Rummaging with Jonathan Adler

Hot on the heels of his exclusive-for-HSN line's debut, the design impresario takes us shopping for home decor in Chinatown to pull together a Hollywood chinoiserie look on the cheap.

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  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    "We're doing more of an abstracted take on chinoiserie," explains Adler of his vision to incorporate Hollywood razzle-dazzle with Asian influences. "This is not a Zen moment; this is really about glamour. It's weird fusion anchored in red, Lucite, mirrors and gray."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler at Canal Plastics Center, 345 Canal St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-925-1666, canalplasticscenter.com)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    "Ooh, this gigantic Plexi rod is fierce," exclaims Adler, holding up a 72-inch-long clear Plexiglas rod ($25) at Canal Plastics Center. "You can cut this up into pieces and dangle it from a chandelier so it adds sparkle and refracts light instantly."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    18-inch Plexiglas cube, $210, at Canal Plastics Center, 345 Canal St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-925-1666, canalplasticscenter.com)

    "Plexi is a must because it's twinkly," explains Adler. "You can use this as an end table or put four together to create a cocktail table."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Convex mirror, $75; concave mirror, $75; both at Canal Plastics Center, 345 Canal St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-925-1666, canalplasticscenter.com)

    "Put these over your sofa and it's like instant art that adds that layer of twinkle," notes Adler. "It's a bargoon!"

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Two-inch clear acrylic spheres, $10 each, at Canal Plastics Center, 345 Canal St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-925-1666, canalplasticscenter.com)

    "If you take a bowl and fill it with Plexi spheres, it's again that twinkly, sparkly thing," enthuses Adler. "It ain't cheap at ten bucks a pop, but look at what you get---it's gorgeous!"

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Six-inch clear acrylic cylinder, $19 for one-foot; and four-inch-by-four-inch Plexiglas flat square, $2; both at Canal Plastics Center, 345 Canal St between Greene and Wooster Sts (212-925-1666, canalplasticscenter.com)

    "Any tiny little doodad looks amazing when you plunk it on a pedestal of sorts," says Adler, referring to this acrylic cylinder. "It's just a great way to add importance to any old object." He layers one on top of a flat red Plexiglas square to "add a color effect and give it sort of a pop. Plus, that circle and square motif always works."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    If you don't have an objet d'art in mind for your makeshift pedestal, Adler recommends using a mini jade Buddha ($10) or elephant ($10) from a street vendor (these came from one on Canal Street at the corner of Mercer Street).

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    If you don't have an objet d'art in mind for your makeshift pedestal, Adler recommends using a mini jade Buddha ($10) or elephant ($10) from a street vendor (these came from one on Canal Street at the corner of Mercer Street).

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    "If you want to get cheeky, you could place one of these pipes on your Lucite cube," suggests Adler of this $15 find from the same street vendor on Canal Street. "I'm a fan of druggie decor; I'll hit that."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler at Canal Lighting and Parts, 313 Canal St between Greene and Mercer Sts (212-343-0218, bulbnbulbs.com)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Custom cluster half-chrome G bulb lighting fixtures, $280--$400, at Canal Lighting and Parts, 313 Canal St between Greene and Mercer Sts (212-343-0218, bulbnbulbs.com)

    "That would be an amazing sconce or chandelier," says Adler. "I like that there's an industrial element, which is kind of de rigueur right now."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    J&M Furniture modern coffee table, $699, at Canal Furniture, 402 Broadway between Canal and Walker Sts (212-925-5343, nyfurniture.biz)

    "Seven hundred dollars for that much twinkle?," Adler asks incredulously. "It's just really good, that's how it fits [the theme]."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    J&M Furniture red high-gloss TV stand, $749, at Canal Furniture, 402 Broadway between Canal and Walker Sts (212-925-5343, nyfurniture.biz)

    "If you're going to do modern chinoise glamour, you need red; it's so important," emphasizes Adler. "It's a glamorous color and the signifier of chinoise. This red lacquered piece is like perfection."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler outside In Trend, 426 Broadway between Canal and Howard Sts (212-680-3103)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Door-knocker earrings, $5 for a pair, at In Trend, 426 Broadway between Canal and Howard Sts (212-680-3103)

    "I would fully use these Banjee girl earrings as drawer pulls," admits Adler, who spotted these through the window of a fast-fashion shop while walking down the street. "You could just Krazy Glue the little bastards on the face of that chinoise red cabinet. I'm loving giving Banjee girl realness to your furniture."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler at Downtown Furniture, 165 Grand St at Centre St (212-966-7201, downtownfurniturenyc.com)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Coaster silver ball floor lamp, $229, at Downtown Furniture, 165 Grand St at Centre St (212-966-7201, downtownfurniturenyc.com)

    "There seems to be a silver ball theme but in a very sweet, PG-13 kind of way," jokes Adler of how this floor lamp echoes the bulbous shape of Canal Lighting's custom chandelier.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Stone Buddha head, $125, at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

    "It's an embarrassment of Buddhas in here," remarks Adler. He ultimately selects this one in particular "just because of the stone factor. I'd put it on the cocktail table and then you're in focal point village, which is where you need to be."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Mini apple vase in coral red and turquoise, $14 each, at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

    Adler envisions using these petite vases "for little flowers. I have never said no to a tight cluster of ranunculus."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Karma Living fringe panel in turquoise, $30, at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

    Doorways aren't the only use for this hanging panel. "This would be great if you put it behind an end table," notes Adler. "It's a good frame for a lamp."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Agate coasters, $10 each, at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

    Adler envisions using these striking quartz coasters to protect the J&M Furniture modern coffee table.

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Natural white marble Foo dog statues, $400 for a pair, at Pearl River, 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (212-431-4770, pearlriver.com)

    "Foo dogs are go-anywhere friends," says Adler of these versatile statues, which are traditionally used to guard one's door. "I don't know what the hell they are, they're cute. They probably represent something, but I just like the way they look."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler at his eponymous Soho store, 47 Greene St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-941-8950, jonathanadler.com)

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler Lampert sofa, $2,925 (normally $3,250), at Jonathan Adler, 47 Greene St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-941-8950, jonathanadler.com). Mention TONY to receive this discount through November 10.

    "This sofa is so comfy, it totally justifies the price," says Adler. "It's gray velvet, which is a must: It has a little bit of shine and nothing will look better with red."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Jonathan Adler Dragon lamp, $695, at Jonathan Adler, 47 Greene St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-941-8950, jonathanadler.com)

    "They're splurges, I'm just keeping it real," acknowledges Adler of these pricey lamps. "But it perfectly captures the chinoise theme and you can display them so they face each other."

  • Photograph: Imogen Brown

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    Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler Greek Key woven throw, $50, at hsn.com

    "The Greek key is an important element [to chinoise] because there needs to be some sort of graphic moment," explains Adler of this cozy blanket from his newly launched HSN collection.

Photograph: Imogen Brown

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"We're doing more of an abstracted take on chinoiserie," explains Adler of his vision to incorporate Hollywood razzle-dazzle with Asian influences. "This is not a Zen moment; this is really about glamour. It's weird fusion anchored in red, Lucite, mirrors and gray."

MORE ADLER! In addition to debuting his Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler collection on HSN (hsn.com), Adler is releasing the first two titles in his new book series, Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors and Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing, on Tue 2.

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