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Jonathan Adler 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life Hardcover – November 15, 2012

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a recent interview with the Miami culture blog Cultist, Adler said, “A happy chic life is about starting with a chic foundation and then layering in playful punctuation.” Combining high and low kitsch, always bold and forever whimsical, in a focused effort to bring “a general feeling of grooviness to your home,” Adler’s aesthetic may not be for everyone. Yet there are enough ideas here—some quite inventive in their simplicity—that can be cherry-picked to add pizzazz to any room (or life). Humor and joy infuse the book’s typography, design, and text, which illustrate easy-to-implement ideas such as “No. 03: Have Breakfast in a Happy Place” and “No. 37: Embrace Humble Materials.” Unfortunately, “No. 12: Build an Outdoor Shower” may not be logistically possible for those who don’t own beach houses. Several of the book’s spectacular photographs were taken at the Shelter Island, New York, dream home Adler built with his longtime partner, Simon Doonan (whom he lovingly calls “my bloke”). 100 Ways is the tart, delicious cherry on top of Adler’s candy-colored lifestyle empire. --Chris Keech

About the Author

Ultimate design hyphenate Jonathan Adler is a TV personality, interior decorator, housewares entrepreneur, sharp-witted cultural authority, and mad potter. His eponymous lifestyle brand debuted 18 years ago and now encompasses myriad product lines--from pillows and plates to furniture and lighting--sold in 17 retail stores and hundreds of wholesale outlets. Recently, Adler has branched into fashion, launching a capsule collection for denim brand 7 For All Mankind and partnering with the world-renowned Lacoste sportswear brand.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Signature (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402775075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402775079
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By moi surtout on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of tips for leading a vibrant, "Happy Chic life" full of grand parties, fabulous friends, kitschy movies, exotic vacations and of course the vibrant decor style that has made Jonathan Adler famous. His advice includes:

* Imagine a world where you're president.
* Bestow a moniker on your domicile to give the impression that it's been in the family for decades, even if you moved in last week.
* Nap in odd places.

There are lots of more practical and inspiring items on the list, but I like these because they're free and I can do them without having to move the cat off my lap. I was a little ho-hum about #14, "Make your own decorative objet d'art", until I realized the page folded out to reveal step-by step directions for a macrame owl. Up until twenty minutes ago, I never knew I wanted to make a macrame owl, and now I'm wondering where I last put the twine! Other fold-outs include making valentines, a paint-by-numbers watercolor, a cross stitch monogram and string art.

In addition to many photos of interiors, artwork and architecture, there are pages of lists that include films, music, books, artists, designers, etc. - enough to keep you Googling for hours. There's also glossary in the back that will help you understand the next time someone says, "I need some glunge mantiques to zhoosh up the neo-Neoclassical tableau on my mothic étagère."

Adler's writing style is quirky and charming, which makes the name-dropping and opinionated bits more endearing than not. Still, not all the advice will apply to everyone. Homeowners will get the most out of it, especially if you live in a climate to take advantage of the tips for outdoor living. Then there's #97, `Turn a closet into a guestroom.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dirtwitch on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I suppose I'm not surprised that some reviewers dislike this book. It's not a typical decorating book with many elegant staged interiors. Not that Adler's home--prominently featured in the book--isn't elegant or even carefully curated (staged).

But the book feels more like 'look how much fun you can have with thrift store finds and roadside throwaways!' In that, I felt the author's exuberant spirit and sense of fun and irreverence. 'Don't take decorating too seriously,' he says toward the end of the book (I'm paraphrasing). Many decorating books and decorating gurus take themselve WAY too seriously, and as Adler says, life is too short.

Some people my age may also recoil from the many mid-century items Adler loves to use. Yes, my parents also had a lot of this stuff in the house I grew up in--orange, avocado items of almost aggressive ugliness, with little relation to traditional forms. But over time, this is exactly why I've grown to love it. It's transgressive and playful nature doesn't give a hoot what is considered tasteful. I have grown to love it for it's sense of fun.

I also really liked the pages where Adler writes down favorite books, films and music. I appreciated what amounted to 'marginalia'. He also highlights favorite artists, designers and style icons who have inspired him. Many I know, but some were new to me. I'm sure I'll enjoy jotting down titles and looking for them in the library or on Amazon.

In sum, this amounts to one of the best kinds of books, and I'll be consulting it for some time to come: it energizes, inspires and gets me off the couch and into the craft store, thrift store, or organizing a long overdue party at my house. Buy it, but only if you fun!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tom on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting another great book of design ideas, but overall theme is monotonous with bland colors. No variety or pop that JA is know for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 4 konijnen on July 31, 2013
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All of his books are good! I think, in my opinion, this one is the best! Very happy with my purchase for sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NMH on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book for several reasons. It's packed with great ideas, even if the style isn't necessarily yours style you will feel inspired for sure. I read the whole thing all at once but will refer back to it frequently. The pictures are lovely, the writing is funny and even the book itself is really nice (no annoying paper jacket, nice thick pages, fold out project instructions). This book is a lot of fun and I am really glad I have it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SHM. on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book joins a handful of other J Adler books I have bought. I love them all. He is talented and likable, and this book, like the others, shares his talent and likability with readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shaun C on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My friends love picking up this book and looking at the tips, since it's divided into small sections they can pick it up for short amounts of time.
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By Leonard Waks on January 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
We all knew about "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and many loved it for its unpredictable, 'try something out of the ordinary' verve and twisted humor. This book could have contributed something similar - or something clear but different. It could have been "Queer Eye for the Straight Couple's Home," or "Great Eye for the Queer Couple's Home" or whatever. Designer Adler has many talents, but this book is really a throw-away project. he gets his photographers and writers to trail around behind him in his own home while he blathers out outrageous, and for the most part useless, comments. Of the 100 "ideas" I found two marginally interesting and dozens that were entirely empty.

A better title might have been "How to Write a Book in a Few Effortless Sessions if you are Famous, have a Large Design Team, and Don't Care Much about Quality" .
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