Jonathan Adler: Designing Happiness Every Day


Jonathan Adler is a potter, designer, author, and television personality with one goal: to bring style, craft and joy to homes everywhere. No easy feat, but with more than 25 stores worldwide, a thriving e-commerce site, and a wholesale business boasting more than 1,000 locations globally, the New York style guru is well on his way. Fueled by various sources of inspiration ranging from mid-century modern art to global pop culture, Adler fuses technical expertise and a colorful sense of optimism into all of his designs, which include decorative objects, tabletop collections, bedding, bath accessories, gifts, candles, furniture, rugs, pillows, lighting, and handbags.

6:45 AM My husband and I have a rule that whoever wakes up last has to walk the dog so I always try to wake up before him. I head downstairs and read Women’s Wear Daily, the Post, and The New York Times while I eat breakfast, which is always the same: granola, yogurt, fruit, and endless cups of PG Tips tea.

7:45 AM Out the door and to the gym. I’ve never met a baked good that I didn’t like so, as a result, I exercise like a crazy person.

9:15 AM I get to the office, have more tea, and then the fun begins. My day is completely, immoderately fun. I make pottery, look at samples, pick fabrics, and have meetings with my insanely talented and hardworking operatives. I call our HQ the “Fantasy Factory” because we spend all day making things to add style, craft, and joy to people’s lives.

1 PM Lunch! I always go to lunch at Giorgione with my work husband, David Frankel, our president. Always the same time, always the same place, always the same table, always the same order. I spend all day at work thinking and making decisions so it’s nice to turn my brain off for a moment.

2:30–6:30 PM More meetings, more pottery, more products. I’m a restless designer—the more I make, the more I want to make.

7:00 PM If I don’t have a dinner or event, it’s straight home for a chill evening with my husband. We have dinner (I live for a nice roast chicken and apple pie) and then I watch TV and read. We have a paisley ping-pong table in our living room so we like to have friends over for tournaments. We serve mini bottles of Chandon—they’re cute, and the more people have, the better they play.

11:30 PM A quick fight with my hubby about the temperature of the bedroom (he likes it warm, I like it arctic) and then it’s bedtime.