Touring the Big Flea with the Master: Eddie RossPosted: March 7, 2012
Sunday turned out to be a fabulous treat. J and I headed up to Chantilly, Virginia for the D.C. Big Flea Market. Not your ordinary dirty and dusty flea market, this one bills itself as the “largest antique market in the Mid-Atlantic”. I wouldn’t doubt that, but we weren’t there for the size. We were there to learn from the master, Eddie Ross, how to navigate through fleas, thrift shops and estate and tag sales to find the good and unique that can be repurposed into something modern and wonderful.
A former stylist for Martha Stewart, current columnist for Southern Living and Women’s Day and designer extrordinaire, Eddie, along with his partner, Jaithan Kochar, organize trips like these a few times a year at different shows and sales throughout the country. This coming weekend they will be leading a tour through Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta, one of my dream destinations.
Eddie and Jaithan are truly delightful, and Eddie has so much knowledge about all things decorative. He is also very practical and cost-conscious, talking about the value of beautiful older pieces and the thrill of collecting over time as one’s budget allows. Our group of 20± stopped at about 12 booths as Eddie described how to look for value, use decorative items in every day life and style them chic-ly.
A master table designer, Eddie focused much of his tour on silver, glassware and linens. He advised alternating sets and mixing an older froufrou item like a damask tablecloth with sharper lines to avoid a dated table. He has so much creativity coursing through his veins. He could just look at an item and suggest an innovative way to use it in your home.
Ever the gracious gentleman, Eddie charmed the vendors whom we visited. His sincere flattery disarmed them, and he developed an immediate rapport with those whom he had never met. His passion and interest were so genuine that these vendors were delighted to drop their prices for him.
I am obviously a huge fan. Ever since first meeting Eddie at the Ivy Market last May, I have been inspired by his approach to living and designing. He is lucky to have found his life’s work in the field that he loves, and he truly delights in sharing his passion for design with others. Thanks to his many tips, I won’t be “shopping blind” anymore.
If you ever have the opportunity to take one of Eddie’s tours, just do it. It will be an afternoon well-spent, and you will be inspired to look at your own things in a new and beautiful light. Subscribe to his blog here to receive notice when he is offering more tours.
All iPhone photos by Avad Fan.