The ceramicist and interior designer Jonathan Adler has an irrepressible way of coming up with catchy phrases to describe his design philosophy. “Happy Chic” is one of his mottos, and the Palm Beach apartment he shares with partner Simon Doonan (creative director of the über-chic department store Barneys) and their beloved Norwich terrier, Liberace, is the living proof. A few years ago, on the advice of a Palm Beach friend, the couple bought a small apartment in the Florida resort to escape the harsh New York winters. “Nobody wanted to buy here at the time,” said Jonathan, “and we thought it was the coolest building in Palm Beach.” A few years later, having fallen in love with Palm Beach and wanting to spend more time there, Jonathan and Simon snapped up a much larger apartment in the same building when it came on the market.
As was the case with the couple’s other residences – an apartment in New York City and a house on Shelter Island – Jonathan tackled their Palm Beach pad with his usual wit and élan. Against the backdrop of pristine white walls and luxurious limestone floors, he mixes his signature designs with cool finds from Palm Beach’s famed vintage furniture stores. Bursts of strong colors, in the form of quirky accessories in shades of orange, yellow, aubergine and chartreuse, keep the place vibrant and fun. “The key to our home is my love of color,” explains Jonathan. “Colors don’t clash” is another key motto of his design philosophy. For the guest room, he paints the walls a rich chocolate brown, which complements nicely his pale blue “Woodhouse” bed. Textile and hand-crafted objects in a carefully choreographed disarray inject further visual interest. Jonathan is never afraid of trying new things, often testing out his designs on his own home. Scattered around the Palm Beach apartment are the latest objets d’art, cushions, and pottery from Jonathan’s ever evolving collection.
The end result is an undeniably chic and irresistibly happy home. These days Jonathan and Simon fly to Palm Beach at every available opportunity, even in the summer. From his desk with the view of the sea, Simon works on his books or writes his column for the weekly New York Observer. Jonathan conducts business on the phone and relaxes with his daily swim in the ocean. “Happy Chic” is just another way to describe the key elements in their Palm Beach pad: sun, sea, and happiness.