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My Prescription for Anti-depressive Living [Hardcover]

Jonathan E. Adler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 20.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins World (8 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060820535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060820534
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 25 x 27.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

"The Jonathan Adler Book" is a visual feast, jam-packed with images of interiors and objects for the home, both those designed by Jonathan and those that have inspired him. At the heart of the book are ten of Adler's signature interiors, ranging from photographer Andrea Stern's modernist landmark beach house (by legendary architect Bertram Goldberg) to the Parker Palm Springs, a desert resort whose head-to-toe renovation Adler is overseeing. Overviews and details of the Parker are prominently featured throughout the book, as are images of the three homes Jonathan and his partner, Simon Doonan, share with their dog, Liberace (in Greenwich Village, Shelter Island, and Palm Beach) and six other private residences. Part portrait of the artist as a young decorator, part call to armchairs, Adler's much-anticipated literary debut is spirited, provocative, and, ultimately, inspiring.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars fab book 4 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my brother. He loved it. A fab coffee table book too. I bought it along with a couple of other Jthan Adler books. A lovely set
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
204 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Channeling Mrs. Goldstein 15 Mar 2006
By Blue Frog - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
So while I was sitting on the couch yesterday, sick as a dog, I noticed my partner's new Jonathan Adler design book. The cover features Jonathan perched awkwardly on a couch, surrounded by his whimsical pottery and the typical Hollywood Regency-inspired design motifs one sees repeated in design magazines these days. Juxtaposed with his his super-cool pottery designs, the cover comes across as forced, tacky, and aimed at selling the maximum number of copies to the maximum number of people. Had I not been sick and had the book not been within arm's length, I never would have cracked it open.

Strangely enough, it turned out to be one of the more entertaining and inspirational things I have read in a very long time.

Jonathan begins his tome by stating: "This book is about how design can change your life." In the proceeding pages, Adler lays out his design philosophies in the wittiest manner imaginable, often using text and color alone to outline his anti-formal aesthetic. An example of this is the section titled My Prescription For Maximalist Merriment. Striking out boldly against the confines and conformity of minimalism, Tip #5 reads:

"Get rid of all your boring, tiresome friends. Make friends with cabaret stars, exotic dancers, and down-on-their-luck royality instead."

The book, in this way, deconstructs design as conformist modality and reconstructs it, Star Trek transporter beam style, in a totally different, purely subjective form altogether. Adler rages, in his whimsical and wacky way, against the the urge to create cold spaces defined by exterior influences. He instead asks, nay begs, the designer-to-be to recharge one's inactive design batteries by channelling the phantasmagorical landscape of the child's mind. His recollection of a Mrs. Goldstein is a fine example of this:

"The Goldsteins were my next-door neighbors and best friends growing up in suburban New Jersey, and their house was the ne plus ultra of fabulous modern decorating. I have always been completely obsessed with Mrs. Goldstein's style. Often, when I am making something groovy, I think to myself: "How would this look chez Goldstein?" Allow me to describe chez Goldstein.

In the foyer was a giant Murano light fixture hanging over a pop-art painting of a gorilla. The kitchen walls were decoupaged (by Mrs. G herself) in New Yorker magazine covers. The den had a George Nelson sectional sofa upholstered in bright red, which was surrounded with African art, groovy C. Jere wall sculptures, and a Knoll coffee table supporting a giant sculpture of a hippopotamus. The living room was heaven. In one corner was a black lacquered piano with a ceramic leopard under it sitting on a white flokati rug. The coffee table was mirrored, the sofa-back table was covered in snakeskin, and on a shelf there was a ceramic piece of cake.

It was all put together with a sense of panache and confidence that I strive to equal to this day. Nothing was chosen to blend in -- everything took center stage. Basically, the lesson I learned from Mrs. Goldstein was to be graphic, bold, and confident, and to put things in your home that make you happy. As born-again Christians ask themselves when confronted with a dilemma, "What would Jesus do?" so I ask myself, "What would Mrs. Goldstein do?"

Sick as I was, the Adler book managed to get me off the couch. Soon I found myself moving large pieces of furniture in the den, rearranging sections of the house entirely. I sweated profusely and felt overwhelming nausea all the while, but possessed by the unstoppable spirit of Mrs. Goldstein I spent the late afternoon completely altering the look and feel of the den by reintroducing pictures and baubles that have long laid dormant in various closets and chests: a raised relief tile featuring a playful giraffe family, a blockprint which I call the Frowning Madonna (her frown caused by a mistake during the blockprint process), a chess set made of basalt that I bought in Iceland, a quizzical looking family of stone heads in the shape of mushrooms... I brought them all out into the light, reintroducing them unabashedly to society again.

Once the room redesign was complete, I immediately felt as if a burden had been lifted from shoulders. For ages I had been wanting to display these things but as the house interior has become more formal in appearance over time, one by one these items have been stashed away. Without knowing it, my sense of fun and humor were being tucked away into dark corners were they became increasingly difficult to recover and recapture. Well, no more. The genie is out of the bottle again and I simply can't wait for the weekend when I can spelunk through all the local thrift stores and second hand shops again.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FUN Book on Interior Decorating 9 Nov 2005
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are a very large number of house design books. Compared with this one, they are all very dull. Johathan Adler writes (and decorates) with a abandonment of traditional values that's borderline nuts. The hell of it is that he pulls it off. For instance, point one of his manifesto says: 'I believe that when it comes to home decorating, the wife is always right (unless the husband is gay). Well, I've ceratinly learned (through painful experience) that the best answer to any decorating question is 'Yes, dear.'

Jonathan's design ideas are nothing if not innovative. I don't quite know what to call them. Here's a pop-art painting, here's some highly tectured fabric. Colors are bright, walls are white, unless, of course, they're bright red or wood paneling or something else. Put them all together, and you wind up with a suprising look for a house, a restaurant or something else.

My favorite of his prescriptions for anti-depressive living is: 'Obey every command in this book. Or Don't. I want you to do whatever makes you happy."

Great Fun.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!! 8 Jan 2007
By Writing Chemistry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've been collecting many interior-decorating books in the past several years, and this was the last one I bought for my collection.

In short what is different about this book is that the message of the author is not "how to create a good looking space" but one about "how to create a space that f-e-e-l-s good."

Personally, I live with a huge load of STUFF - and this book in nowhere describes how to solve the problem of "storing stuff".

But the book title lives up to its promise - "My Prescription for Anti-Descriptive Living" and I am a satisfied customer.

The added bonus is the generous inclusion of his personal history - I think it is very brave and courageous to share so much of personal stuff here. He shares about his experience at school as a ceramic art student, and how his teacher discouraged him, and how he finally overcame this discouragement, and became a ceramic artist ANYWAY and that his business is doing well. Dunno. I think what I'm trying to say is how much I love the "attitude" that is obvious and contagious from the book.

I think the photograhed interiors are highly eclectic and whimsical, full of humour, wit, and charm.

But do be aware, this is not a book on "pragmatics of interior decorating".
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decorating can make you happy! 22 Nov 2005
By bookie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a real surprise. So often design books seem deadly serious and make you feel like you've got to follow a strict set of rules. But here's a major designer who actually believes that home design should be fun and make you happy. The book is filled with great decorating ideas that are chic, irreverent, and often drop-dead gorgeous. It's also funny, self-deprecating and has tons of stunning pictures that will get your creative juices flowing. I really loved this book!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was better than dessert..... 22 Aug 2006
By Winnie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Love, love, love this book! I finally feel I have the green light to decorate in the style I've always wanted. I was slightly afraid to put certain pieces out for show, but at the same time I didn't want to stash them in the closet. Everything has been set free and now I can breathe. Thank you Jonathan for your amazing talent, your fearless decorating style, and your oh, so hilarious advice on life.
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