Catalog Scout

J.C. Penney goes from frumpy to fresh

Updated: 2013-10-13T01:39:31Z

By Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian

The Kansas City Star

Wow — has J.C. Penney Co. reinvented itself or what? About four months ago it morphed from a rather frumpy old friend into a fresh, fun one by bringing on a stable of hip brands and designers. In the homewares department that includes Michael Graves, stolen from Target; Design by Conran, as in Terence Conran, a British designer, restaurateur and retailer; and Jonathan Adler, the potter and designer who got his start creating ceramics for Barneys New York.

All are worth checking out, but Happy Chic, Adler’s product line, is the most fun. It includes brightly colored bedding and bath, decorative accessories, furniture, rugs, window treatments, lighting and kitchenware that are mod, whimsical and live up to the Happy Chic name.

Our favorites include the Elizabeth Bubble Vase ($35), the dreamy blue Crescent Heights tufted chair ($1,695), and the adorable Lola owl bookends ($42 a pair). Happy Chic products might not be as sophisticated as the goods in Adler’s signature boutiques, but they’re as nifty as stuff you’d find in a lot of other upscale boutiques.

To reach Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, House + Home editor, call 816-234-4780 or send email to

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