and doubters?
JA: When I was in school, I had a pottery teacher who I went to for advice and told her that I wanted to be a potter and she told me that I had no talent and couldn’t do it. I think it’s good to have someone who doubts you. Having the support of your friends and family is also important. My family has helped me get through some really tough times.
SW: Did you ever have a moment early on in your career where you were asked yourself “what the heck am I doing”?
JA: Every day. Every single day. I can’t count the number of times I would just lie in the fetal position on the bed. The numbers of screw ups that have happened over the course of my career are of such monumental scale and capacity. I’ve had so many of those terrible moments. I think doing your own thing, especially when it’s as weird a thing as a creative business, it’s a preposterous undertaking and you have to be slightly delusional and you need to fully believe that something as crazy as what you’re trying to do can work even though there is a possibility that it may not. You need to be incredibly resilient and hard working. But don’t take yourself too seriously and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I wish people weren’t as hard on themselves as I was on myself.
SW: You’ve collaborated with a wide variety of industries. How has this helped you to expand as a designer?
JA: For me, my whole career has been improbable and I would say that I’ve always welcomed design challenges. Collaborations are something that people are doing these days. Once I understood what I was trying to say with my work, I thought that happy chic idea could be applied to so many areas and it made a lot of sense to take my design vocabulary and the spirit of what I do and spread it out. I love designing, it’s what makes me happy and I ALWAYS welcome a challenge!
SW: You and your husband, Simon Doonan are both creative. How do you fit two creative people into one household and where does Liberace (their Norwich Terrier) have a say?
JA: In Simon and my case, we’ve been together a very long time. We do things thoughtlessly and naturally and we’ve always been on the same page with one another. I feel that in a way, creativity is mostly logic anyway. It takes work and analysis and I think Simon and I both fully understand that. He’s a window dresser and a writer and you know the saying ‘writing is rewriting’? I think it’s so true. I can have an idea in my head of what something is going to be and then when I get it back it’s a disaster. So it’s the same thing. If you’ve seen that episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, it’s like when Sheree decided to start a clothing line and when she got the first prototype back she was like “this isn’t what I thought” and I’m like “hello, welcome to any design undertaking. It’s never what you think it’s going to be it’s always a disaster. It’s only on step 10 after you’ve been rigorously analytical and covered all the issues that anything can come to fruition as you hoped or imagined that it would. Once you surrender to that idea in whatever you do, whether it be medicine or a creative pursuit that’s when you end up being successful and that’s something that both Simon and I agree on”. And Liberace is an adorable idiot, he’s really dumb but oh so cute!
Thank you Stacy for choosing papernstitch as the blog to share this awesome interview. If you like this post, please “like” it or share this article using the buttons below.
I have to admit that my first inclination is to leave a wall blank. I tend towards good bones in a space and good furniture and I don’t mind having a lot of white space in my home. But having a graphic designer and photographer for a husband means that we have a large number of artwork pieces that we want to display. In our case, most of these pieces are fairly large scale, so often they place themselves in the home based on size and color. But there are many great ways to display artwork throughout your space, and I thought I’d go through a few methods to possibly spark a couple new ideas.
First of all, there is always the single large piece. You can place this on a wall space in between areas, centered over a piece of furniture like a sofa, or placed asymmetrically over a sideboard. Another method for placing artwork is to use a grid, especially for pieces of similar size. This can also be used to hang pieces in a row either horizontally or vertically. Try grouping by color – a set of pieces in a monochromatic color scheme can have all different sizes with different frames and still look pulled together. You can corral smaller pieces within a larger framework like a bookshelf or even a painted rectangle on the wall. Anything that holds the pieces together visually will work. Or use a ledge or shelf to tie disparate pieces together. If you have pieces in varied sizes and you don’t have an obsession about your space looking perfect, stacking is another great method of displaying artwork. Be sure the best parts of each piece are visible so that you can enjoy each one, even though you can’t see the entirety of each piece. Do you have any other great ways to display art in your home?
(above) Framed pieces on multiple ledges
One of the interior trends that I’ve seen this year that has really been making the rounds is oversized lighting, used mostly in dining areas, kitchens and sometimes in living rooms. We had some really positive responses from the first one of these I posted looking at golden touches in the home. There is something about adding an out-of-scale object to a room that brings it to the forefront, takes something you might not notice and gives it a little extra oomph.
Although you can certainly use a single one of these oversized pieces, they also make a great impact used in multiples. Simplicity seem to be the key here. Large-scale lighting needs to be able to make a statement without going overboard. But the finish should be anything that fits with the style of your surroundings. Even placed in a smaller niche over a beautifully accessorized sideboard, oversized lighting can be a fun way to rev up your interior landscape.
(above) Multiple black pendants
As a couple, Jeff and I are fortunate to have a very similar aesthetic. We both gravitate towards clean lines + modern style, but things also have to be uber cozy because we spend a lot of time at home and want to be comfortable.
That may seem like a battle between two very different things, but we have a trick that, without fail, works every time: color!
I am a total believer that color is one of the easiest ways to bring good vibes into a room, making it feel more comfortable and warm. More alive. Even if you’re going a modern route.
But like all things, it is often best used in moderation, which is why we do color pops (colorful accents) in our home, as opposed to overwhelming color drenches.
How do you make your home feel cozy?
Good morning! Hope your Monday is off to a peppy start.
I like to start off Mondays with something fun and bright whenever I can, so here’s a little day glow to start your day…
A few days ago, I wrote a post for Hello Brit. If you don’t know it already, head over and check it out – thsi site is quickly becoming one of my favorites (Brit has packed the site with home and style inspiration along with a long list of great diy projects).
I translated the neon fashion trend into home decor pieces. And I am pretty certain I now want to buy almost every piece I included. That’s the danger of writing retail related articles, isn’t it?
Anyway, I would love for you to check it out when you have a chance, and share it with a friend if you like what you see.