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Meet the Designers Pt. 5: Rooms With a View 2013

Five Questions for Francine Murnane and Thom Filicia

Five Questions for Francine Murnane

athome: What was your first design project?
Francine Murnane: My first design project was a beautiful Georgian colonial right on the water in Greenwich.

athome: What is your favorite room to design?
FM: My favorite room to design is the bedroom. The bedroom should be a beautiful personal space. It’s the room where your day begins and ends. 

ah: What is your dream design project?
FM: I have been so blessed with everything I have ever wished for in terms of design. I believe in self-fulfilled prophecies. I have been privileged to work on beautiful estates and homes in the Middle East, Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh and Cairo. It truly is a designer’s dream come true.

ah: How did you become involved in design projects overseas?
FM: My projects overseas started by word of mouth. In 2004, I started working for a client in Greenwich. She later hired me to do her home in Riyadh and has referred me to some of her family members and friends. It has been a wonderful friendship since.

ah: If you could design for anyone in the world who would it be?
FM: Mick Jagger—I met him when I was in my twenties at Basil’s Bar in Mustique, West Indies. I found him to be a very talented and interesting person. I would love to meet him again and design one of his homes.

Five questions for Thom Filicia

athome: How did you get your start in the interior design field?
Thom Filicia: I studied interior design at Syracuse University and interned at Parish-Hadley and they hired me a year later out of college. That was my springboard.

ah: What are your main sources of inspiration for your designs?
TF: My main inspiration for design really is lifestyle driven. It’s really about the way we live and the way we entertain. I’m not looking at it just as architecture or the furniture, accessories, textiles, or rugs; I’m looking at it as a real composition. It’s about telling a story.

ah: What are your passions outside of the design field?
TF: I love entertaining. I love being involved with a variety of charities. I really love downhill skiing, water skiing, and I love being on my boat and on the water. I’m very much an active outdoor person, and those are the kind of environments I love to be in because it is such a nice contrast to what I do every day.

ah: What charities do you love to support?
TF: Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I do a lot for them and a lot with them—it’s an organization we love working with and supporting. We also support Paddle for Pink in the Hamptons.

ah: What three words would describe your design aesthetic?
TF: Chic. Stylish. Inviting.

ah: What was your first design project?
TF: I worked with David Kleinberg, assisting him in doing drawings, furniture layouts, and watercolor elevations for a country club in San Francisco.