Jonathan Adler's expert advice for creating the perfect living room scheme

Livingetc's guest editor Jonathan Adler knows just how to create the perfect living room, and his advice means you can, too

jonathan adler
(Image credit: PR)

To celebrate his guest editorship of Livingetc's June issue, in stores now, Jonathan Adler gave us some exclusive advice for how to decorate a room with his favorite modern living room ideas.

From color schemes to pick to shapes to look for, his suggestions bring a space together in ways that only he knows how.  

You'll  find more of his trademark flair and style in Livingetc's June issue, which is full of stories and ideas straight from his brilliant creative mind. Find out more of what to expect here.

GROUND YOUR SCHEME WITH BLACK AND WHITE 

Jonathan Adler

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Jonathan may be known for his brilliant use of bold colour, gilt edges and bright hues, but in fact it's the more subtle choices that he believes makes his work come together.

"The key ingredient in any color story has to be white," Jonathan says. "People think of me as a mad colour enthusiast, but in reality if you look at my work you’ll see that I use white as a backdrop for everything. In addition to white I use lots of black – they truly are the foundation of everything. Black and white are the ultimate supporting actors, enabling the star of colour to shine."

ADD SWAGGER WITH A CHANDELIER 

Arteriors

Chandelier from Arteriors 

(Image credit: Arteriors)

In his first features meeting with the Livingetc team to discuss his guest edited issue, Jonathan Adler spoke of how important chandeliers were to him, and how he felt every home should have one "almost bigger than you think you have room for."

He now goes onto say: "Chandeliers  are your chance to make an impact in
a room, so you should make it count. Chandeliers are a real opportunity to show a little bit of swagger – go a little bit twinklier, a little more opulent. If you absolutely cannot wire a chandelier into your ceiling, just get a disco ball."

GO LOW

low furniture

Togo sofa from Ligne Roset

(Image credit: Future/Jake Curtis)

Jonathan thinks then when it comes to decor, height is everything. "There’s a horrible trend in America to put all furniture on stilts and steroids, but I have always felt that low furniture is chic furniture," he says. "My dream room has seat heights and cocktail tables at 14-15”. Soon I’ll be at the age where I can’t lift myself out of a low sofa without a home health aide, but, guess what?, I don’t care. I’d rather moulder away and expire slumped in a deep and low sofa than have to trampoline my way into my armchair."

LOOK AT YOUR LEGS

Similarly to the height, the way a piece of furniture stands is just as important.

"Vary the bases of your furniture and make sure you’re not looking at a sea of legs," Jonathan says. "You should always be conscious of the juxtaposition of bases, so if your sofa is grounded and low to the ground then your cocktail table should be leggy. Which type of base really depends on the space, it’s about balancing something that’s very heavy and grounded with something that’s light."

MIRROR MORE

jonathan adler

(Image credit: Future/Paul Massey)

Jonathan is known for his love of gilt surfaces and shine, so it's perhaps no surprise he is drawn to reflective surfaces.

"Nike says ‘Just do it’, I say ‘Just mirror it’," Jonathan says. "Mirrors expand your space. While mirrors themselves are very noticeable, mirrored surfaces disappear. They are the unsung heroes of decorating and they should be used everywhere. Particularly next to a plinth. I love plinths. Fill your home with them –
so unnecessary but so fabulous. Especially when reflected by a mirror."