My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living offers a window into the life and mind of an extraordinarily creative person who was once told by a pottery professor that he had no talent and should consider another career. Not only did Adler stick with pottery, he transformed it from a dreary, unappealing summer camp craft into a contemporary signifier of modern, handcrafted luxury and became America's first (and only) celebrity potter. Interior designer Bill Sofield has declared, "Jonathan Adler does for American pottery what Noel Coward did for cocktail parties -- he makes life witty, sophisticated, and simply delicious." And now, on a much larger canvas, Adler reveals how you can do the same.
Date Published 11/8/2005
Rated By: John Matlock "Gunny"
From: Winnemucca, NV
Comments: A FUN Book on Interior Decorating There are a very large number of house design books. Compared with this one, they are all very dull. Johathan Adler writes (and decorates) with a abandonment of traditional values that's borderline nuts. The hell of it is that he pulls it off. For instance, point one of his manifesto says: 'I believe that when it comes to home decorating, the wife is always right (unless the husband is gay). Well, I've ceratinly learned (through painful experience) that the best answer to any decorating question is 'Yes, dear.'
Jonathan's design ideas are nothing if not innovative. I don't quite know what to call them. Here's a pop-art painting, here's some highly tectured fabric. Colors are bright, walls are white, unless, of course, they're bright red or wood paneling or something else. Put them all together, and you wind up with a suprising look for a house, a restaurant or something else.
My favorite of his prescriptions for anti-depressive living is: 'Obey every command in this book. Or Don't. I want you to do whatever makes you happy."
Rated By: apg/drs
From: nantucket ma
Comments: COMPLICATE YOUR LIFE!!! Jonathan Adler has wirtten the world's first coffee table self-help book. This book isn't about decorating your home as much as it is about festooning your life with joy. You cannot help but smile at each of his aphorisms, and while you're doing so you get to admire his amazing interiors. The gorgeous photos transplant you to places like the Parker Palm Springs - his hotel in the desert that Brad & Angeline... oh you know the story. Anyhow, easily the season's best xmas giftbook.
Rated By: Dan Tillman "Dan"
From: South Pasadena
Comments: I'm cured!!!!!!!! Jonathan Adler is a genius!! He knows how to turn a home into a personal masterpiece that screams you. It's graphic, eclectic, and inspirational. It's not like anything I've ever seen before.
Rated By: stillettophile
Comments: Better than Xanax!! I could not put this book down, and LOVED it. Unlike other books that make you feel bad for not having all the "right" stuff,this one really encourages you to express you individuality and make your space HAPPY, not perfect.
The writing is great, and Jonathan shares a lot of his own personal inspirations and story about how he became a "designer" himself. And there are lots of great hints about websites to go to and stuff to look for on e-bay. I'm working on decorating my first place, and this book is a lifesaver. LOVED IT.
Rated By: bookie
From: New York, New York
Comments: Decorating can make you happy! This book is a real surprise. So often design books seem deadly serious and make you feel like you've got to follow a strict set of rules. But here's a major designer who actually believes that home design should be fun and make you happy. The book is filled with great decorating ideas that are chic, irreverent, and often drop-dead gorgeous. It's also funny, self-deprecating and has tons of stunning pictures that will get your creative juices flowing. I really loved this book!
Rated By: Sue Miller
From: The Lone Star State
Comments: A Time Warp This book is fine if you want your home to look like a page from a decorating book from 1965. The interiors-in my opinion-looked like a stage set and a place to plug the designer's wares.
Rated By: D Cohen
From: East Coast
Comments: Fun but Nothing New This book was colorful and nicely designed. It is not a practical, DYI-type book, but it's ok if you're a fan of the retro kitschy look. It doesn't take itself seriously, which is good because it can be silly, almost clown like. I didn't learn anything new, but it's fun to look at-makes me think of pee wee's playhouse!
Rated By: Georgia Peach
Comments: A Little Light I was a bit disappointed in this book. The designer's style seems very one note-I have to agree it's kind of a rero rehash-that looks dated to me. I think it's a fun book for the generation x folks who might think this sort of thing looks fresh and new. To someone a bit older, who has seen this stuff in it's original form, it just looks like a 60's stage set.
Rated By: preppy
From: Litchfield, CT
Comments: crack for anyone who is addicted to decorating This book is beyond fun, the design's are fashion forward, modern, and the height of chic. Reading this book you understand why Jonathan Adler should replace Martha Stewart as our lifestyle guru now that the throne is unclaimed. As someone who lives to shop, this handy guide to design was well worth its price
Rated By: BH Barbara
From: Sunny Los Angeles
Comments: NOT MARTHA STEWART I received several design books for the Holidays, and Adler's was among them. I felt like I was looking at the same rooms over and over. And that cover!? At least put on some shoes. All the rooms look similar to me- if you don't care for that particular style-60's "mod", I guess, stay away. It would have been really nice to see how the designer's philosphy translates to other styles or eras. The other books I received and loved were Kelly Wearstler's, Albert Hadley and Jamie Drake's -oh, and also the new William Haines book, "Class Act"- now that was a real innovative, original designer!
Rated By: Blue Frog "bluefrog"
Comments: Channeling Mrs. Goldstein So while I was sitting on the couch yesterday, sick as a dog, I noticed my partner's new Jonathan Adler design book. The cover features Jonathan perched awkwardly on a couch, surrounded by his whimsical pottery and the typical Hollywood Regency-inspired design motifs one sees repeated in design magazines these days. Juxtaposed with his his super-cool pottery designs, the cover comes across as forced, tacky, and aimed at selling the maximum number of copies to the maximum number of people. Had I not been sick and had the book not been within arm's length, I never would have cracked it open.
Strangely enough, it turned out to be one of the more entertaining and inspirational things I have read in a very long time.
Jonathan begins his tome by stating: "This book is about how design can change your life." In the proceeding pages, Adler lays out his design philosophies in the wittiest manner imaginable, often using text and color alone to outline his anti-formal aesthetic. An example of this is the section titled My Prescription For Maximalist Merriment. Striking out boldly against the confines and conformity of minimalism, Tip #5 reads:
"Get rid of all your boring, tiresome friends. Make friends with cabaret stars, exotic dancers, and down-on-their-luck royality instead."
The book, in this way, deconstructs design as conformist modality and reconstructs it, Star Trek transporter beam style, in a totally different, purely subjective form altogether. Adler rages, in his whimsical and wacky way, against the the urge to create cold spaces defined by exterior influences. He instead asks, nay begs, the designer-to-be to recharge one's inactive design batteries by channelling the phantasmagorical landscape of the child's mind. His recollection of a Mrs. Goldstein is a fine example of this:
"The Goldsteins were my next-door neighbors and best friends growing up in suburban New Jersey, and their house was the ne plus ultra of fabulous modern decorating. I have always been completely obsessed with Mrs. Goldstein's style. Often, when I am making something groovy, I think to myself: "How would this look chez Goldstein?" Allow me to describe chez Goldstein.
In the foyer was a giant Murano light fixture hanging over a pop-art painting of a gorilla. The kitchenwalls were decoupaged (by Mrs. G herself) in New Yorker magazine covers. The den had a George Nelson sectional sofa upholstered in bright red, which was surrounded with African art, groovy C. Jere wall sculptures, and a Knoll coffee table supporting a giant sculpture of a hippopotamus. The living room was heaven. In one corner was a black lacquered piano with a ceramic leopard under it sitting on a white flokati rug. The coffee table was mirrored, the sofa-back table was covered in snakeskin, and on a shelf there was a ceramic piece of cake.
It was all put together with a sense of panache and confidence that I strive to equal to this day. Nothing was chosen to blend in -- everything took center stage. Basically, the lesson I learned from Mrs. Goldstein was to be graphic, bold, and confident, and to put things in your home that make you happy. As born-again Christians ask themselves when confronted with a dilemma, "What would Jesus do?" so I ask myself, "What would Mrs. Goldstein do?"
Sick as I was, the Adler book managed to get me off the couch. Soon I found myself moving large pieces of furniture in the den, rearranging sections of the house entirely. I sweated profusely and felt overwhelming nausea all the while, but possessed by the unstoppable spirit of Mrs. Goldstein I spent the late afternoon completely altering the look and feel of the den by reintroducing pictures and baubles that have long laid dormant in various closets and chests: a raised relief tile featuring a playful giraffe family, a blockprint which I call the Frowning Madonna (her frown caused by a mistake during the blockprint process), a chess set made of basalt that I bought in Iceland, a quizzical looking family of stone heads in the shape of mushrooms... I brought them all out into the light, reintroducing them unabashedly to society again.
Once the room redesign was complete, I immediately felt as if a burden had been lifted from shoulders. For ages I had been wanting to display these things but as the house interior has become more formal in appearance over time, one by one these items have been stashed away. Without knowing it, my sense of fun and humor were being tucked away into dark corners were they became increasingly difficult to recover and recapture. Well, no more. The genie is out of the bottle again and I simply can't wait for the weekend when I can spelunk through all the local thrift stores and second hand shops again.
Rated By: Kellyd "Kellyd's reads"
From: CA by the ocean
Comments: very clever and entertaining! This is a fun, entertaining read. Great pictures and stories and awesome ideas!!!