Jonathan Adler Reveals His Ultimate Guide To Gifting, Decorating, And Entertaining Ahead Of The Holidays

Potter and designer Jonathan Adler isn’t afraid of bold color or a playful moment, as anyone familiar with his modern decor knows. His eponymous line features modern furniture, decor, and art ranging from chic Deco-inspired sofas to chic board games to cheeky ceramic canisters and stash boxes that command attention and are a talking point of any room. He’s best known for pairing eccentric designs, sayings, and themes with glam materials in an elegant, elevated way.

So when it comes to the holidays, it’s no wonder Adler knows how to skillfully up the ante when it comes to entertaining, gifting, and, of course, decorating. Adler—an author, guest judge on HGTV’s Design Star: Next Gen, and hotel designer (he recently redesigned the iconic Parker Palm Springs)—who lives his everyday life in chromatic bliss is all about finding your joy. For him, that includes incorporating gold into a decorating plan.

“Anything gold, gold, gold,” he says. “If you don’t have gold finishes throughout your home during the holidays, you’re not living. It only takes a few additions to make a big difference. Put a bowl of cheap gold balls on the table and voila: instant centerpiece. Another holiday decorating necessity is disco balls. It’s impossible to have a bad time when there are disco balls about. And don’t forget a well-stocked bar cart—it’s a party on wheels.”

Some might say a well-stocked bar, or bar cart, is an essential part of any soirée. The holidays are often filled with creative cocktails (or mocktails) presented in a chic way. The Jacques Bar Cart ($1,600) is an easy way to incorporate a pop of gold without going overboard. For a playful, booze-themed element, his Rocket Decanters, like the Rocket Whiskey Decanter ($225), are a fun way to store liquor and make the cocktail-making process interactive and fun. They also make perfect gifts, which he stresses should be thoughtful and personal.

“Think about what tingles the recipient’s chakras,” he says. “Are they a fashionista? A collector of tea cozies? A Lego-maniac? Give them the best, most outre version of whatever they’re interested in, like the raddest, brightest socks or the softest sweater made from the hair of some rare goat. Don’t stress yourself out. Not to be too Pollyanna-ish, but your friends like you for you, not the gifts you give them.”

But because gifts are a central part of the holiday season—whether you’re gifting a friend or bringing a hostess gift—there are many options that excite and don’t feel basic—like soaps or simple candles.

“I always keep a stash of pressies in my L.L. Bean tote—you never know who you’re going to meet!” he says. “This year, it’s packed to the brim with a few things for my nearest and dearest. Everybody loves a trinket tray, just saying.”

This year, Adler is gifting his Vapor Glassware Set ($135) as hosting gifts. “They’re perfectly polished, gilded with gold, and they come pre-packaged in a couture gift box. Do the same, and you can thank me later.”

Other gifts he’s excited about this year from his collection include velvety soft Madrid Flames Pillow ($150) and Globo Bookends in luminous blue ($450). Games, like his stylish backgammon sets, are also a great hosting gift—and it encourages setting aside your devices and enjoying time together while you’re at your gatherings, too. Above all, getting the mood right is always imperative. Things you should always have?

“Groovy tunes, interesting guests, and a hot stripper—just kidding about one of these, you pick which one,” he says. “People are coming to spend time with you, not judge you on your party prep or decor so don’t stress too much. However, for food, keep it simple. Everyone loves a chicken leg or guacamole. Think of the things that people actually like to eat and serve those dishes, as opposed to a weird crisp served with a smear of something and a reduction of another thing.”

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