In the Spotlight: Eddie Ross

By Kate Riley July 26, 2011

Greetings all, the last week of my life has been absolutely crazy!  I’ve been busy putting together several holiday projects in anticipation of another magazine photo shoot later this week, and let me tell ya, it’s such a challenge to style ornaments and twinkle lights when it’s 90 degrees in July.  I’ve got flocking in my hair and glitter in places where it shouldn’t be, and it’s too darn hot outside. 

I have such respect for those who work in the magazine business and are accustomed to this kind of life, whether it’s Christmas in July, pumpkins in April or Easter eggs in October. I’ll have more deets on the photo shoot and be sure to share next week!

Speaking of the talents who work for magazines, today I have the pleasure of bringing you a Q & A with one of my favorite stylists and designers, Mr. Eddie Ross.  I’ve been a fan of Eddie for a long time and even had the pleasure of meeting him a while back at the Alameda Antique Fair.  He is such a source of inspiration to me, and I’m sure to many of you!

I sent some questions to Eddie and he gave me the inside scoop! 

CG: Congratulations on your recent column in Southern Living.  You’ve also been appearing regularly in Woman’s Day.  What inspires your contributions that continue to wow us every month? 

Flea markets, old books or magazines, great finds at the Goodwill…I take it all in and filter it through my experience as an editor and stylist, then present it in a new way.  

pedestal table before and after

Pedestal table makeover for Southern Living, images Jaithan Kochar and Miki Duisterhof (after)

CG: Share a glimpse of a day in the life of styling and shooting for the magazines recently featuring your work.  Who are the people behind Team Eddie? 

Wow, a day in the life, let’s see…so much goes into each story beyond just styling and shooting which makes each project fun and unique.  Also since a lot of what we do is actually shot in our house not a studio we really live with what we are creating.  It gives me a chance to live with the project, then style and prop it in a real way.

For the Southern Living stories, it starts with a trip to a flea market and finding something interesting which has potential for repurposing or a great makeover such as a piece of furniture, pots and pans, silver or even architectural salvage.  I’m constantly thinking “Oh that could be used as a… or …I could turn that into a …you know, fill in the blank”.

On days leading up to a shoot I am working to refine my whole vision so that whatever is being featured is spotlighted but also accessible.  I use (or could use if we had the room) so many of the projects we create and I want to make sure the setup reflects that.

sisal lattice board

Eddie’s sisal lattice bulletin board for Woman’s Day, photo David A. Land

As for the team . . .  Jaithan Kochar.  We work together on everything and I am constantly bouncing ideas off him. He’s with me on all the flea market trips and he handles so many of the details which lets me do what I do best.  Marissa Schappach and Babs Perkins work with us as well.  They do everything from painting or refinishing a piece to building the set and/or vignette for the shoot.

CG: You’re famous for your elegant tablescapes that combine unexpected color with inventive presentation.  Share a few secrets for successfully mingling hand me downs or antique fair finds with modern pieces.  

Restraint!  Don’t over do it.  If you are using antique china, stop and think about the fabric you are going to use with it, your napkins and table cloths.  Don’t do floral on floral on lace, you’ll end up with Aunt Ester’s tea party.

Selectively mix and match but keep the lines clean. After that it’s about details.  Napkins folds, place cards, flower arrangements, mixing stemware or silverware to tie together classic/vintage look with modern flair. 

eddie fall tablescape

Tartan Thanksgiving by Eddie

Remember – every table is different. Think about what the event is and what you are trying to say…casual, formal, breezy summer brunch, cozy fall cocktails.  Then go from there.

CG: You’re an avid thrift store and flea market treasure hunter, what is the key to finding that diamond in the rough? 

When you look at something look at shape and lines. Don’t be constrained by color or fabric and look beyond the original purpose.  Also think about how you live and entertain.  What might work for you may not for someone with a more or less formal style.


eddies wood bench makeover

Eddie gives a wood bench new life

CG: What are the favorite tools, products, and fabrics you turn to time and again for your makeovers?   

The Laundress Non Chlorine Bleach Alternative, seriously! I love old linen napkins and use them all the time.  This stuff keeps everything clean without breaking down the fabric. 

Zinsser Primer and paint because color is one of the easiest things to change.  I use the Zinsser spray cans on every project that requires paint. 

eddie before and after nesting tables

Nesting tables painted white, lower two given faux bois paint treatment, mirrored top for the largest table. 

Pretty much anything and everything at Lowes Home Improvement Stores.  I also love Grey Line Linen and Calico Corners and regularly check out what they have both for inspiration and to fill a specific need.
CG: What’s one design "rule" you love to break? 

I hate to say it but I really think so called “rules” are no more than someone’s idea that uninspired people cling too. As an editor/stylist it’s my job to identify or define new styles.  Constraining design is counterproductive.  From the beginning I was told I couldn’t do all sorts of things because “it wasn’t done that way” or it was “against the rules” but the fact is I love what I create, and I hope other people like it too.

eddie ross bloomies window 
Eddie’s Bloomingdales window, via Apartment Therapy

CG: Tell us something about Eddie we don’t already know. 

Regardless of the number of photo shoots I do, I am always so nervous the night before a shoot I usually can’t sleep.  Oh, and I love any type sour candy…sour patch kids, sour jelly beans, sour gummy worms, etc.

CG: What’s next for Eddie Ross? 

We have a lot of things that we are working on these days. Keep an eye out for stories in Woman’s Day and Southern Living (print and online). Also we are hard at work on a new venture that I don’t want to say too much about just yet. Best thing to do is to read my blog for the latest news, ideas and inspirations!


Oh, I’m so intrigued, a new venture!  A fabric or wallpaper line, a new book or TV show?  Eddie would be perfect for any of those.  Be sure to follow Eddie’s blog to catch up on the latest, and if you want to tour an Antique Show with Eddie, read this article at Southern Living.  You can also see Eddie’s four nautical inspired rope crafts for Woman’s Day here


Jaithan, Eddie and Kate at the Alameda Antique Fair, 2009

Thank you Eddie for taking the time to answer my questions.  I can’t wait to meet up with you again someday, and we all look forward to many more features showcasing your amazing style! 





  1. Oh I love Eddie Ross and his passion for design shows in his works…

    Love his fresh takes on those before and after projects… so gorgeous ♥

  2. This was a lovely article, thanks Kate. Eddie is the best.Not only is he talented, has a great eye for colour and has amazing ideas, he is also a genuinely lovely guy- he stops by my tiny blog sometimes and leaves super sweet comments, so encouraging. His portfolio on his blog is awe-inspiring.Thanks again Kate, I loved this.

  3. Adore Eddie and Jaithan!! When they came to Kansas City it was one of the most fun days of my life!! They always have a warm smile at the ready, and talent beyond!!


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  4. Thank you, Kate, for that marvelous interview. I hung on every word! Who doesn’t want to get inside Eddie’s mind? He’s pure-decor-genius. I’ve never seen him make a misstep.

    Now, I’m going to go read it again!

  5. What a fun interview, Kate! I love Eddie’s style. He has really worked on some amazing transformations. I’m a SL subscriber–looking forward to seeing more of his work. :)

  6. Hi Kate
    Great little read, thanks. On top of all his many talents, he and Jaithan are some of the sweetest guys out there. Met them at their tag sale in Millerton and they couldn’t be nicer. You really want to see someone like that “make it” – as opposed to a cranky diva who speaks through clenched teeth and clenched……………well, you get it.
    Anyway, Bravo to you all. Keep the good ideas coming!

  7. Great interview, Kate! Eddie is fantastic and an inspiration for all. I am in love with the pedestal table at the beginning and the mirror/faux bois nesting tables. Truly amazing! I am on the edge of my seat dying to see what he does next. :)

  8. Thanks, Kate! We haven’t seen enough of Eddie lately. Did you find out where he lives in Connecticut now? AnnW

  9. FANTASTIC post & spotlight on Eddie!! Totally LOVE and admire his style!
    Great group shot at the end too Kate! How exciting to have met him. xo


  10. I love the before and after shots. We do some small projects and are really amazed at what can be done with a little effort. I’m your newest follower

  11. First off — I stumbled across your blog and I love it! You really inspire me and give me great ideas. Second — I’m so pleased to see your profile of Eddie Ross. I went on one of his shopping trips in NYC and it was a blast. He gave us all so many great ideas and tips. Some designers horde their ideas and secrets, and he really shares. He really *is* a nice guy. A class act.

  12. I love Love LOVE that first table makeover, with the pink top. Ooh, it’s just delicious. Eddie Ross is awesome. Much like yourself Kate!

  13. so cool that you interviewed Eddie Ross – I am so enamored with what he does. Same goes for you! Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love Eddie & Jaithan. I met them at Round Top and had so much fun and learned so much. Great interview.

  15. What a great interview! Love all of his work and the before/after pics are so inspiring!!!

  16. Love the interview..I have a table just like the one that was done over..I never would have thought to do that finish on it …what a great idea!

  17. Hi Kate, I live in Toronto Canada. Just purchased a house and was looking to do some work by myself, even though I am busy working mom of two little ones. I came across your blog last week and ever since I am hooked to it. Just love your articles. I sincerely want to thank you for the great work you are doing.

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