'Happy Chic' author refuses to be serious

Come on, get happy.

That's the central message of Jonathan Adler's "Happy Chic" decorating philosophy. He rejects interior design that takes itself too seriously, believing it can be sophisticated but still lighthearted.

He's helping readers put that philosophy into practice with two new books, "Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors" and "Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing."

Adler, whose occupations include potter, interior decorator and "sharp-witted cultural authority," offers inspiration and guidance to help people lighten up. His tips and tricks help them pair colors or group accessories artfully, so the result is tasteful yet whimsical but never tacky — because tacky just isn't any fun.

He ends each book with a collection of observations, which range from the practical ("Add gravitas with gray felt") to the playful ("Ignore disdainful neighbors").

The Happy Chic books are published by Sterling Publishing Co. and sell for $17.95 each in hardcover.

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