I caught up with Eddie Ross (from Season 2 of now defunct Top Design) today on his way back to New York from a flea market shopping trip in Washington, DC. Now…Jason Champion set up this little phone chat on my behalf because he and Eddie are “like this,” so my expectation was to dish with someone who could dish as well as Jason.
And that just didn’t happen.
Turns out Eddie has already gone too far down the rabbit hole to risk trash talkin’ with some design blogger from Texas. There are deals with HGTV and relationships with judges from Top Design to protect, so all of the catty behavior I expected to get to participate in just flew out the window. It’s totally understandable—he’s poised to really break out in a big way. But being just another outlet for a press dump is not exactly what I had in mind for this blog.
It wasn’t a total loss though. While doing the research to prepare for our interview, I discovered Eddie’s Etsy shop (say that five times, fast!), which contains a treasure trove of carefully selected flea market finds—all under $100. “We have a very natural process of editing and finding things that are special,” Eddie says, “that really give our Etsy shop that eclectic, yet curated kind of feel. We didn’t want to produce an Etsy shop that looked like a tag sale, which could happen really fast!” Some fun stuff available via Eddie’s shop:
Eddie’s blog is also pretty great. There’s a ton of amazing content on his site, including how-to videos on flea marketing, decorating, cooking—you name it. If I’d watched his demos on floral arranging a year ago, I might’ve saved myself $65 and this horrid experience.
So to spice things up a bit, I’ll take the advice of my friend and PR consultant, Juli, who suggested that I give Eddie’s answers a Chinese fortune cookie twist. Care to play along, Internets?
Did your buddy Jason try to hit you up for some airtime on the show you have in development? No, he’s been completely supportive. We’re trying to do some kind of blog post together (in bed).
How did you and Jason meet? I was a decorating editor at House Beautiful and he worked for JANUS et Cie Outdoor Furniture and I would go in and borrow things for photoshoots and stuff. That’s how we became friends. We go way back (in bed)!
Do you style every meal or can you hang with a Pop Tart served on a paper towel? Well, I just don’t like Pop Tarts, but I can totally do Kentucky Fried Chicken on a paper plate! And a spork for my fake mashed potatoes. That is so delicious (in bed)!
What can you tell me about the demise of Blueprint? Why did it go down in flames? I just really think it had to do with the times. Martha Stewart Living is the bread and butter of that company. With everything closing left and right, you really had to make cuts to keep one thing alive (in bed).
Let’s talk about Top Design and Design Star. How do you think Design Star rates, compared to Top Design? I just have to say it’s completely different. They were looking for somebody to star on HGTV. Bravo wasn’t looking for that. They were just looking for a winner (in bed).
Why do you think Top Design crashed and burned? To produce a decorating show is very, very difficult. Having producers who aren’t interior designers…it’s not like Project Runway where it’s like, let’s go to a fabric store and then boom, you have a dress. It’s a really hard concept with all the details that have to come together to get a room done. HGTV is a power house and that’s what they do. They have interior design producers. It’s just a different animal (in bed).
I read that one of the items you took for your stint on Top Design was a butler’s ball. What the hell is a butler’s ball? Servants weren’t supposed to be seen so they would stick this mercury glass ball through the doorway and they could see when everyone was finished eating so they wouldn’t start clearing plates before the last guest was finished. Why was that on your must-have list? Just because it’s such an obscure item but it’s such a beautiful object (in bed).
It seemed at times that Margaret Russell thought that Kelly Wearstler was kind of an idiot. What do you think she really thought about Kelly? Well, I know her in real life. I personally know Margaret very well and Kelly is one of my good friends. We’re going to see both of them tonight at a cocktail party. They’re just good friends. TV’s TV. They’re going to edit the way people look at each other but in real life Margaret is an editor-in-chief (at Elle Decor) and Kelly is an amazing interior designer and they’re both professional (in bed).
Eddie Ross and partner Jaithan Kochar’s home in Millerton, NY will appear in the premiere “issue” of Lonny Magazine (an online magazine launching October 1st from former Domino staffers), so Domino fans should eagerly anticipate that. Eddie will also be featured in House Beautiful’s December issue and two HGTV holiday specials—Halloween Block Party, which begins airing October 18th, and an upcoming Christmas special. In the meantime, book one of his flea market tours!
Special thanks to Jason Champion, for the hookup!