Flipping Out’s Jeff Lewis on QVC


Big news from Jeff Lewis via Facebook: “I’ll be selling my geometric chrome accent bench in chocolate, white, and grey on QVC tomorrow night during the 10pm EST show. The complete line will be out in February.”

jeff lewis qvc
He posted this last night, so it will actually air on QVC tonight. I love the X-bench, especially in that gorgeous chocolate color. I am excited to see what else will be included in his line. I am glad to see that it looks a little warmer and less modern than his usual aesthetic. So, what do you think? Are you interested in seeing what else he’ll come up with for his line?

Ryan Brown’s “Flip-Out-worthy” Pad

<i>By David A. Keeps</i>
Ryan Brown’s design sensibility has appealed to me since the first season of Flipping Out. His aesthetic mixes laidback California elegance with Los Angeles Regency and Asian influences. His chic projects usually feature a mix of styles, which I love. The home Ryan shares with his partner, Dale and daughter, Chloe was featured in the Los Angeles Times a few months ago and was recently named one of their top 10 stories of the year.
The living room is furnished in a sophisticated mix of vintage and contemporary pieces: A white-lacquered Art Deco side table sits next to a minimalist Italian sofa. A wooden-topped factory stool flanks a Danish armchair covered in a bold floral. Matching high-backed chairs sit across from an embossed leather ottoman on casters. Above it is Jonathan Adler's three-tier Ventana chandelier. On the small wall to the right of the bay window, another Brown touch: wooden paddles from European bakeries hung as art.

Ryan’s living room features Kelly Wearstler Trellis drapes, Jonathan Adler’s Ventana Chandelier, and a pair of high back chairs.
The opposite view: Daughter Chloe crosses the living room, with the elevated dining area in the background. Note how the crown molding at the ceiling juts out at the window and serves as curtain valances. "Molding adds instant warmth and character to a room," says Brown, who also connected baseboards and chair rails to vertical trim pieces, creating the appearance of paneled walls. "You can get it at a hardware store and just nail it up. It doesn't need to be real wood since it's going to be painted." Although Brown splurged on high-priced designer fabrics by Lulu DK and Kelly Wearstler elsewhere in the house, when it came to larger jobs such as curtains and Roman shades, he went to the Fashion District in downtown L.A. and shopped discount stores.
Ryan often uses rich neutral colors. I love the elegant warmth in this room. Little Chloe is certainly the cutest thing in the room!

On a vintage bar cart from <a href="http://www.lawsonfenning.com"> Lawson-Fenning</a> in Los Angeles, Brown creates a display that mixes a Buddha head, a branch of coral and two oversized lacquer candlesticks from West Elm that frame what appears to be a glass mosaic tile work. It's actually a painting by <a href="http://www.thehappylion.com/index.php?artist=wills&view=list"> artist Brian Wills</a>. The walls are painted with Sherwin Williams' Gauntlet Gray.

I love these West Elm Candlesticks! The coral adds nice texture, as well.
In the dining room, Brown covered the ceiling in bead board, which makes the space feel intimate yet casual, he says. The horizontal lines also echo the wall of cabinetry, which Brown created from three matching Chinese pieces, an eye-catching alternative to a built-in unit. He designed the table, which can seat 12. It's built on a base of reclaimed Douglas fir with a distressed walnut top by Ian Ferguson of [<a href="http://www.digitfurniture.com">Dig It Furniture</a> in Venice. "I always tell him to beat up table tops so I don't have to worry about them," Brown says. Though they look like antiques, the dining chairs are a cheat, Brown admits. "I was running out of budget so I got them from <a href="http://www.anthropologie.com"> Anthropologie</a> and recovered the seats."
The dining room features an amazing Sputnik chandelier and beautiful, rich cabinetry.

The Sputnik lamp hanging over the dining table was purchased at <a href="http://www.downtown20.net"> Downtown</a> in Los Angeles. "There's a bulb missing and people always notice," the designer says. "But I think that's part of its charm."
The family's chocolate Lab, Jordan, cruises through the kitchen. Brown designed a fretwork pattern for cupboard doors, giving the room the Chinese Chippendale look associated with Hollywood Regency style. The work also was done by <a href="http://www.digitfurniture.com">Dig It Furniture</a> in Venice. Note the top portion of the walls, which are covered in bead board running horizontally, coordinating with the marble subway tiles above the countertop.

I must say that my favorite rooms that Ryan designs are always his kitchens! I love the open shelving and beautiful finishes. Notice the fretwork on the cabinets.

A banquette style sofa from <a href="http://www.mgandbw.com/">Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams</a> in a kid-friendly floral print anchors the space adjoining the kitchen. Monchamp says the home nicely balances formal spaces with family areas. "We couldn't do anything too precious," he says. "We are not 'No, don't touch that' people."
Brown's improvements included new hardwood floor, doors and windows, which brighten the master bedroom upstairs. And the mix of décor? "The world is an art gallery," Brown says. "You can learn something new at every turn."

The Zen-Like Master Bedroom

The master bath gets the glam spa treatment with a <a href="http://www.sunrisespecialty.com/sunskirted.html">Piedmont skirted tub</a> purchased at <a href="http://www.livingsquare.com">Living Square</a> in Los Angeles. Hexagonal Mist limestone floor tiles are from <a href="http://www.annsacks.com/home.html">Ann Sacks</a>. The chandelier, which Brown repainted white, was 60 bucks. "A lot of the lamps in the house cost under a hundred dollars at flea markets and garage sales," Brown says.

This is such a great spot for a tub!

In the stairwell, he hung the 30-bulb Meurice chandelier, a Jonathan Adler design that can be found <a href="http://www.jonathanadler.com/shop/product.php?productid=17077&cat=387&page=1&initial="> online</a> for  $750.

A Fabulous Jonathan Adler Chandelier Hangs in the Stairwell
Chloe plays chef in her bright and cheery room, furnished from catalog resources such as <a href="http://www.potterybarnkids.com/">Pottery Barn Kids</a>. Brown and Monchamp wanted a beautiful house that was still kid-friendly. The living room sofa may be B&B Italia, but that doesn’t mean Chloe and her playmates are impressed. "They'll take every cushion and pillow off and throw them on the floor, then they'll jump on them," Brown says, nonplussed.
Miss Chloe’s room is cute and sassy.

The yard was relandscaped to include a mosaic tile pool, an organic vegetable garden and a lawn with a concrete paver path from <a href="http://www.artobrick.com/index.aspx"> Arto Brick</a> in Gardena. With extensive changes inside and out, the tab for renovations came to about $700,000. "I did it as inexpensively as possible to use the materials I wanted," Brown says, adding that without his industry sources the cost would have run $1 million.

So relaxing! I wish I were hanging out in this beautiful backyard today instead of taking harbor from this cold, rainy day.

Under a wood-framed arbor, Brown created an outdoor dining area with a 13.5-foot-long table and four teak benches for seating. A zinc planter and an aged metal votive holder add a touch of French country charm.

I adore the items Ryan chose for the outdoor dining area. The long, farmhouse style table, zinc planter, and candleholder look fantastic and add a bit of French charm.
Image Credit: The Los Angeles Times

Preston Lee’s Posh Home

Update: It has come to my attention that this home does not belong to Preston, but rather his design partner, Jen Dyer, who designed it. Click here for the full update.

Preston Lee’s super swank design style earned him a place amongst the last three designers standing in the finale of Top Design last week. By now, you probably know that Nathan walked away with top honors, but I certainly believe that Preston’s work deserves an honorable mention.

Preston’s design aesthetic is a total reflection of who he is: young, sexy, hip, and very L.A., which makes him appeal to a broad audience. The Top Design judges consistently lauded Preston on his ability to pull a room together through the use of color and texture and often compared his look to that of a swanky boutique hotel.The pictures I have gathered here are from Preston’s personal residence in Los Angeles.

The charming entrance to Preston’s “chateau”
Preston plays with scale in his foyer.
Mix Master: Preston’s living room exudes a very eclectic, Hollywood Regency vibe. I love his use of color and “I die” over that rug!

Preston seems to have pulled back a little in the breakfast room, where he chose to use a more muted palette of soft yellows, browns, and taupes. I think the mix of pillows is fantastic, the chandelier is amazing, and I love the idea of the banquette in place of chairs.

Preston cranks the volume back up in his dining room where he mixes colors and textures yet again. Picture this room lit only by candlelight on a Saturday night. It’s a fabulous backdrop for a sexy cocktail party.

I just love everything about this bedroom! I like that it feels serene, yet there are many fun elements present and the colors he used are fabulous. It feels classic and eclectic all at once.

Images via Bravo TV and
Preston Lee’s Portfolio

Style Icon Interview: Eddie Ross


This afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking with Eddie Ross, contestant on the second season of Bravo’s Top Design, Senior Style Editor of Martha Stewart Living, and self-described jack of all trades. His blog, which includes photos of his incredible flea market transformations and informative lessons on things like flower arranging and preparing for a cocktail party has quickly become a favorite among bloggers.

Eddie’s background includes culinary school, owning a catering company, and working for Food Network, House Beautiful, and Martha Stewart Living. He has a multitude of talents, but his passion is for helping people create a beautiful life without spending a fortune. I can honestly say that he is as sweet and gracious as he is talented. His beautiful design aesthetic, refreshing need to “make things pretty”, and ability to see the beauty in everything are incredibly inspiring.

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Eddie’s Gorgeous Manhattan Apartment

La Dolce Vita: When did you first realize that you had a talent for design?

Eddie Ross: “I was working as a caterer in high school and would go into these houses in New Greenwich, Larchmont… big, grand Connecticut homes. I was in awe of the way those people lived. It was so inspiring to see what people could accomplish and how they lived with a lot of money. I thought to myself, ‘I want to live that way, but I don’t have a lot of money.’ At that time, I started shopping thrift stores for antiques and started educating myself about fine porcelain, china, crystal, and silverware.”

LDV: Who or what inspires you the most?

ER: “My grandmother, Dottie was such a huge inspiration. She lived such a beautiful, refined life despite the fact that we didn’t come from gobs and gobs of money. My grandpa was a horticulturalist, and at age 81, he still works twice a week. On summer breaks, he would take two of the four boys in my family and give us projects like weeding, cleaning bushes, scrubbing terra cotta pots in greenhouse to prepare growing for spring. I now realize that he was giving us the jobs he didn’t want to do. He taught me about flower arranging since he did the weekly arrangements for some of the grandest homes in Greenwich.”

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Eddie picking some “end of season” hydrangeas

LDV: Do you have a favorite flower?

ER:I think white Casablanca lilies are amazing and I love Italian carnations. They’re like regular carnations, but double the size. You can bunch a lot of them together, in the same color, and they look fantastic on a long table. And they last forever.”

LDV: You have quite a knack for seeing the potential in ordinary objects and turning them into something extraordinary, like you did with your new secretary. Do you look for anything in particular when shopping for antiques or at a flea market?

ER: “I always tend to look for beauty in whatever I’m looking at. I’m always looking at the shape of it, the design, is it useful? Should I paint it? All furniture isn’t created equal; some solid pieces should only be refinished. People always go back and forth about whether or not you should paint these old pieces. What I paint is not antique quality. You have to think about what the piece will look like. Look past the hardware and the finish and think about the big picture.”

eddie ross secretary before

Eddie’s Secretary Before

eddie ross secretary after

After: The secretary looks amazing with a fresh coat of paint, mirrored insets, and new hardware

LDV: What do you do with the flea market and thrift store finds you transform? You live in Manhattan where space is at a premium. Do you keep it all for yourself, give it as gifts, or use it for clients?

ER: “For me, flea marketing and thrift storing is so relaxing, I do it for fun; for the thrill of the hunt. You can’t go looking for something specific. When I shop, I edit what I buy. I do keep most things if I can edit them and find a place for them. Sometimes I give them as gifts. I switch my furniture out sometimes; mostly things like mirrors and side chairs. I have access to the basement in my building and store things down there. I like to call it my prop house. I keep everything labeled with Polaroid pictures. I’ll put things away for seasons and switch out cashmere blankets for lighter throws; same with china and silver. We’re purchasing a country house in January where I can store all of my props.”

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Eddie enjoying a day of shopping at Sage Street Antiques in Sag Harbor

LDV: What is your prized possession?

ER: “I have 2 sterling silver stuffing spoons that I bought at Portobello Road in London. I had so much trouble getting them through airport security, so they’re definitely a prized possession!”

LDV: You are a contestant on the second season of Bravo’s Top Design and are the definite favorite of many bloggers, including myself. Why did you decide to audition for the show?

ER: “My friend, Tori Mellott works for Domino Magazine and she was at cocktail party with a casting person from Bravo, who mentioned the show and asked her if she had anyone for it. She called me, and my partner, Jaithan and I filled out the application and created my audition video, Martha gave me a leave of absence, and afterwards, my job was waiting for me back home.”

LDV: What has it been like to be on the show and interact with design giants like Margaret Russell, Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, India Hicks, and Todd Oldham?

ER: “You know, I wasn’t star struck. I work in the industry. I know Kelly, I know Margaret, and I know Todd. It was weird having them act like they didn’t know me and having them critique me. I was just with Kelly and Margaret for the launch of Kelly’s new fabric line. I adore Kelly! She is amazing and she does it. Project after project after project. She is a true designer, she’s beautiful, and she is a true style icon.”

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Eddie, on Bravo’s Top Design

LDV: So, last week on Top Design, you guys were asked to design store windows for some designers from the past seasons of Project Runway. What was it like working with Santino? Is he your favorite Project Runway designer ever?

ER: “I loved Santino and Christian because they kind of have snarky attitudes, like me. They’re funny, but serious when they need to be and they’re extremely talented.

LDV: What other shows do you like to watch?

ER:I’m addicted to the Rachel Zoe Project. I die. I die. She cracks me up to no end. She’s funny, has a great personality, and she is so passionate about what she does. I love people who have a passion for what they do. Rachel is passionate about making people look beautiful. Kelly, Christian, Santino…they’re all passionate about what they do. I have a passion for creating a beautiful life that doesn’t need to be expensive.”

LDV: What do you currently have on your iPod?

ER:My current thing is the Puppini Sisters, a girl group from England. They do covers of old music, but it’s updated. One plays the accordion, one plays the bad, another plays the violin and they’re really chic.”

LDV: Who are your style icons?

ER:For fashion, Ralph Lauren. His new line, Rugby is amazing. In terms of design, Bill Blass. His house in Connecticut is one of my most favorites. His book, Bill Blass: An American Designer is one of my prized possessions and a definite must-have for design lovers. And of course, Martha Stewart. Oh, and Thomas O’Brien. I love his style. Anthony Todd is great, too.”

LDV: Do you have a favorite travel destination?

ER: “I love Maine and small towns in the Midwest. Those areas are so quaint and beautiful. They have such history. I love seeing different styles and the way people live. I want people to start collecting things. Having a beautiful life is not expensive; it’s just about being creative.”

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Among the many things Eddie enjoys collecting, is his collection of hard to find, antique hotel silver.

LDV: You are a graduate of the revered Culinary Institute of America, so must be a fabulous cook. What is your favorite type of cuisine? What would you choose to have as your last meal?

ER: “My favorite thing to make is hors d’oeuvres. They’re like little, teeny entrees in one bite. People can enjoy so many flavors at a cocktail party. It’s like eating a bunch of little meals.”

For my last meal? I love macaroni and cheese! Yes, homemade with a delicious herb bread crumb crust. For dessert, I’d have my grandma’s Dominican walnut pound cake with rum whip cream. My mom and my grandparents are amazing cooks.”

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A beautiful spread of hors d’oeuvres at one of Eddie’s cocktail parties

LDV: You’ve gone from running your own catering company, working as a food editor for Martha Stewart Living and as a producer on the Food Network to working as an editor at House Beautiful and most recently as Senior Style Editor of Martha Stewart Living. You’ve accomplished all of this at age 30! What’s next for you?

ER: “People have such a hard time believing that I’m only 30, but I am! {He told me his exact date of birth for proof!} They don’t realize that culinary school is only 2 years and the two extra years that I would have spent in college helped give me a boost to accomplish these things. In the future, I would like to do a book and hopefully one day create a line of products that is a reflection of my collections.”

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Items from Eddie’s extensive collection of silver, china, and crystal

Eddie is also working on doing flea market tours in the city where he would take people to the flea markets and teach them what to look for. He would like to do it in sessions. One day, they’d look for china, another day they would look for crystal, and so on. I, for one, would love to join him on one of these tours and I’m sure many others would, too as it would be such a great learning opportunity.

LDV: Roughly translated, La Dolce Vita means “the good life” in Italian. What is your idea of living la dolce vita?

ER: “My idea of living the good life is to relax and have fun with what you do. Life’s too short. Make it beautiful.”

eddie ross chair after

Eddie’s special note to his blog readers: I’d really like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and to write in so many wonderful comments and ideas. It’s so inspiring to me to hear that the readers really love what I’m doing and that’s what keeps me going.”

All Images Via Eddie Ross’ Blog

Click here to view Eddie’s Professional Portfolio

Project Runway S/S ’09 Collections at Bryant Park



My top two picks are Jerrell and Leanne. I think either of them could win this season. It’s funny because Jerrell hasn’t been my favorite, but he BROUGHT IT to Bryant Park. His collection looks so rich and Leanne’s is so well constructed. To see all of the complete collections, click here. Who is your top pick?

Images via Project Rungay