8 Home Goods That Can Instantly Update Your Home, According to Potter and Designer Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler reveals his eight favorite ways to effortlessly breathe life into any space.

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August 17, 2023

Decorating, like many things, comes easy to some and can feel incredibly challenging to others. While it takes time to hone your own decorating style — taking note of the colors, textiles, furniture and home accessories you feel most drawn to — there are some items that can instantly elevate any space, regardless of style. Luckily for us, potter and designer Jonathan Adler — best known for his bold use of color, imaginative patterns, head-turning furniture and brazen vases, pillows and prints — revealed his eight favorite ways to upgrade a home with decor. Keep reading to find out what they are.

A Chandelier

Lighting is essential. Rather than keeping it minimalist with recessed lighting, though, Jonathan suggests opting for a chandelier. “Always buy a chandelier that is bigger than you think you need and more expensive than you think you can afford,” he says. “Any time I’ve skimped on lighting, I’ve lived to regret it. I’m partial to our new Belvedere Six-Light Chandelier — it’s the ultimate jewel for your ceiling; it glows up your dining space or luxes up your living room. And I promise I’m not biased!”

Dimmers

Don’t stop at the light fixture, though! Make sure it’s adjustable while you’re at it. “While I’m lecturing about lighting, make sure it’s all on dimmers,” Jonathan exclaims. “I’m very old and have definitely entered my dimmer years, but the truth is that they help everyone look even more glamorous than they already are.” (You can shop a variety of dimmers at The Home Depot and Lowe's.)

Tiny Tables

As impractical as they may seem, tiny tables have a purpose beyond aesthetics, Jonathan assures us. “No matter where you sit in your home, you should be able to reach out and set down a drink,” he says. “When you’re decorating, think of how many tiny tables you need and then add one. You’ll never regret it.”

Pedestals

When decorating your home, think of what you want to put on display, whether it be a prized plant, a stunning sculpture or a stack of tantalizing coffee table books — then buy a pedestal to give whatever it is the royal treatment. “Pedestals are a decorator’s secret weapon,” Jonathan says. “Now that you know, don’t steal my clients. Our Pompidou Accent Table adds a ‘70s Parisian flair, without a time machine or a plane ticket.”

Rugs

So often, we pay so much attention to our walls that we forget about our floors. “I always exhort people to create a chic foundation and then accessorize with abandon,” Jonathan says. “Nothing creates a chicer foundation than a graphic rug if you ask me (and, thankfully, you have!). Start with a graphic rug and you won’t look back.”

Bar Carts

Whether you drink alcohol or not, a bar cart is a must, Jonathan says. “It’s a party on wheels, and it says you’re louche and you know how to entertain. It’s perfect to style your aperitifs–and your accouterments,” he explains.

Feathers

As much as we love fresh floral arrangements, there’s no denying that they don’t last long. That’s part of why Jonathan suggests moving in a different direction. “Flowers are so yesterday,” he says. “Instead, show your design bona fides with feathers. There are few decorating fails that a festoon of feathers won’t fix. And I happen to know just the place where you can get the perfect pottery to house ‘em.”

(FYI: Feathers are very delicate and are best purchased in person, if possible. Another option is dried flowers, which are equally as ethereal and can last up to a year. A great place to shop for bold dried bouquets is East Olivia.)

Acrylic Accents

You might think that acrylic is just high-priced plastic, but it’s an undeniably luxe decor statement. “Nike says ‘Just do it,’ I say ‘Just acrylic it,’” Jonathan says. “Acrylic twinkles and glows and has a big presence while being weightlessly transparent. Not sure where to begin? Our Jacques collection is a good square one.”

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