From The Desk Of … Eddie Ross
I first met Eddie Ross in March 2012 during a shopping trip at Scott Antique Market. I had been reading his blog for quite some time soaking up every single bit of knowledge he would share. When the release came out that he would be hosting a shopping day here in Atlanta I immediately signed up. I have always had a love of the hunt and his shopping venture only set fire to my already deep love affair. He shopped with a group of us sharing his tips, tricks and favorite vendors. It was love at first shopping date for me. I just adore his incredible eye for all things old and dirty and for his impeccable style and way of setting the best table in town. He very well may be the definition of the word host. Eddie is the East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens, stylist, author and self confessed “extreme hoarder of beautiful things”.
Fast forward four years and my affinity for Eddie has only grown. We met again at last year’s Summit and from there a friendship has grown. I have had the pleasure of spending time with him and his darling better half, Jaithan, at a few events as he promotes his first book Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds. Modern Mix is a must have book that has been referred to as a manual for shopping and gathering and curating a life filled with beautiful things. I love every single page, each section better than the last. I had the pleasure of chatting with Eddie about his journey and the new book over coffee one day last week. Our time together was filled with more stories than I could capture and of course many, many laughs.
First of all, how did the path to Eddie Ross editor, stylist, author begin?
Wow! It all started as a kid working as a dishwasher for a catering company in high school and working in all the amazing houses of Greenwich, CT. One day Sue [Sue Watson Scully owner of Watson’s Catering] needed help with a catering job at a private home in Rye. It was the most beautiful house right on the water. It had been designed by Ruth Cushing, very much in the Mario Buatta style, with lots of chintz and an amazing view of Long Island Sound. It was the first time I really realized good interior design. I discovered a life out there that I wanted. The life is out there when your funds are endless, but what if that isn’t your story?
Excerpt from Modern Mix – Catering parties in Greenwich, I saw how the wealthy entertain. Styling homes for House Beautiful, I saw how they decorate. … Everywhere I looked, captivating combinations of furniture, textiles, art and objects told deeply personal stories of who lived there, where they’d been and what they loved. In every treasure, trinket, knickknack and artifact, there was a life well lived – and I found it at the flea market. Not all of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but we can pretend, can’t we?
Anything you wish you had done along the way and didn’t?
Hmm. Not really. I was told it was a mistake to not take the traditional path of a four year college life, but attending culinary school allowed me to finish in two years and to enter the world. I thought I might miss the experience of those four years, but in the end I didn’t. I got my AA in Culinary Arts and started working right away.
Anything you would do different?
(Laughs) Ha ha. Oh yeah, I definitely would have not gotten credit cards. Those things are evil for kids.
Share two people who have inspired your career and why?
Wow. Yes! Definitely Senga Mortimer, Editor at Large during my time at House Beautiful. Senga truly took me under her wing and taught me so much. Everything was Eddie Darling this and Eddie Darling that. She taught me the golden ropes. And my maternal grandparents, Dottie and Eddie Novakowski. My grandfather was the horticulturist on an estate in Greenwich. I spent summers there helping him. The grounds were incredible and the home so inspiring. The kind of home where Van Gogh and Monet hangs on the walls.
Favorite item on your desk?
My lamp. I found it as a vase in a junk shop for $20. I had it mounted on a base and turned into a lamp. It is French from the 1920’s and is stamped Limoges France but it seems more chunky than traditional Limoges to me.
Favorite way to unwind?
I love to work out, to go for a run primarily through Central Park in the spring.
What was your favorite part of writing Modern Mix?
(Thinks) Marching to the beat of my own drum. I get to do what I love and do it all with my love, Jaithan.
Do you have a section of Modern Mix that you connect with more than others?
Definitely the Discover chapter. As a kid I wanted to be an archaeologist. I love finding things and discovering the history. For me its always the exhilarating thrill of discovery.
Anything you wouldn’t buy while out on the hunt?
Definitely nothing Victorian . Nothing super chunky, heavy or with dark carved wood. And never full sets of dishes. I will buy the serving pieces, the salad and dinner plates but never the full set. You can easily get boxed in with a full set of tea cups.
Five must haves.
Coffee, my glasses, Jaithan, a comfortable place with all of my collected things and a passion for what I do. I LOVE what I do.
What can we expect from you during your break out session, Eddie Ross: Curating the Modern Mix, at this year’s Summit?
It’s a styling workshop, basically soup to nuts. We will be covering everything from styling to my professional job at Better Homes & Gardens. I will be talking about color patterns and mixing new with old, entertaining and what I call the “buy and assemble”. I will also talk about getting published and tons of tips and tricks I have learned along the way.
Don’t you just want to grab a notebook and pen and write down every single secret Eddie has to share? If you will be attending The Summit this year you must attend his breakout session Wednesday morning. Personally I can’t wait for his session and to spend more time together at The Summit. My favorite thing about him is how inspiring he is; we should be living a life we love doing exactly what we love most. Follow along with Eddie via his website, blog, Instagram and purchase a signed copy of his book Modern Mix.
Stay tuned for more “From The Desk Of …” providing you a sneak peek into the desk and creative areas of designers, creatives and business owners.