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Inside Jonathan Adler & Simon Doonan's Shelter Island Home

We're longtime fans of both Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan, and were thrilled to see their Shelter Island home on the cover of this month's Hamptons magazine. If you love the house, be sure to check out how to get the look!

It's no surprise that their playful personalities shine through in both the photographs and the interview, and we found out a few things that we didn't already know about the couple! Keep reading to see what we discovered in our favorite moments from the interview.

On what people would be most surprised to learn about them:

Simon: "I love to go paddleboarding, hiking, and running. I'm never happier than when I'm in the outdoors — I don't even care if it's raining — and people do find that very surprising. I think people would be surprised, Jonathan, about how sporty you are."


Jonathan: "When people think of design folks, they think of us being really effete. Not to toot our own horns, but we are a little bit crunchier than people might expect. That's the magic of Shelter Island for us. When I think about Shelter Island, I think about hiking in the Mashomack Preserve — which is paradise — and paddleboarding."

On deciding to share a home in Shelter Island shortly after they met:

Simon: "We went to look at it in the spring, and everywhere you drove there were incredible smells of lilac. After the house rental, we brought bicycles, and we found this great A-frame and just bought it. We hadn't known each other very long at this time . . ."

Jonathan: "That was one of the great things about us: We just got on with it and didn't dither. I see people in my office who are 10 years into their relationship, wondering if the guy is going to pop the question. We just knew each other for a few months and bought a house together. There was no procrastination."

On what they like most about their Shelter Island home:

Simon: "I know what my favorite part of the house is — I love the living room. I love to sit in the hanging chairs with you, staring at the view and thinking: Wow, when I was born in a gritty little town after the war in England, I never thought I would be in this swinging glamour pad in America."

Jonathan: "For me, the house represents an incredible creative project. I made a lot of custom stuff for the house, whether it's the custom tiles or this gigantic screen, lots of custom furniture. So, for me, it was the chance to put my vision to work. It's very gratifying to wake up and see all my work in the context in which I always imagined it. In our old house I had a pottery studio, but it always felt like a busman's holiday. Now, for me, Shelter Island is an opportunity to turn my mind off. Shelter Island is lemon sorbet for my brain."

On Jonathan's two authentic identities and how he has been able to merge them as a designer:

Jonathan: "I've always had two authentic identities. I've always been authentically a potter, authentically bohemian. But I've also been authentically bourgeois. My challenge was how to reconcile my two authentic identities, and miraculously I've managed to do it. It's just completely in my nature to be obsessed with design, but I also am kind of Tszuji. You're actually more bohemian than I am."

For more photos and the rest of the interview, visit Hamptons magazine!

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