Attendees at The Main Line Antiques Show this weekend at Cabrini University have a chance to browse the show with out design expert, author and TV personality Eddie Ross.
Ross has made a name for himself as decorating and food editor for “House Beautiful,” “Martha Stewart Living” and the Food Network. Ross lectures across the country on everything from food and flowers to decorating, gardening and entertaining. His first book, “Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds,” came out in 2015.
Show attendees can partake in a private tour on Oct. 8 in which they can “shop the show” with Ross, who told PGN he will be happy to expound upon his mantras for finding the right antiques to suit one’s tastes.
“They can expect an editorial tour of shopping a show, looking at things with different eyes,” Ross said.
Even people with the most modern of tastes for decorating their homes and other spaces can keep things visually interesting with the well-placed antique, Ross noted.
“It has to do with the history and the craftsmanship of the way products, decorative accessories and furniture were made and patinas that takes years to achieve,” Ross said about the universal charm of antiques. “I always say every antique was new at some point. Pieces that are new in this day and age will be antiques in 100 years. I always look to all those super-stylish Europeans that have always bought new and added in to their big castles and mansions. You end up with the beautiful mix of new and old. You get modern furniture mixed in with Louis V chairs and things. It gives you that eclectic, well-traveled mix. It’s about buying what you like at the time and not listening to the voices of grandparents and mothers. It’s about sticking to rules but being able to break the rules that might have been ingrained in your head growing up as a child.”
Since tastes and styles vary from person to person, Ross doesn’t have a lot of hard and fast rules about how to shop for antiques. One tenet he does follow, however, is: “Whatever you are buying, you have to use it. It just cannot stay behind glass doors.
“It’s using a soup tureen for not soup,” he added. “It’s using antique linens for pillows. It’s using a sideboard that might be for a dining room and dropping a sink in it and using it for a master bathroom. It’s about looking at antiques in a fresh way.”
Another other rule Ross tries to live by is: “The only things I regret are the things I didn’t buy that I really love.”
When asked about the pieces he let slip through his fingers, Ross remembers exactly when and where it happened, in vivid detail like it was yesterday.
“It was a flea market in San Francisco,” he said. “It was an entire set of 12 blue opaline glassware, from wine goblets to champagne glasses … everything. And it was $200. At the time, we were just getting our things together and we didn’t need it. And I just think about it now because each one of those glasses sells for $165-$200 each.”
Ross also makes a point of telling people to buy antiques for love and not to impress someone else — or because they think it might be some rare treasure to flip for a profit.
“Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s pretty,” he said. “You have to buy what you like. You have to be your own person. You have to live with it and love it.”
Eddie Ross appears at The Main Line Antiques Show 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 8 at Cabrini University’s Dixon Center, 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor. The show itself runs Oct. 7-8. For more information, visit www.mainlineantiquesshow.com or www.eddieross.com.