Call me crazy, but amidst this holiday madness, I have been dedicating my time to networking and attending speaker events on topics that interest me. Maybe that’s my secret way of staying centered. I went to see Jonathan Adler speak at an Apartment Therapy event last night. If you are not familiar with Jonathan Adler, you are probably mistaken. Jonathan has become a household name in the past several years, notably being the main host for “Top Design,” Bravo TV’s interior design show. He is amazingly prolific and his fleet of stores is giving Starbucks a run for their money. He’s a talented potter, interior and product designer, TV personality and entrepreneur.
Although Jonathan’s design aesthetic is not necessarily one that I naturally gravitate towards, it does speak to many people. Like millions. And that’s what I feel is important, being open to all options presented even if it is not in your comfort zone. Before I Feng Shui and design a room for a client, I listen to what they want and need and I strive to deliver a space that supports these things. I work with the client’s aesthetic, not just mine. It’s always a balance of function, beauty and Feng Shui principles. Therefore it helps to have an arsenal of design references! Jonathan is really inspirational, down-to-earth, and a downright funny guy. I love that he encourages people to find their voice. I love that his vocabulary is sprinkled with words like “groovy” and “dude.” I love the declaration in his Manifesto: “We believe you should throw out your Blackberry and go pick some actual blackberries.”
Some things that he said that I really loved:
• Take risks
• Panic is good – this one is taken out of context but the gist is that panic is a strong motivator in moving one forward
• Find your voice
• Go on blind dates – that’s how he met his husband Barney’s window designer Simon Doonan!
These points are very much in harmony with Feng Shui ideas – Be bold as the unknown can be scary but can produce amazing results. Jonathan reminded me that you can be a successful professional and still having a fantastic sense of humor. I now understand and appreciate his work much more and see it with new eyes because as in Feng Shui, things are not always as they initially appear.