Q + A with Thom Filicia



When television personality and celebrity interior designer Thom Filicia discovered a vintage house in the Finger Lakes region of New York in 2008, he wasn’t looking for another home—or another project. He already had plenty of those. But the lakefront home in the village of Skaneateles spoke to Filicia in a very personal way: He grew up the village and knew the house was an undiscovered gem of a retreat, so on a nostalgic impulse he bought it. “I wanted to celebrate it and introduce it to people,” says the designer.

It was in that spirit of sharing that Filicia embarked on a two-year renovation that’s been meticulously chronicled in his new book, American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Home. Part glossy photos, part step-by-step renovation tutorial, part memoir, “the book is as much about enjoying and using the house as it is about the design process,” he says.“I loved the idea of giving people the before, during and after views.”

And speaking of views, Filicia now enjoys the waterfront vistas from the house as much as his schedule allows, often with guests in tow. “The house was never designed to be precious, but inclusive, welcoming and fun.”

Want to see the project for yourself? Filicia will be signing copies of his new book this Thursday, November 29th at the Wakefield Design Center in Stamford from 5 to 7 p.m.

Pick up a signed copy for your favorite design enthusiast—and if you’re having a holiday event of your own, try these ideas from Filicia for party gifts:

For the host and hostess…“I love to stick with the theme of giving something beautiful for entertaining; so I like to give something interesting like a vintage cheese set or things for the bar. We’re fond of giving those big church keys that open beer bottles. It goes along with my thinking that these are things that decorate with purpose. Of course, the other great thing about giving the host this kind of thing is if they hate it, they can just stick it in a drawer until the next time you come.”

On his favorite host gift to receive… “I love getting things I don’t know about yet; like new vodka we haven’t seen. I love gifts for the bar because we entertain constantly. I also love getting interesting books because they’re fun to have around. We got a book on boating etiquette and I love it because everyone picks it up and reads it. You would never go out and buy that book, but it’s neat and I like having it.”

Contact info@WakefieldDesignCenter.com to RSVP for the event. Space is limited.

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