In Praise of My Design Heroes: Thom Filicia

August 7, 2013

Beau,Tom and DannJust about everyone remembers the NBC show, Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. It was a HUGE hit and introduced the American man to the idea of using the style of a crew of gay men to their advantage. It brought reality tv to primetime and made stars of its cast…including Thom Filicia. In fact, I will go so far as to say that only Thom has had a lasting and growing career since the shows ending. Thom went on to do several more shows, author multiple books and launch lines of furniture and home products that are everywhere! I can say that the fabulous little bar cart of polished nickel and white marble is in my house!

Forget everything you thought you knew about Thom from Queer Eye. He is not that designer or that man. You know he is creative and is sophisticated but, what you need to know is what a warm and welcoming person he is beyond the personality. I actually read his latest book, American Beauty in one sitting, I literally devoured it! The subject was the discovery, renovation and decoration of Thom’s summer home. I felt his passion for the house, the lifestyle he was trying to capture for himself and his creativity in every page. Elle Decor magazine didn’t name it one of the top design books of the year for nothing!

The greatest compliment I can pay Thom is this; In my new line of luxury outdoor furnishings for Skyline Design, I have a dining chair, my favorite dining chair and the most popular in my line in terms of sales, that was influenced by Thom’s own designs. It is true, you can go check it out, it is my “Rodeo” dining chair. I knew I wanted a chair in the style of the ancient Klismos chair but, where Thom’s influence comes in is in the cutout in the back. The chair becomes instantly lighter from a visual perspective and at the same time, more modern. I feel in love with Thom’s indoor version in bright yellow in his lake house and now his creatiivity has inspired my own.

Thom is also a gracious and generous man who, every time I have had a chance to see him, remembers your name and stops to take a few minutes catching up. He even showed up at a recent launch of my latest products, what a guy!