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Tips on finding your personal style, from designer Jonathan Adler

  • June 21, 2022
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Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler’s career is full of creative highlights, including designing swanky hotels, being a judge on HGTV’s “Design Star: Next Gen” and creating a real-life Malibu Barbie Dream House. His furniture, pillows, rugs and vases are sold throughout the world, including at 11 Jonathan Adler stores, and he recently launched his first collection of tiles for Lunada Bay.

His latest gig is a 13-episode instructional series, “Decorate Like a Designer, with Jonathan Adler,” which premiered in May on Wondrium, a subscription streaming service for educational content. “I have spent my life thinking about how design works,” says Adler, 55. “I felt it was time to share what I know.”

The show’s topics are wide-ranging: lighting, accessorizing, salvaging old objects, color, the magic of repetition — and a compelling lesson on the history of design over the past 100 years. (He even shows viewers how he makes a pot.) It’s a well-organized introduction to the basic principles of design for anyone who wants to improve their skills and for young designers looking to learn from a seasoned pro.

Caution, though: Do not watch all 13 episodes in one day. (I speak from experience here.) It could leave you muttering the series’s mantra, “glamour equals swagger,” in your sleep.

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We caught up with Adler last week in a phone interview from the Shelter Island, N.Y., home that he shares with his husband, fashion guru Simon Doonan, who also appears in the Wondrium series. (The two also have a home in Palm Beach, Fla.) We asked Adler to share advice on finding your own style.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How do you explain to

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