Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inspiring Interview { Eddie Ross }

I had the great pleasure of interviewing my favorite up and coming designer, Eddie Ross. Eddie is the Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Living and a contestant on Top Design. Cooking up yummy treats, creating floral masterpieces, turning one man's trash into true treasures, and decorating like nobody's business he is a stylish renaissance man! Add this to the wealth of experience he has at such a young age and I am quite sure it's a recipe for success. I chatted with Eddie about all things stylish, check it out!

By frequenting thrift stores, estate sales, antique shops and even dollar stores you find inspiration and style in the seemingly mundane. What are your favorite items to pick up and collect? Is there anything that you can never manage to pass up? My favorite items to collect are definitely tabletop: china, silver, glass and linens. As a style editor at Martha, they're also the things I use the most because they really enhance a photograph. Flea markets, tag sales and thrift stores are all much better resources than a traditional antique shop. You can still find great stuff and they're so much more affordable!

For our readers who perhaps are settling into new homes, first homes, finally getting rid of hand me downs, what tips do you have for developing a style that is their own? What suggestions can you offer for finding your own look and making a home a true reflection of its owner? For starters, read magazines. Clip what you love, then put together a Decorating Look Book of everything you're drawn to. And while you're at it, make it pretty! Get a bound notebook, a glue stick and maybe even a decorative edge scissors! As soon as you start to collect all your inspirations in one place, you'll see a pattern emerge that will inform your decorating decisions. Maybe it's a particular paint color, a sofa style or a type of chair. If every tear sheet has a sisal rug in it and you don't want to spend a lot of money, do what I did and get one at IKEA. Or, if you love rooms with lots of interesting, one-of-a-kind accessories, the flea market is the perfect place!

You have worked with style icons Martha Stewart, Todd Oldham, and Jonathan Adler, to name a few. In becoming an icon yourself, how did working with these pros influence you? Did you pick up any tips from them that you use regularly? In my eyes, there's only one true style icon who, when she says she can decorate a house, plant a garden, sew curtains, bake a cake and design whole collections of furniture and tabletop, she truly can do it all and that's Martha Stewart. There are many others making an impression in the design world, but no one has demonstrated the ambition and diverse talents that Martha has. And if she's taught me anything over the years, it's that with hard work and a good eye, anything is possible.

You've been known to make fabulous style statements for pennies (or at least just a few dollars!). What is your favorite way to change a room on the cheap?

  • Paint, paint, paint. And not just for walls! Sick of those old side tables? Slap a coat of paint on them--and not just white!--and they're sure to perk up.
  • Rearrange furniture. It's free and utterly transformative.

  • Get yourself some throw pillows to spruce up a sofa.

  • Embellish a chandelier with candelabra shades from Hope Depot. Then spray paint them a color you love or even use a sharpie to make polka dots! How fun is that?
  • For windows, go to Home Depot for amazing bamboo shades, then spray paint them. I did the same color as my walls for a subtle, sophisticated look, then used a hot glue gun to apply super inexpensive grosgrain ribbon trim.
If you had to create a set of commandments for decorating and style in general, what would be your number one rule? It doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful.

It seems every true creative has a source of inspiration. What is your fountain of creativity? Is there an activity, resource, person, place or otherwise that you can turn to when you've hit a "wall?" My biggest source of inspiration is definitely the flea market. But don't go with specifics in mind. Just let your imagination wander and dig, dig, dig!

You went to culinary school, owned a catering company, worked for the House Beautiful and the Food Network. Now you entertain viewers on Top Design and continue to inspire us as Senior Style Editor for Martha Stewart Living. After all these successes what are your goals for the future? We want to know what other creative endeavors can we look forward to! I would love to be able to do a line of beautiful tabletop products of heirloom quality, all inspired by own collections. I'd offer them at a price point everybody could afford. I'd like to expand my blog as well into more of an online magazine that would continue to inspire people to decorate and entertain more beautifully, not just more expensively. Books would be amazing; television even better. When it comes down to it, I have a wealth of ideas for how people can live richly and spend wisely.

Finally, what are you coveting this Fall? My new set of vintage peach Fireking lusterware I found on eBay. Look for it in an upcoming post on table settings!

Thanks Eddie for taking the time to chat with Coveiter and share your tips with our readers! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors--know you have two huge fans here!

Be sure to watch Eddy tonight on Top Design. And check out his fabulous blog for constant inspiration!