Designer Jonathan Adler's decorating tips aren't for the faint-hearted - such as painting floors white and front doors orange - but they are sure to encourage homeowners to venture into new directions they haven't tried.
"Mix and match with panache," he told Elle Decor magazine. "Don't be tentative with patterns. If you keep your color scheme restrained, you can approach patterns with wild abandon."
Try the Unexpected
Adding something unique to a room design may create an instant focal point or a twist in the design scheme that is completely unexpected. Juxtaposing a whimsical item against more staid colors and furnishings is the kind of decorating for which Adler has become known.
He's never been accused of shying away from trying new things. What began as a career as a potter shifted into interior decorating, writing design books, opening retail stores across the U.S. and serving as a show host on HGTV.
But Adler's whimsical approach has always been tempered by seeking out the best materials and products for his home designs. It's a lesson for homeowners looking for ways to incorporate function and comfort into their own homes without losing sight of style.
Beautiful wood floors, for instance, can serve an additional purpose when a radiant heating system is installed. With the flip of an electrical switch, people can have warm floors at exactly the temperature they desire any time of the year.
Go in a New Direction
When choosing neutral colors as a base, Adler advises home decorators to try new hues such as camel, olive or baby blue. Brown is also a foundation color that he returns to again and again. Where others rely on black, Adler uses brown liberally, often coordinated with red for a super-chic look.
Adler is also a fan of layering furnishings in unexpected ways. Attaching a brass lion's head door knocker to a contemporary-style apartment door or adding an upholstered easy chair to a corner of the bathroom are examples of his style.
Whatever direction home decorators decide to go in, Adler has one piece of advice that applies to all styles of home design. "Make it your own," he told the magazine. "Personal style means having a space that's comfy but filled with stuff that has meaning to you. It should hold things created and inspired by passionate people. Personal style should make you happy and happiness is chic."