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Jonathan Adler on his co-op, his love of ping pong, and why the Village can trump Paris for antiques

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With 28 shops around the world, potter and designer Jonathan Adler has taken the playful, color-loving, witty aesthetic that he calls "happy chic" to a global audience. 

Since launching his brand of mid-century modern inspired ceramics at Barneys in 1994, Adler has added home furnishings and accessories to his line, redesigned the Parker Palm Springs hotel in California, and  created the modern-glam interiors for a life size Barbie Dream House celebrating Barbie’s 50th anniversary. He has also authored four books and acted as a judge on Bravo’s "Top Design," a reality competition show for interior designers. 

But home is New York, where he lives with his husband, Barneys' creative ambassador and author Simon Doonan, and their Norwich Terrier, Liberace.

Where do you live, and why do you love it?

We live in Greenwich Village in a two-bedroom co-op. Tons of great restaurants, beaucoup boutiques and shops, and it still has some of its bohemian flavor. We’ve been there for decades and you would have to drag us out.

What is your favorite room in your apartment?

Our living room is my fave because of the rad paisley Ping Pong table.  My hubby and I play every night--and I win every night. 

Best advice you can give to New Yorkers living in small apartments?

Embrace it.  And put dimmers on all your lighting--everyone will look younger, thinner and richer no matter your financial circumstances. 

Which celebrity would you want most as your neighbor?

A combination of Joan Rivers, Madonna and Liberace would be alluring.

What's your favorite coffee shop, restaurant and dog-run in your neighborhood? 

I’m married to a Brit so we’re constantly guzzling tea at home. Il Cantinori is a fave — it’s chic, classique and embodies New York. When it’s time to walk our Norwich Terrier, Liberace, we usually just waddle along 10th Street between University and Broadway and pop in to the unbelievably sublime and quirky antique shops. No need to go to Paris!

You have a location in London. Do your New York customers shop differently than Londoners?

All our brass bits —boxes, bowls, candlesticks and objets, which start out as pottery in our SoHo studio before being sandcast in India — are popular here. Our menagerie of pottery critters is an “always item” too; we’re constantly adding new animals to the stable.  

Londoners love our baby alpaca throws.  Probably because the weather there is so drab!

*This article was first posted on January 29, 2014


Five Minutes With gives you the inside scoop on a celeb's NYC dwelling experience--in the time it takes to grab a coffee.

 

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