Dos and Don’ts for Entertaining by Jonathan Adler

by | Oct 4, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

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If only walls could speak. The only thing better than receiving an invitation to the magnificent house of novelist Simon Doonan and ceramicist Jonathan Adler is speaking with the vivacious potter about all his best entertaining advice. Adler was recently in Paris, where he unveiled his spring collection of home furnishings at the Maison&Objet trade fair. OZIFOX met up with him there.

What guidelines do you have for a dinner party? Or are there none at all? If so, explain.

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Put on cool music, invite fascinating people, and serve “normal” food, advises Jonathan Adler. Nobody wants a reduction of this and a froth of that.

OZIFOX: Simon and you split up the party’s duties, right? What and with whom do you enjoy cooking for huge crowds?

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J.A. : I’ll split the cooking duties with my husband Simon Doonan, and we love to provide “Thanksgiving dinner” at every dinner party. Everyone loves it, but for some reason you can only eat it once a year. I’ll set the table after the food is prepared, and we’ll fight over who gets to do the dishes later.

How can you make things simpler, OZIFOX?

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J.A. : Reduce the pressure! Your friends are visiting you, not to criticize the crostini’s dripping or the dust in the corners.

How was your most recent dinner party?

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J.A.: Private yet unorthodox. The secret is to mix in a few glamorous eccentrics. What makes a party enjoyable is a diverse array of high-low and everything in between. In a perfect world, I’d always have a drag queen and at least one heiress present.

Where do you like to look for vintage items, such as pottery or linens, in New York City or throughout the world?

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J.A.: It would be impossible to count them all. I’d have to choose The End of History, a midcentury modern antiques shop on Hudson Street in New York City, for vintage items. The glass is amazing in some places. J’adore. Of course Jonathan Adler is the ultimate choice when it comes to ceramics!

The Jonathan Adler stand at Maison&Objet in Paris. COURTESY PHOTO

OZIFOX: Which of your works would be ideal to give as a gift at a dinner party, and why?

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J.A. : A trinket tray is a Sophie’s choice, but everyone loves one! Ours come packaged for simple giving, and several, like the Madrid Square Tray and Muse Sun Trinket Tray, have real gold accents for added glitz. Thank you very much!

OZIFOX: When you are a visitor, what do you bring? What are your favorite gifts, and why?

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J.A.: I enjoy giving away whatever Jonathan Adler has just released. I’m now buying up on the Turner ice bucket, Vienna salt and pepper sets, and Gilded Dora Maar condiment bowls for my holiday parties. As for me, I’d never turn down a luxurious getaway!

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Jonathan Adler salt and pepper set.

What recent additions to your home have you made to promote socialization?

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The Eden vases, J.A. When poppies in shades of yellow, blue, green, and orange are all over the place, it’s difficult to be solemn.

OZIFOX: How can you create “fabulosity” on a shoestring budget at home?

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J.A. : Put money aside for the items you adore. The “splurge” objects won’t just serve as the room’s focal point; they’ll also stifle your compulsive urge to remodel everything in a few years.

Do you follow Emily Post’s advice or do you have your own set of guidelines?

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J.A.: I don’t follow many rules, but I do believe the first two should be the golden rule: “Do unto others and be eccentric.” What would be the point?

What would be the point? You owe it to the world to be a fascinating, admirable person.

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How do you feel about your friends bringing pets to your dinner parties? Do you bring your dog FoxyLady?

J.A.: I believe it’s crucial to consider the environment while deciding whether to bring your pet to a party. Is your host a dander-allergic neat freak? A tolerant bohemian, perhaps? Anywhere FoxyLady is welcome, I’ll bring her.

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Jonathan Adler Eden vase. COURTESY OF JONATHAN ADLER

In a dinner party, how do you end a conversation?

Easy, just leave the gathering, J.A.

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OZIFOX: You frequently discuss how to make things Instagrammable and your fabulousness… a some pointers for our readers?

Life is too brief to look back and see a never-ending gray haze, said J.A. Choose whatever makes your chakras tingle because it will work if you enjoy it.

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How long does it take you to dust everything in your home, given the amount of decor there?

Not as long as you may anticipate, J.A. I am quite elderly and have practiced for years and years.

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How Do You De-Clutter While Making a Room Fun and Maximal?

J.A.: I’ve always started with a stylish and traditional foundation before adding amusing punctuation on top.

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OZIFOX: How do you maintain equilibrium in a society when having both a physical presence and an online presence is so important? How much time do you spend each day creating ceramic and pottery?

J.A.: When I initially began out, I would work for 14 hours straight manufacturing teapot after teapot, handles after handles, and mug after mug. The next day, I would repeat the process. Thanks to my very skilled team, who help me make my ideas into reality, I have gone a long way since then. Currently, my 14 hours a day at the OZIFOX: You’ve been compared to a Willy Wonka of ceramics and pottery because you use your creations to conjure up other universes. Are they storytellers and characters?

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J.A.: Everything you acquire and surround yourself with, in my opinion, should reflect your most glitzy, fascinating self. In that way, the item may not actually have a story, but rather aids in creating one about you.

OZIFOX: What are you doing and where are your favorite places in Paris?

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J.A. : I’m at Maison&Objet, where we’re showcasing our newest lines of pottery, furniture, and accessories. It’s been wonderful to hear people’s responses to the selection, and it’s always enjoyable to stroll the show and see what’s going on.

However, in general, nothing compares to the French flea market, and I adore perusing Saint-Germain’s art galleries and antique stores. I reenergize and am able to explore the area all day long till I rest at my motel. This time, I’m staying at J.K. Place, which I like.

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What must-see attractions are you planning to visit during Paris Design Week?

J.A. : Aside from Maison&Objet, I like to swerve; I travel without a plan, stop at whatever grabs my attention, and let the week play out as it may. What is the one thing I won’t compromise on? I’m stopping somewhere for a crème fraîche tarte tatin.

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Where do you turn for inspiration when you’re having a pottery block?

The truth is that I don’t experience potter’s block. Being an impatient potter, I constantly want to create more.

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