"I always want to make stuff that will enable people to live their most glamorous life," says If the potter-turned-design Renaissance man hasn't already proven that with his personal style and namesake brand, his latest collection—dropping Tuesday—is all the evidence you need that Adler knows how to live the good life. But, as any aesthete well knows, creating a good glamorous interior isn't just about piling on the glitz. So, we caught up with Adler to get his input on how to create a glam space that doesn't feel over the top. Read on to learn more—and see a sneak peek of the spring collection.
Make it Personal
"Your house should look like it’s been layered over the years," Adler says of the best homes. "Every space should be extremely eclectic and personal and inspiring." In his own spaces and in his products, Adler achieves an eclectic look by incorporating materials and techniques from around the world—and imprinting them with his personal touch.
"I travel around the world to find the best craftsmen," the designer explains. "In India, I found this dude who literally sees the world through beads. He can add dimension and an unexpected soul to any motif through his beading." So, Adler collaborated with him on a series of cheeky artwork.
Layer, Layer, Layer
"I started my career as a potter," Adler muses. "It was about as elemental and basic as anything can be: One guy and some mud and fire. It doesn't get more limited in terms of style. Since breaking out into design, he's become obsessed with layering different elements, textures, and materials. "There are so many opportunities to work in different materials, so you’ll find a range of that," Adler explains of the new collection.
"Whether it’s the beaded artwork or my Peruvian pottery factory or—one of my favorite pieces—the Reform cabinet done in hand-stamped brass and an oak frame, which came out of a trip to Indonesia, I've gone from a very limited material to really unlimited."
Don't Be Afraid of Weird
"My grandmother, who was kind of an Auntie Mame, was so stylish and chic," Adler says. "She had this one weird hanging sculpture she bought in Denmark. It became known as Granny’s Dangler. To this day I think that was the one item that triggered my design odyssey." As Adler sees it, the best spaces always have some element of the unexpected, the weird, the off-kilter—that's what makes them interesting.
Always Leave Room for Fun
"I kind of have a formula for design," Adler reveals to CQ: "99 percent classicism and 1 percent witticism." Fans of the designer will notice that in his juxtaposition of, say, a velvet tufted sofa with a cheeky pill-shaped sculpture. "The only way there can be irreverence is if the luxury is on point," Adler emphasizes. "So I strive to achieve that by using the most luxurious materials and impeccable craftsmanship."
Nothing is Too Sacred
Speaking of fun: It doesn't have to be the enemy of tried-and-true, Adler insists. "One of my favorites is the gilded muse collection," the designer says of the new line. "My muse pottery has been a sort of sacred cow among my company. As someone who doesn't think anything should be treated with too much reverence, I thought, what if I gave my muse pottery a face lift? So I added all these layers of cheeky details and motifs that kind of deface the collection." Enter: Adler's iconic ceramic vases tattooed with the likes of David Bowie's signature lighting bolt and teardrops on the cheeks. "That’s a perfect example to take something that’s chic and classique, and make it irreverent and chic at the same time," Adler explains.
Not Everything Has to Have Function
Adler insists that "art can make the space." And when selecting it, he urges you to think outside the box—or, rather, off of the wall. "3-D sculpture is always a little under-considered," he posits. "A useless objet is something people don’t usually have in their houses. I think one of my acrylic sculptures is a great place to start. It might make you realize that not everything has to have a function, that it can just be a statement. Then pop that on a pedesta,l and you’re off to the races. Pedestals bring corners to life." to get you started.
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