flower chats with style expert and designer Eddie Ross

Assistant Publisher Katherine Perry sits down with lifestylist Eddie Ross, who was featured on this issue’s Varieties page.

flower: Eddie, it seems that your schooling and much of your early career were in the culinary field. How did you make the transition into the design world?

EDDIE ROSS: I made the shift into design at the suggestion of a friend who came to visit the cottage I was renting in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was my first rental and I wanted it to be really nice, but I didn’t have a lot of money—so I was going the thrift store route. My friend, who was working for Classic American Home, must have appreciated the décor, because she said, “You should talk to me about a job.” At the time, I didn’t really know that kind of job existed! Her comment kind of opened my eyes to the idea of styling and designing as a profession.

So we know that you have a passion for flea markets and antiques. What have been some of your favorite floral finds through the years?

Specifically I think of two containers that I love to use for flower arrangements. One is an enormous white opaline vase that I found in High Point, North Carolina, for $20. I think I actually ended up paying more to ship it home than I paid for the vase. The other container is a great brass vase with a spiral pattern that is perfect for a simple arrangement of peonies.

Ross creates a simple arrangement of hydrangeas in a white opaline vase he picked up for an amazing price in High Point, North Carolina.

As a stylist and designer, what role do you think flowers play in interiors and entertaining?

Flowers add life, character, color, and beauty to a space. A flower arrangement can enhance a designer’s vision for a room or event. Whether you use a single blossom or something more complex, flowers add their own kind of architecture, color, and scent. I love that everyone arranges flowers with a different touch—this makes flowers a very personal choice and reflection of one’s style.

We agree that flowers are a crucial part of any party, but what are some of your favorite ways to incorporate flowers into your everyday life?

Some people grow beautiful flowers but then are afraid to cut them and bring them inside. But really, how much time do you spend outside in your rose bushes versus inside your home? Put them where you’re going to see them every day! I love cutting lavender and rosemary and hanging clusters from the showerhead. Flowers are such an easy little pleasure or indulgence.

A cluster of peonies in one of Ross’s favorite flea market finds.