10 Commandments for a Happy Chic Home

When All the Best posted an interview with Jonathan Adler and asked: what is your greatest accomplishment to date?

This is what he said:


“My greatest accomplishment is that I’ve successfully avoided having a job! When I was in my early twenties and I thought I had to have a proper career instead of pursuing my passion for pottery, I had a series of jobs in the movie business and I was a terrible employee and I got fired from job after job. I decided that I wasn’t cut out for a normal career and I vowed never to have a job again and I accomplished that!”

Have you ever noticed that whenever someone really successful gets interviewed, that’s when they tell the truth about what it took to get to where they are today. The actress will say “My mom and I slept in our car in LA because we couldn’t afford a place to live”.

However, when you are right in the middle of it [following your passion], and going in and out of “What if I don’t make it?”, “What if I can’t do it?” , “What if they don’t like me?”, “What if they fire me?” and so on, it’s very easy to consider giving up and going back to what you know, but as Robert Allen said “Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone!”

Here are Jonathan Adler’s 10 Commandments for a Happy Chic Home! [I added the images from his work]

#1 Thou shalt embrace maximalism. Thou wilt find minimalism to be something of a bummer in thy abode. Thou wilt grow tired of an endless sea of beige and thou wilt long for a splash of color & a dollop of pattern! Bargello pillows, Furnace bottles, and rustic modern lamps – these shalt be the accessories that add some panache to your pad.

#2 Thou shalt not deny thyself hotelish comfort at home.

Thou shalt furnish thy rooms with paw-pampering, hand-loomed llama wool rugs, luxurious lighting and our fabulous furniture.

Thy rooms shalt feel like the most opulent hotel rooms in which thou hast ever stayed. Thou art worth it.

#3 Thou shalt buy an X-Bench.

Then, thou shalt buy another. Thou shalt use them in pairs, perfect under thy console or placed near thy sofa. Thou shalt rest thy feet upon them & so will thy guests. In fact, thy guests might even fight over who gets to rest upon them. Therefore, thou shalt establish house rules about thy X-Benches. Perhaps thou should consider a sign up sheet.


#4 If thy nest needeth zest, consider thy crest! Thou shalt emblazon with thine initials wherever possible.

#5 Thou shalt mix fancy with frisky.

Thou shalt not be overly formal, for if thou art, thou will be sad. Conversely, thou shalt not be overly whimsical, for if thou art thou will not feel chic. Therefore, thou shalt embrace a mix, pairing the chic classical foundation – excellent proportions, classic furniture – with a layer of playful punctuation. Then thou shalt rest.

#6 Thou shalt honor the funsters of yore.

David Hicks, Alexander Girard, Piero Fornasetti, Bonnie Cashin, Bjorn Wiinblad – if thou dost not knoweth them, thou should. Thou can use Google Images to learn more about them and thou shalt channel their fun, idiosyncratic, playful spirit in thine own interiors. Thy home will be fun, happy, and chic.

David Hicks

#7 Thou shalt not commit murder, unless thou art murdering for a decorative accessory. If thou should find thyself at one of our stores and seeth the last bird bowl on our shelf, thou shalt feel free to use whatever means necessary to obtain that special something.


#8 Thou shalt not be afraid of orange.

Thou shalt use orange copiously in thy interior, whether it beeth in an orange breakfast room or via the zing of an orange lacquered box. Thou might even consider painting thy front door orange to pique thy neighbor’s curiosity. Thou shalt also covet chocolate brown.

#9 Thou shalt play ping pong.

Better still, thou shalt have a ping pong table in thy living room. Then, lo, thou shalt play ping pong with thy spouse rather than sitting around watching thy tv.

#10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

In fact, after following these 10 commandments, thy neighbor might covet thy house.

So there.

Related posts:

10 of my favourite posts
Jonathan Berger in House Beautiful
10 Ways to Save money now by Creating a Focal Point

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  1. I just visited his new store on Montana Street in Santa Monica and it is just soo cute! Such great things he has!

  2. A great list, but I can’t really see using it in my house. I like quiet decors. But his pottery and accesories are divine!

  3. Pamela Baggett-Wallis

    Oh, boy! Permission to paint my front door orange!! Burnt orange, of course, as we are University of Texas grads.

  4. I LOVE this post!! I love the photos and the advice, but the post itself is fabulous! Thank you for posting it!! 🙂