When it comes to decorating, interior designer Thom Filicia believes it's all about "relaxed sophistication and easy style." Step into a Filicia-designed interior and you'll find bold pops of color with a mix of neutrals, interesting fabric choices, and an undeniable level of elegance that still manages to feel down to earth. We checked in with Filicia to find out his top decorating secrets. Get inspired to weave them into your own designs.
Q: What is your definition of a well-decorated room?
A: My goal is to create environments that are livable and approachable. That’s the way that people live now and what clients are looking for. Rooms should be decorated to reflect your personality and who you really are. My style is classic simplicity with modern flair, strong unfussy lines, rich texture, forever classic hues and bold pops of color. Rooms should be layered but not haphazard or random.
Q: You’re known for a modern and classic design aesthetic. How do you like to inject a bit of personality into this style of space?
A: Take a risk with color. Break away from white and neutral in unexpected ways. Color is not just for walls but also for trim, accessories, fabrics, and even ceilings. When used strategically in smart splashes, it infuses an unexpected, powerful vitality for which I have become known for. I also like to rooms to be authentic, but with a visual twist. Every room needs a surprise.
Q: You have a weekend home in New York’s Finger Lakes region, overlooking Skaneateles Lake. What’s your decorating advice for anyone looking to create a relaxing retreat that still has a level of sophistication?
A: It’s not just about creating a beautiful house, but how it will be lived in. I share my home with two rescue dogs, who love to cuddle up on the sofa as much as they love to run around the yard, and family and friends visit often. We spend a lot of time roaming in and out in bathing suits, and casual dinner parties are spur of the moment. Décor that caused someone in t-shirts and jeans to feel out of place just wouldn’t do.
At the same time, I wanted the interior to make my guests feel special. The house needed to dressed up as well as dressed down, with a mix of cool yet casual, raw yet refined and elegant yet earthy. The art of decorating in this environment comes down to balance – successfully mixing the refined and the relaxed.
Q: Describe a piece of furniture or a decorative item that you treasure in your home.
A: I have a pair of sterling silver peacocks that were my grandmother's, and then belonged to my mother. They were also the inspiration behind the logo for Sedgwick & Brattle.
Q: You’ve worked with a slew of celebrities, from Tina Fey to Jennifer Lopez. What’s one thing celebrity clients love their home to feel like regardless of their taste in décor?
A: The celebrities I have worked with want their home to reflect their personality and how they live in the space. They want their home to be a place that feels true to the story of where they've been, where they are and where they're going.
Q: We’re in the midst of the summer travel season. How does travel inspire your designs?
A: For me, travel is the ultimate luxury and the greatest source of inspiration. Whether I’m traveling to furniture market in High Point, North Carolina, vacationing on Panarea off the southern coast of Italy, or visiting a client in Colorado, I find that experiencing a diversity of people and places keeps my creativity alive and recharges me.
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