My mom has been a huge fan of designer/author/BHG east coast editor Eddie Ross for years. When she was in Charlotte helping me paint a couple of weeks ago, she was telling me that Eddie was going to do a shopping trip at a Charlotte flea market. She encouraged me to go and said I might learn some fun tips about shopping at flea markets and antique sales, and wow, she was right. I might be Eddie’s new biggest fan. There were about 15 of us in the group. We had each paid a fee to reserve our spot. We all wanted to learn how to make the most of the time we spend at flea markets and antique shows, and by shopping with Eddie Ross, I think we all came away as more savvy shoppers.
Flea markets and antique shops are overwhelming to me, and Eddie showed us how to unearth great finds in these types of shops. As we walked past booths, he stopped, picked up an item, and started talking about it. It was amazing. Come along as I share some of the things I learned. The photo shows me between Eddie and his partner Jaithan.
Eddie started off by saying you have to do what you LOVE. Yes, yes, and yes! Trends are fun, but if you don’t love it, don’t do it. At the end of the day it is your house, and you are the one living in it day in and day out. I think that is something we all need to remember when decorating. Not everyone will like your taste, but who cares? It is your house. As soon as we started walking through the shops, we stopped at this gorgeous piece that I only wish would fit in my house. He talked about all the ways to decorate the shelves inside. My favorite thing he said about it was that an unexpected place to put it would be a bathroom. Keep its doors open, and fill it with plush towels, cute bottles filled with q tips, soaps etc. That is very unexpected but also very cool. I’m thinking it’s time for a bigger bathroom!! Haha!
He picked this piece and talked about how it is boring on its own, but if you put it on a piece of marble or lucite, it gets an instant update that brings a modern feel to it. He is big on mixing and matching and not displaying all of grandma’s goodies at one time.
Entertaining is Eddie’s thing, and he is all about setting a colorful table. He stopped by these plates and talked about layering the look.
He showed how just covering the flowers totally changes the look. You could have a salad plate on this and when you take away the salad you are surprised with the beautiful flowers on the plate. It’s a good thing I don’t have a ton of storage in our house. Seeing these ideas might make me want to fill it with dishes.
It is hard to see in his hand, but he is holding a used and abused copper pot. He told us you can send any old copper item off to be refurbished. He said it doesn’t cost a lot of money, and it would make the item usable once again. In his book he has a page showing a before and an after of a copper pot. Who knew that was even an option?
Some booths were filled with so much stuff, and you have to do your best not to get overwhelmed. These glasses for example are sweet and would be beautiful on a table mixed with modern water glasses or something else modern. Having too much matchy, matchy can be overkill.
He pulled out these prints, and I immediately fell in love with the colors. He talked about getting prints and then using regular mats to modernize the prints. Wrap the mats with paper or fabric before framing. I bought some so, stay tuned to see how these turn out for me.
This might be my favorite tip and trick. He found pieces of quilts and quilt squares, and he said they are perfect for making cocktail napkins. Get the fabric cleaned, and then put a backing on them. (He has his dry cleaner do that.) Then cut it up into little cocktail napkins. You will have a variety along with a cool story and history. At the end of the day, this will most likely be less expensive than buying vintage napkins.
The shopping trip was so much fun, and I loved every moment of it. Now I love Eddie. We left with his book that I am drooling over and spending time on every page. I highly recommend buying it. My mom has a copy and has read hers twice. She is thinking about reading it again. It might give you some ideas and a new appreciation for old things.