Heroes in Modern Design

Modern-day designer Jonathan Adler does a beautiful job of mixing modern work with the mid-century modern aesthetic of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. That’s what I hope to do when procuring pieces for my own home. The other day, I had a woman in my living room buying furniture from me via Craigslist, and she said as we were talking, “Oh my God, this looks just like my Grandmother’s house!” HA! I took it as a compliment. I don’t know about you, but my grandmother had flawless mid-century modern taste. That comment, however, was a good reminder for me to remember to add some updated touches to keep my home from looking “old.”

004This can be done with a fresh coat of paint, accessories, mod drapes, or updated patterns. (Notice the chevron pillow purchased at Pier 1 prior to the chevron explosion. I have however, managed to resist the mustache accessories. Never got the mustache thing.)

If you know me, you know I’m not much of a shopper (my husband will claim otherwise)  but when I hit Nordstrom Rack on a rare “girls day” with my mom and sister-in-loves, I was delighted to see my man Jonathan Adler on deep discount. (Authors apologies for camera phone pics taken on the fly)

Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.
Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.

Seriously. I couldn’t stop sniffing the Scottsdale “sugar cactus.” I don’t even remember what Telluride smelled like because I was high on scent. Delicious, sweet, intoxicating scent. Candle was marked down to $16. I didn’t pop for it as much as I wanted it. See? I have restraint.

At this point, we experienced a small earthquake in the store. The lady next to me said, “Does this mean we should stop shopping?” Hells, no, lady-hey…sniff some of this Sugar Cactus!!! Even the earth moving beneath my feet cannot keep me from admiring Jonathan Adler’s work.

Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers
Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers down to $28 from $48

 

Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers
Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers Discounted to $28 from $48

MEOW!!!! These are the best kind of cats to own in my personal experience. They won’t pee on your carpet or leave tumbleweeds of hair that blow across the floor of your home, reminding you of your failure to not only keep the house clean, but of your inability to earn their acceptance.

Not big on animal S & P? How about Jonny’s lovely line of Futura…bringing that mod pop to your kitchen.

Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers
Funky Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers

These bottle stoppers, also down to $28 would make a great wedding shower gift, or host/hostess gift.

Bottle Stopper
Bottle Stoppers. You can’t escape the ‘stache.

Now! To the subject of stationery. Can you ever have enough? No. No, you cannot. How many times have you run through the house looking for those elusive post it notes to write on? $7 bucks will get you these:

Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Don't like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Look no more.
Don’t like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Perhaps you’re an early Christmas shopper looking for stocking stuffers.  Look no more.

While we’re on the subject of stationery, I must applaud Mr. Adler for so fashionably bringing note cards back. Tell me I’m not the only one who still does this!?!? In a world of texting and t.v….isn’t it still so nice to know someone thought enough of you to hand write a note, or a thank you? Bring it back, people. You can start here:

Hoot Squirrel Waves

Mom claimed this little box o’ gems, choc full of unique cards for only $7. Go Ma! Go! I want the squirrel one with the “GO NUTS!” (Now I’m kind of wishing I had….gone nuts, that is, and bought one of everything. Ah, well.)

If you have a Nordy’s Rack in your hood….swing by and check it out! Jonathan Adler (on sale) will not disappoint – or damage that pocket-book too much.

What better way to keep your home from looking and feeling stale. Toss in some updated pieces or accessories and voila! You have beauty in balance.

 

Jonathan Adler a Happy ChicK Makes

If you love mid-century modern décor but are anything less than wealthy, shopping for it can be at best: lonely. Most of what is contained in my home has been found at a thrift store, estate sale, or on Craigslist….most of these acquisitions can be made in your pajamas.  Big box furniture commercials such as “Mathis Brothers” “Rooms To Go” “Living Spaces,” etc. etc., compound the lonely island feeling. No one (save those pricey boutiques) seems to share my love for mid-century modern. One can tire of endlessly scouring the internet and burning up gas to get to far-away flea markets. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a convenient and reasonably priced place to get MCM décor?

I am only too happy to report that I think I may have found it, but you must first endure my story of discovery.  My family and I were recently in Newport Beach, investigating how the other half live. While walking through Fashion Island, we happened by the Jonathan Adler store. I’d never seen anything like it.  I actually stood at the window mesmerized and salivating like a penniless child outside of a candy store, longing to go inside, but knowing I didn’t belong. It was too gorgeous….too perfect. It had to be too expensive as well. After a nervous lap around the building and some coaxing from my husband, I ventured inside. As chance would have it, they had quite a few big-statement items I would absolutely save up for. These beauties hung from the ceiling….and they were everywhere, in every finish and size.

Meurice Chandelier  http://www.jonathanadler.com/Meurice-Chandelier/?cat=1006&initial=4129
Meurice Chandelier
http://www.jonathanadler.com/Meurice-Chandelier/?cat=1006&initial=4129

meurice_chand_b sputnik_mini_n

Then I spied this book. My thought was….it’s almost Mother’s Day. Do it. Do it. Do it. You can take it all with you! And so I did….

Jonathan Adler's Book: 100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
Jonathan Adler’s Book:
100 Ways to Happy Chic your life
24.95 on Amazon.com and jonathanadler.com

Loving the book and it’s tragically hip photos, I decided this relaxing and reading thing is where it’s at! Then one lazy Sunday I fatefully picked up this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine. I still don’t know how I got this subscription. Anyone who knows me knows I really don’t like Martha Stewart, and that’s putting it nicely. I tend to avoid people who make me feel like an inferior homemaker AND cook.  Martha is one of them. Anyway…..I was flipping impatiently and rolling my eyes at the “easy” recipes I know I’ll never try whose ingredients I’ve never heard of when I stumble upon the JCPenny insert. It tells me that Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic housewares line is now featured at JCPenny of all places. (jcp.com/happychic)

So there you have it! It isn’t vintage, but it goes very well WITH vintage, and it certainly is mid-century modern-esque. Better news is: there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a lonely MCM’er like me or you loved that Gatsby movie and have decided to go Art Deco,  it’s all in there. If not…try Jon Jon’s website. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you, Jonathan Adler. I feel alone no more.