Jonathan Adler

Potter and interior designer



dmg media (UK)


Being a ‘Christmas elf for other people’ most of the year, designer Jonathan Adler likes to keep his own decorations low key come the festive season. That said, his idea of low key is probably vastly different to the average person’s. Adler’s design philosophy revolves around not holding back. ‘The only bad decorations are half-hearted ones,’ he says. ‘They just make everyone sad. If there’s ever a time to adopt a more-ismore philosophy, it’s Christmas.’ This is evident in the way he decorates every inch of the home he spends Christmas at with his partner, window dresser Simon Doonan. ‘I treat the place like an outfit an eccentric, rich aunt might wear,’ he says. ‘Layer, layer, layer.’ Mantelpieces and drinks trolleys are a case in point, decorated in fairy lights or garlands peppered with shiny baubles in gold and silver. ‘It keeps the base chic while still feeling festive,’ says Adler. This is punctuated with flashes of hot pink, mustard and teal set amid fun futuristic touches of spaceship cocktail shakers and disco balls. ‘It’s impossible to have a bad time when there are disco balls about,’ says Adler. Despite being king of luxe touches, Adler is happy to mix and match price points. Crackers and small gifts wrapped in metallic paper and bows peep out of stockings hung on the mantelpiece for an easy twinkle. ‘Put a bowl of cheap gold balls on the table and – voilà! – instant centrepiece,’ he says. Indeed, Adler views every surface as an opportunity to ‘scape and act accordingly’: ‘Pillowscape, tablescape, whatever. If you’re decorating your forlorn corners as thoughtfully and exuberantly as you do your mantel, you’re on the right track.’ Visit for more ideas