If you think your space has been feeling a little lackluster, you are in for a treat. We asked style maker and East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens, Eddie Ross, to be our guest stylist and design three rooms for our Spring catalog. He brings his eclectic sense of style, on display in his recently published book, Modern Mix, to every room. In the video above, Eddie shares his secrets to creating an exciting room bursting with personality.

Start with a Neutral Shell

Eddie’s rooms are so alive with a vibrant mix of color, pattern and treasured finds that one wonders how he manages to make it look so pulled together. The key is to start with a neutral foundation, says the stylist. “Yes, there’s lots of color mixed with pattern, but the shell of this room is really neutral, from the dark hardwood floors to the coconut woven sisal carpet to the white walls,” he says. Starting with a neutral foundation is what lends flexibility and gives you room to play.

Ariel red fabric on Louis dining chairs in dining room designed by Eddie Ross

Layer in Color and Pattern     

Eddie loves to infuse every room with color and pattern to create a fresh, playful spirit. Like most designers, he builds his room around one inspirational item. “My approach to mixing in pattern and color is really starting off with some sort of inspiration fabric or carpet or something in the room that you love.” Eddie fell in love at first sight with our new boldly feminine spotted fabric, Ariel Red, which became his starting point for the dining room.

Doubling down on the bold color, Eddie chose an equally vivid and complementing hue for the drapery–Suzanne Kasler’s Signature 13 oz. Linen in Peony. He balanced the color with chartreuse and shades of blue, sprinkled about the room. These bold choices inspire confidence.

Cut glass hurricanes with pillar candles, small arrangements of flowers, and a table set with a mix of vintage and new dinnerware

Make Your Decorative Accessories Work

The flea-market aficionado has acquired quite an eclectic collection of accessories, but most of them have something in common: they’re useful. “I’m not a big fan of things you just dust that you can’t put on a dining room table or put flowers in it and use it for entertaining. There’s decorative accessories that I love, then there’s just tchotch.”

To avoid an overly cluttered look, focus on those accessories that can fulfill a purpose and can be moved from room to room. On the table, the Cut Glass Hurricanes add vintage styling while creating ambiance. Our classic Blue & White Porcelain Vases can be filled with flowers and branches.

Table setting designed by Eddie Ross for Ballard Designs catalog

Mix in Vintage for a Collected Look

“My general design philosophy is surprising and colorful. It’s a mix of new and old — different styles mixed with modern,” explains Eddie. That juxtaposition of style, period and price point is what gives Eddie his signature style — and gives any room a unique personality. On the table, Eddie mixed our Campbell House Dinnerware and Paris Flea Market Gold Flatware from Bunny Williams with his own 18th century china, antique silver and vintage cranberry goblets. “When you see it all put together, it creates something very interesting,” says the stylist. “You get the perfect modern mix.”

With our Helmes Wing Chair, Eddie proves you can make that modern mix statement on a single piece of furniture. “This traditional wingback chair feels more modern covered in an acid-green velvet.”

Peony pink curtain panels with lime green tape trim, designed by Eddie Ross for Ballard Designs

Add Designer Details

Even on a budget, you can mix in those small designer details that make a big difference, says Eddie, pointing to our custom tape trim on the curtains.”By adding in this trim, it really adds in that decorator detail.”

Psst – Here’s how to add tape trim to curtain panels without sewing!

He also hung the curtains with gold finished curtain rings, which shows off our Acrylic Drapery Rod and further defines the window with added texture and detail. Updating old dining room chairs with custom fabric or adding nailhead trim to an upholstered chair are also affordable shortcuts to enriching your home. You just have to get creative.

Find more decorating and entertaining ideas from Eddie Ross, watch How-To videos creating a living arrangement and edible centerpiece, or browse the products he used in his spaces.

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