THE DOSSIER:NAME: Thom Filicia. TRADE: Interior designer and former star of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. VIBE: Cozy country with a sophisticated twist. ABODE: Remodeled 1917 American Colonial house in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York.
If you've ever seen an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, you know Thom Filicia has a great sense of design and humor--and if you haven't, check out Hulu, pronto. It's no surprise that the design-minded member of the Fab Five has a house befitting his title: a sophisticated lake house with a warm, inviting vibe and stylish interior. Filicia says he fell in love with the waterfront property first, then transformed the house into his own sanctuary: "It was this really classic simple structure that I felt I could make connect with my lifestyle and into a refuge from New York City -- it's nice to have that place to recharge your batteries." Full of furniture and textiles from his own line, Filicia wanted the interiors to fit in with the architecture, the environment, and the town, to create a space that was truly a retreat: "I wanted it to be a place that's appealing for everyone young or old, from the city or down the road."
KEEPING CALM: "I think the color palette was very key to keeping the rooms warm and inviting, fun and fresh, but also calm," Filicia says. Balancing a mix of color and texture with simple details and clean areas, the designer created a homey aesthetic that's still sleek and sophisticated.
BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN: Since the location is really what Filicia fell in love with, the designer wanted to ensure that the view was center stage. "Ultimately whether there's three feet of snow outside, or it's a beautiful summer day, I really want the experience of being inside to connect with the outdoors." This meant choosing bright tones and furniture that complemented the natural feel and fluidity of the space as well as enhanced the light, airy feel created by the home's large windows.
THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE: Though the house is all about Zen time, Filicia isn't afraid of a good statement piece to add character to a space: "I love those pieces that have personality and can carry a room on their own." In the powder room, Filicia created a custom attention-grabber taking an eagle console from his furniture line and cutting a hole in the stone top to make it a vanity. "I like the idea of things not being conventional -- having fun with things, surprising the eye, keeping it interesting and intriguing.