Anyone who knows me knows that I love Nate Berkus and Jonathan Adler more than anyone else in the design world (although I have sizable girl-crushes on Sarah Richardson and Candice Olsen) so when I got an email asking if I wanted to hop on a phone interview with J-Ad (as I like to call him in my head since we’re besties) well, I momentarily lost my mind.
I debated saying no (I’ll definitely get awkward and squeal-y and make him think I’m nuts) but after chatting about it with John, he convinced me that a 15 minute call with Jonathan Adler might end up on my highlights reel of this whole blogging “career” when we look back on this crazy ride of ours. Hubs was right, I had to do it. Clamminess and too-loud-laughs be darned.
So I emailed back a response that I hope came off cool and collected (as opposed to hyper and maniacal) and was given a Friday at noon time-slot for my call. I hardly slept on Thursday night thanks to getting all of my questions ready and second guessing myself a million times, and I even asked you guys for question ideas on Facebook. Then fifteen minutes before my time-slot for the call on Friday I got an email asking if Monday would work instead. Ahhhh! Half of me was relieved to put it off for another few days, and half of me immediately went into a bigger tizzy (the anticipation of more days of planning/waiting/second guessing every question sufficiently loosened more marbles).
And then I heard his voice. And all was right with the world. Turns out I still was too giggly, talked way too fast, and generally just couldn’t help myself (as interviews go, I’m sure I was far from the smoothest or the most professional) but he was so nice. And I didn’t know this was possible going into the call, but when I hung up the phone, I loved him more. I couldn’t stop talking about it with John, and I’m SO GLAD I did it. It was definitely highlight reel material.
I’m terrible at taking notes while talking, so I recorded the interview on my phone (after asking J-Ad’s permission of course) and as laughy and loud as I am, I thought you might like to hear it all go down in real life, so here’s the clip. Update: Click here to be taken directly to the sound clip if it’s not showing up below.
Is he awesome or what? You guys. My design idol said I got his CHAKRAS TINGLING. I’m floating on air. And we exchanged I love yous. Hello? Is this real life? My favorite discussion was the whole “just start with the vibe – not the walls or the curtains – and define how you want your house to feel in three words and use those as your guide. SO SMART.
My only regret is that I didn’t make John snap a picture of me while I was on the phone. But this is pretty much what it looked like:
So I hope you enjoyed that little brain-picking session with one of my favorite designers ever. Have you ever met or phoned someone up that you’re crazy about while half worrying you’d put your foot in your mouth (or just start babbling incoherently)? I’m telling you, it can be pretty amazing, even if your heart’s beating out of your chest the whole time.
Psst – For anyone who can’t listen to it right now, or would prefer to just read the interview, here’s a general recap for ya (there’s a little more banter in the recording, it was just tough to write every line out since we overlapped sometimes, etc).
That was a fun interview. I think I like him even more after this interview. :)
Now I am thinking about my three word goal.
I really liked the questions you asked him.
Nice job, Sherry!
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs says
What a cool experience! Have a great weekend!
Dominique Paolini says
Favorite post ever. Such great questions, Sherry. I asked my husband what his three words would be. He said “welcoming, functional, decorated nicely.” I think mine would be luxe, cozy, unique. As a newlywed and new homeowner, my house is probably only semi-cozy and functional.
Great questions Sherry!
Loved the 3 word brand identity for the house idea!! What would you and John pick for your 3 words to brand your house???
Hmm, we’re still thinking about them. Maybe happy, casual, and layered?
GREAT interview/questions! (And I’m a journalist who asks questions for a living!) My three house words: comfortable, versatile, luxurious (or eclectic…but those two are fairly different…)
So Johns totally making a chart for this right????
My words: Cozy, Neutral, Layered
(We have divorce in our family, so there is step family everywhere, I want our house to be neutral not only in colors, (I like tone on tones) but in the actual tone of the house, so all the kids feel safe and they can be themselves and not guarded)
Haha, about the chart! It’s truly blowing me away how many adjectives are out there. I love how everyone’s combo is different but they all sound so charming!
Kelsey R. says
Great job Sherry! I love how joyful both of you were, it really lifted my mood! I’d say my three words are: cozy, warm, and collected.
Three words-young, house, love. You can pick three more.
Would be so cool if you could design rugs for Ikea or fabrics. Ask them! They need American designers too.
That would be amazing!
I have to say, I have been trying really hard to live the “don’t give an eff attitude” with my type-A self. I have terrible skin and frizzy hair and I would spend an hour or more every morning putting on makeup, drying my hair, flat ironing it and all this crap that I hate doing. And for who? So a few months ago I decided to go for a change. It now takes me about 1 minute for minimal make up, and a little cream in my hair to wear it naturally. I’ve gotten so many compliments, and I feel so much better about my day to day life. Quit living your life for other people that don’t care!! Sorry, a little off topic for the home blog. :)
Aw, I love that Lacey!
Honestly, I probably would have just turned into a giggle machine and then started tripping over my own words. :)
I love the 3 words thing. I’d have to say mine would be clean, comfortable, and awesome.
Emily @ Life on Food says
How fun! I get super shy around people I admire. I just awkwardly stare and get creepy.
Stop. So cute. Who did you like interviewing better: Eminem or J.A?
Haha, I’ll give that a tie. MM was pretty awesome for my 17 year old self, but my 31 year old self is just as smitten with JA.
Love love love!!! That was the sweetest and most fun interview I have heard in a long time! Thank you Sherry for getting the courage to do the interview and thank you for sharing!!!!
I really didn’t find it at all overly giddy, it was very “you”… funny, down to earth, a bit silly, everything that all us readers love about ya lady! :-)
Aw thanks Jessica!
Vanessa W says
I would love for my home to say “eccentric, glamorous and crafty”. I would actually love if I just conveyed that vibe to the world in general. You may think you were overly hyper but I’m sure it was so refreshing for him to get unique and personal questions and an interviewer that interacted and responded. When meeting people I’m a fan of I usually have that inner hyper-fan-girl begging to come out and I over compensate by being super aloof and ‘too cool’. Not cool. Congrats to you for making his chakras tingle!
Vanessa W says
I would love for my house to give off an eccentric, glamorous and crafty vibe! I’d actually love if I just gave off that vibe to the world in general. You may have felt you were overly hyper but I’m sure he appreciated an interviewer who actually interacted and responded AND the uinique and personal questions, so refreshing. When I meet someone I’m a fan of I usually have that inner hyper-fan-girl trying to bust out and I over compensate by being super aloof and ‘too cool’. Not cool. Congrats on making his chakras tingle!
p.s. sorry if I submitted the same comment twice, I’m not a robot, my internet just timed out when hitting submit. Feel free to delete the duplicate :)
Inviting, sanctuary, loved
With a vibe of “Y’all come back now, ya hear?”
Abby Larson says
LOOOOOOOVED THIS! Sherry you did amazing!!! I feel like y’all are kind of best friends now!? Great, great job. Loved the whole freaking thing!
Sherry, I love your laugh. It’s so contagious. I laugh along with you, even when I don’t understand what you’re laughing about. :)
What an opportunity! Loved this!
You were very smooth! I can only imagine what a disaster I would be if I ran into you guys at Home Goods or something. I would probably run you over with my basket, talk really loudly about nothing, something would surely come out of my nose – let’s just say it would be the opposite of you and smooth!!
True story. Once John told someone in HomeGoods I would say hi but I was actively peeing. Oh yeah, we’re smooth.
I’m a sucker for any post referencing Andy Sandberg (esp. when you compare yourself to him). Can’t wait to listen!!
Lisa @ Double Door Ranch says
Oh Sherry, I’m so excited for you!! I know your love for JA runs deep. You totally nailed that interview.
My experience with meeting someone I adore was actually meeting you guys on the book tour in Chicago! I was more awkward than I even thought I’d be. But I was so pumped to be meeting you guys and even framed the photo we took! I still haven’t found a home for it yet though.
Aw, you’re so sweet Lisa! Thanks for coming out! We loved meeting you.
OLD House Love says
DRY (Most people might say warm, but we live in Seattle)
OLD House Love says
FAMILY/FRIENDS (can that be one word, please???)
DRY (Most people might say warm, but we live in Seattle)
My three words: Love Candace Olsen!!!
Karen Q. says
How crazy awesome is this! SO happy for you- this would be a dream! You’re adorable!
Sherry, I loved the clip. Not so much for Jonathan, but for your giddiness. It’s adorable. I was so happy for you. Your excitement is totally contagious.
Kaitlin Jenkins says
I’m with Sherry on this one, I didn’t know it was possible to love J.A more- but I do after that interview- you two were adorable!
Oh man I love that u recorded this conversation U made my day I am like totally obssesing right now. I loved it and hearing both ur voices together ha I told u am obssesing right now. Oh my God well the day I went to get ur book signed by u I was sweating, tingling, nervous, anxious, u name it I had it lmao. If I were to meet Jonathan Adler in person I think I would faint. I went to Jcp the other day and just petted everything from his line, ok I gotta stop. Anyway Im constantly telling certain people in my life that nobody gives a hoot about them and their always worried about what people are going to say or think about them, and I dont say it in a ur a worthless piece of crap sorta way but a let go relax nobody cares, u know, just be u. So I love that he said that. Anyway Jonathan ur the man yeah! Im so hyped right now I dont even need a red bull Im just gonna go spray paint something in an awesome color, u guys rock!!!!.
that was a great chat with JA. my local jcp sold the JA floor samples and I got the crescent heights linen bed, the white laquer dresser and the grey chevron rug. I can’t wait to put it together in my room and mix it up with other things. the pieces are well made and I love the name; Happy Chic!
You need to have your own talk show. You are great at interviewing! First Shady, now J-Ad… you guests could be rappers and designers.
Totally using ‘see you later decorator’.
I once met George Clooney and had my photo taken with him, too. his father was a local newscaster in cincinnati where i live and it was a roast for him that was a benefit for charity. anyway, have always had a huge George crush and when i got to stand next to him for the photo (everyone lined up for their turn and believe me most of them were women) anyway it was hot in the room and I had a thin silk dress on and when we “posed” he just casually put his hand on my back and all I could think about was how much I was sweating and it would probably gross him out. I still have the photo 11 years later, of course I cropped out the other people and just framed the two of us!
Haha! A match made in heaven. Gotta love creative cropping.
Brooke @ Inside-Out Design says
I would have died!!!!! Ahhhh he’s freaking awesome!!!! Thanks so much for giving us this peek into JA’s totally fabulous brain. I could never have handled myself as well as you did. I met Nate Berkus once at a book signing and I gushed like a fool. I need a muzzle around famous people.
Loved it! Lol I was totally listening to that with my hubby and we came up with three words we want our home to be I said cozy, pretty, and he said simple. PERFECT! Thanks for letting us listen! :)
The three words thing is so helpful. We just moved into our first home bought together and I am overwhelmed with how I want it to look. Thinking about how I want it to feel seems to give me more of a sense of direction.
I asked my husband what his three words are and he wrote “Already moved in”. So helpful.
Have a great weekend!
Well thank you so much, I loved listening to that interview. I feel so very inspired right now and so happy about it! I wish I was not at work so I could work on something at home. Like my three words to describe my home. Family meeting time.
Jessie D says
I was having kind of rough day, and this just made me smile! Thanks for always being such a fun, light spot in my day!!
Also, love me some Candice and Sarah. I would do a foot-in-mouth move if I had to interview them, haha!
Sherry, that was just the coolest interview ever! Jonathan Adler is also one of my carer idols. I also love his style and attitude and its so great that he carried it through the interview. I find that it can be nerve wrecking to meet someone you really admire and there is always the fear of them not living up to what you built up in your mind. J. Ad totally exceeded my expectations!
Great job! :)
I share all your loves & crushes! JA has always struck me as just one of the nicest and happiest people in design. He wants everybody to be happy, and he radiates it himself. Also, his clear love for Simon just makes me happy. He and Simon are wonderful.
Holy crap! That is so great! You were awesome and charming as always, sherry.
Wow you’re a really good interviewer, You could work as a radio host! love the cute quirkiness, you were being yourself! Loved this!
My 3 words:
I loved your questions for JA, great interview!
Omg now Im so stuck trying to think of 3 words I would want our home to say. We are stuck renting for a few more years so designing is limited. And since we are moving in March to find some place with 3 bedrooms, we havent bothered decorating this place at all. But one day when I finally get to decorate our own home, maybe by then I can come up with 3 words. Can we pretend that “a loving family lives here” is all one word I want my house to say? Oh and relaxed. With 3 little ones, nothing is too precious. Its ok to walk in with your shoes on, leave a blanket unfolded on the couch, what does it matter in the end?
jen a. says
best.interview.ever. hilarious, insightful and i totally understand the awe. he’s one of my favorites. i too have ceramic animals…the dachshund by ja is one of them. of course.
Tracy K says
Loved this!!! Great questions!!!
I’m one of those who cares a bit too much what everyone else thinks! I will over-analyze conversations to death!
My husband is constantly reminding me that the world does not revolve around me & no one really cares!
So true, but so hard!
Haha! You do sound super giddy but who wouldn’t talking to him?!
Oh. Em. Gee. First of all, thank YOU for asking him such great questions. I think we are all a little more inspired, now.
My babble story: I was at Macy’s several years ago and ran into Nicky Hilton! First thought: what is she doing in Detroit?!?! Turns out, she was here promoting her clothing line at Macy’s. As I looked at her to say hello (or something), I couldn’t help but feel stunned by how beautiful she is in-person (not to mention her diamond-encrusted watch that was shining in my eyes)! So, I don’t even remember what I said to her, except that I congratulated her on the clothing line and nervously started babbling about something. I just remember thinking to myself (self, you sound like an idiot)! She was SUPER nice, and even stayed late at the store so that everyone who wanted to see her, got the chance.
My 3 design words: Cozy, Clean, Beautiful.
I’m a big fan of your blog, and congratulations on baby #2!
So funny! She went to my college (FIT in NYC) but I never ran into her once during my 4 years there! I hear she’s really nice though! Love that story.
Wow, Sherry — that was wonderful. You sounded great, had the right level of geekery and really just sounded like you were chatting with a peer. Yeah, you and J-Ad = peers.
Anyway … you got me thinking and the 3 words for my home are:
*Yep — I added a 4th, b/c it’s my house and I’ll overdo it if I want to.
Here’s an analogy for ya. Ready?
You interviewing Jonathan Adler is to me interviewing you.
No way. I’m a weird ol’ mess whenever I’m on the phone getting questions tossed at me, so we’d both be bugging out together. Ha!