Thom Filicia, American Beauty

A quick peak at the latest book I styled for Thom Filicia coming out in the fall
& an interview with Thom for Interior Connector

kips bay show house: charles pavarini iii in conversation with super star {and designer} thom filicia
Who else can take a vestibule and turn it into a breathtaking stand-alone, show stopping room (yes, room) with an identity all its own? 
ANSWER: Thom Filicia, the incredible design talent who has brought savvy design to the masses, while at the same time nurturing his high brow list of enviable private clientele. Thom has lived a designer’s fairy tale: graduating from design school, interning for Albert Hadley, and after a few other noteworthy stops, hanging his own shingle out only to become a leading force in the evolution of design as we see it today (and, no doubt,  will see it tomorrow).
As the Kips Bay Show House comes to an end, our guest editor (and design icon himself ) Charles Pavarini III chats with Thom about all things great that Thom has up his sleeve~especially design.
CP:  What does the Kips Bay Decorator Show House mean to you?  Why did  you choose to participate in this Show House?
TF:  I reacted out of love.  I wanted to get involved with an organization that I am passionate about….particularly this year, with the passing of Albert Hadley. It seems like the right time to pay homage to the man, Kips Bay and the industry-especially since I have seen a new burst of energy surround the Show House in celebration of its 40thanniversary.
CP: Why did you chose the vestibule— you had your pick of the litter in terms of a room.
TF:  I love rooms that typically do not get the attention they deserve.  This was an opportunity to take a transitional space and make it into a high impact space. I also loved the fact that I was able to showcase furnishings from my own collections!
CP: This year’s Show House is a tribute to Mr. Hadley. Are there any elements you incorporated  in the design of the vestibule that are {Mr.} Hadley-esque?
TF:  Having long admired and worked for Albert Hadley, his point of view and philosophy ~restrained modernism with a timeless classical approach, an inventive spin, a touch of unexpected glamour and a glimmer of fun~have been strong influences that have had an everlasting impact on my personal aesthetic.  For the vestibule, I incorporated shiny detail (in the silk trim on the plaid cotton curtains and the green lacquered walls and ceiling) – a signature detail of his. Also,Bunny Williams lent me 4 of his drawings that I included as a tribute.  His work always has been fresh and modern, edited and clean, but not vapid or spare.
CP:  That green lacquer on the walls and ceiling of the vestibile make the space standout like no other.  What is it that inspired you and several other of the designers to go with a similar palette?
TF:  We are all subject to the same influences in fashion and design.  What we see and feel when out shopping or in our everyday lives inevitably impacts our design choices-deliberate or not. This is part of the social fabric of design and its constant change and evolution.  I am glad to see that color is taking on a new and fresh excitement.
CP:  Are there any contemporary designers that you feel will be held in the same light as Albert Hadley 50 years from now?
TF:  Absolutely, there are quite a few people that are influencers in the industry-all in different mediums, whether it be high-end design, television or product design.  In my opinion, the people who will leave the biggest mark are those more humble and selfless, who focus on bringing the next generation of talent into the business by encouraging them and giving them opportunities—just as Albert Hadley did for me.
CP:  It is hard not to be in awe over your  “A” list roster of clients. Are there any celebs or well known peeps that you can see making the vestibule at Kips Bay a part of their home?
TF:  I did an aubergine lacquered library for Tina Fey-who by the way was gracious enougth to write the forward of my upcoming book-for which I am forever indebted (seriously, just read the forward).  I think she would like this room.  It is down to earth, fresh and looks to the future while being old school at the same time.
CP:  If music could be piped into the vestibule, what genre would you choose?
Brazilian Bossa nova and Southern Rock.    Truly Americana with a smattering of global influence. 
CP:  Can you give us a sneak peek at your much anticipated upcoming book?   Anything else we should keep our eyes open for?
TF:  Yes, my new book, American Beauty (with Clarkson Potter) comes out in the fall.  It is about going home again, which for me was purchasing a fixer-upper, near where I grew-up (when I was still “Tommy” to everyone), in Skaneateles on the Finger Lakes. It hits the shelves on November 13th. I might add that Raina Kattelson joined-in lending her sharp eye, as stylist.   In addition, I am excited to add that I am in ongoing conversations for a new TV project, the Thom Filicia Home Collection continues to expand and we have a fabulous group of residential and commercial projects in various stages of completion.
Interior designer Thom Filicia is founder and Chief Creative Officer of New York City-based design firm, Thom Filicia, Inc. Since launching the acclaimed enterprise in 1998, Filicia's New-American Style has earned him widespread acclaim and notable clients in the worlds of entertainment, finance, sports, media, fashion and hospitality. Filicia has received countless accolades from the design world, including being named by House Beautiful as one of their “Top 100 Designers,” a House & Garden “International Taste Maker” and an Elle Décor “A-List Designer.” Filicia, well-known from the Emmy-Award winning hit show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, has also hosted several successful shows for the Style Network, including Dress My Nest and Tacky House and is presently featured talent on the HGTV Network. Filicia’s first book, Thom Filicia Style, was published in 2008, and his most recent publication, American Beauty, will be released in November 2012 with Clarkson Potter. Filicia is also the creative mind and driving force behind the Thom Filicia Home Collection, which includes furniture, rugs, textiles, artwork, curtain hardware and broadloom. Filicia currently resides in Manhattan and Skaneateles, NY. For more information, visit www.thomfilicia.com.