If you don’t think you can find uses for flea market finds, today’s post will change your mind.
Eddie Ross is famous for his design abilities, and of particular interest are his famous trips into flea markets with the vision to give new life to old items. His ability to create designs for rooms on any budget has earned him a large fan following and regular columns in two of the country’s most widely circulated magazines: Woman’s Day and Southern Living. We are so exited that he is a featured lecturer at Nashville’s upcoming Antiques and Garden Show (A&GS) — click here. Eddie’s energy is contagious and his ability to create a beautiful, unique table setting is unmatched.
I was pinch-me thrilled to have the chance to pick his design brain about entertaining and tablescapes today. A special thank you to both Eddie and his partner, Jaithan Kochar, as well as Sarah Bartholomew, co-chair of the A&GS, for making this happen.
For anyone not familiar with Eddie Ross, read his bio, click here, and be blown away!
Were your parents entertainers? If so, is this where your sense for tablescapes came from? If not, where do you think your passion for tablescapes started?
My parents rarely entertained formally, so it wasn’t until my first job at a catering company in Greenwich, Connecticut, that I discovered a world I loved. Every weekend, I’d go into lavish, old money homes to set extravagant tables with family heirlooms. I wanted to entertain like that, so I began to educate myself at antique stores on fine china, silver, and linens, then scoured flea markets and thrift stores to find similar items at prices I could afford.
Do you feel the South, in general, takes their tablescaping more seriously than other regions?
Yes, absolutely! Southerners take pride in tradition, family heirlooms, fine silver and monogramming–all the things I’m passionate about. I truly am a Southerner at heart!
If someone were to stock their pantry with supplies to have on hand for any dinner party table, what would be the top 5-7 items they should have?
1. Good silver polish, like Maas.
2. Beautiful tapers in colors that coordinate with your china. My favorite are the 12″ and 18″ tapers from Creative Candles (www.creativecandles.com).
3. Linen napkins in colors that coordinate with your china. There’s more to napkins than white!
4. Chargers in a mix of materials: brass, silver and porcelain with bands that coordinate with the colors of your china.
5. Place cards, definitely.
6. And don’t forget plenty of good wine!
What items do you splurge on for a tablescape and where can/should you go cheap?
Scouring flea markets and consignment stores, I’m always finding sets of salad/dessert plates or great soup bowls at discount prices that I can mix in with what I already have. Then I splurge on fabric for tablecloths. It’s the surefire way to update antique china with a wow! Spend, too, on beautiful, unusual varieties of flowers that work with the colors of your china. It’s not as though you’re entertaining everyday, so make it special.
When having a dinner party, what is your ideal number of guests and why?
10 to 12 guests always feel like a party to me, so if you have the room, do it! Plus, if I’m going to cook, I like to bring together as many people as I comfortably can.
Do you have a favorite theme to throw a party around?
Instead of themes, I like to interpret vintage inspiration in fresh, new ways. For my partner Jaithan’s birthday last summer, I threw a princely feast on the lawn, inspired by a maharaja’s banquet in Mumbai!
See? I told you that you’d be inspired to shake it up, hit a flea market and add some color to your table! Be sure to check out Eddie Ross at the Antiques and Garden Show next week. The entire show promises to be simply amazing with all the antique dealers, lecturers, parties and more. Click here to see why this is a must-attend event each year.