I recently received a copy of designer Eric Ross’ new book, Enduring Southern Homes. It is a true treasure trove of southern design at its best. Eric uses beautiful palettes of colors mixed with lovely traditional antiques and soft southern touches.
Every room he designs looks like it can be comfortably lived in. I recently asked Eric several questions about his new book, his style, and what an enduring southern aesthetic means today. See his thoughts and a preview of his stylish new book.
Where are you from/where do you live currently?
I’m from Paducah, Kentucky, a small town in Western Kentucky. I went to school in Waco, Texas and moved to Nashville immediately following to work.
What inspired you to write your new book, Enduring Southern Homes?
I felt VERY strongly that there was a void in the traditional design category, so I reached out to a couple of publishers with the idea of a book on Southern traditional design, feeling the time was right to have a book geared toward my design aesthetic.
How do you think southern aesthetic differs from other parts of the country, and how has it evolved over time?
The whole romantic nature of the South and what it evokes in people’s minds makes it unique. The heritage of family and history gives a back story to a Southerner’s rooms. A Southerner likes to collects things from his family and celebrate them in his interiors. Old things tend to be dressy. So, instead of down playing formality, I think Southerners purposefully infuse their rooms with pomp and circumstance. I think it comes from our isolation from the city. We want to be dressed up as a way to show that our guests are special and we have prepared our rooms to host them.
Are there any current trends you are embracing?
I hate trends as a rule. But, I am loving dark green. I call it Boxwood Green. We are seeing it a ton in fashion and it’s really coming on strong in interiors.
What are your design pet peeves?
Doing something solely because it’s on trend. If it’s not authentic to you or your sense of style, don’t do it.
Best advice you ever received about designing?
Follow your instinct and do what you know will be successful. Don’t cave into what a client wants if it’s wrong for them. As a designer, you have to stay true to your vision. That’s what the client is paying for. You must try harder to explain the WHY the client should do what you suggest.
What is on your nightstand?
An alarm clock, a toile painted lamp, a picture of my daughter as a toddler (she’s now 15) and a small silver lidded jar that was my wife’s before we were married. And, sometimes my glasses if I forget to put them in the case…
Potted boxwood is a symbol of easy style and elegance. There is nothing more traditional, Southern or enduring.