It's WinterMarket time again.
The Design Center of the Americas will host two days - Jan. 30 and 31 - of interior design and decorating trend seminars from keynote speakers and panelists.
Things get started with home design divo Jonathan Adler at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 30 followed by a luncheon reception.
I interviewed Adler via email for a quick Q&A:
ROD: If a designer isn’t a pop culture phenom such as yourself, what role does he/she have in the current Zeitgeist where the potential customer wants to do it themselves?
JONATHAN ADLER: There's never been a better time to be a decorator. As people are getting more house proud, they're realizing how challenging it is to make your pad look polished and they're turning to the pros. Decorating isn't for sissies--it takes a lotta blood sweat and tears. Speaking of which, the pottery studio where I got my start back in '94 was called Mud Sweat and Tears. Just sayin’.ROD: Do you think that the explosion of home design and decorating TV shows and cable channels has changed the interior design field? And if so, how?
JONATHAN ADLER: See above. Luckily, people are more interested in decor than they ever have been. Everywhere I go people come up to me with iPhone pics of their places and they want my opinion. Ordinary consumers are more informed (and talented!) than they've ever been.
ROD: Is it true that like fashion, many of the trends in interior design are coming up from the customer to the designer (as opposed to dictates from the designer down to the customer)?
JONATHAN ADLER: We live in a very chaotic world. There are no rules anymore - things filter up and things filter down. About 10 years ago I designed this lamp (CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT VERSION) and I drew the shape, went to a woodworker friend and worked with him in his studio to turn the original model, to make it just right. For some reason that shape got copied a billion times at all different levels of the market. West Elm did a ton of products based on that shape (CLICK HERE TO SEE THAT VERSION) and it also got copied at the high end by a European design company called Autoban (CLICK HERE TO THAT VERSION). I'm not hating on either company - well, maybe a tiny bit - because I understand how the design world works today. Somebody sees an image, they don't know or care where it comes from, and it inspires them. Inspiration goes up and down and all around.
ROD: Be that as it may, what are some of the trends you see for 2013-2014?
JONATHAN ADLER: I'm loving the return of brass as the metal of choice. I've been making brass objets and using brass in all my projects instead of nickel and it looks better than ever. Gray is the neutral color du jour. And the most important trend of all is that anything goes! Jarring juxtapositions look more okay than ever. Things don't even look contemporary unless there's something wildly incongruous. It's a fab time to be a designer.
ROD: Do you have your life partner Simon Doonan, creative ambassador-at-large for Barney's, pick out your clothes so he doesn't judge you?
JONATHAN ADLER: I'm fortunate to live with somebody who has a very high threshold for fashion folly. The only time he'd judge me is if I didn't look a little bit ridiculous.