Eddie Ross: Thrill of the Hunt

Out-of-the box tips for high-style decorating and entertaining on a budget.

"Throw open the cupboards and get ready to rethink your table," says style guru Eddie Ross.
"Throw open the cupboards and get ready to rethink your table," says style guru Eddie Ross.
Photo by Brian E. McCay from Modern Mix by Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar; Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

A self-described “unabashed hoarder of all things beautiful,” style editor and entertaining guru Eddie Ross has packed loads of insider secrets into his richly illustrated book, Modern Mix. (The foreward was penned by Ross’s pal, international decorating diva Bunny Williams.)

Fans are intrigued by Ross, who inspires readers to rediscover secondhand finds and curate a chic mix of affordable, accessible home furnishings. Suddenly, grandmother’s punch bowl and linens are super hip alongside eclectic goodies from thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets. Ross relishes the hunt: He knows exactly what to look for, how to find it and how to restore it.

“This isn’t Antiques Roadshow, where you’re looking to find something worth $200,000. This is about snagging something chic for $1.99 at Goodwill and giving it fresh life with metal polish or bleach, and then enjoying it in your home,” he says. “Not all of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouth, but we can pretend, can’t we?”

The 225-page book has eight chapters: “Inspire,” “Discover,” “Acquire,” “Restore,” “Curate,” “Mix,” “Style” and “Entertain.” The 350 original photographs vividly capture gawk-worthy rooms, tablescapes and parties. “I styled all the images myself, and I own every piece that readers see,” says Ross, 38, the East Coast editor of Better Homes & Gardens and a former editor at House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and the Food Network.

Among this bon vivant’s favorite Jersey shopping haunts are Summit Antiques Center in Union County, the Tomato Factory in Hopewell and Artifacts Gallery in Trenton.

Ross lives for the thrill of the hunt, but don’t expect to find him standing on line at dawn to be first at a tag sale. “I don’t do that,” he admits. “Thrifting is supposed to be fun. No matter when I arrive, I can always find something good.”

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