Saturday, December 14, 2013

Meeting Thom Filicia at DCOTA Fall Market

Guess who I met  at the Fall Market at The Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, Florida?  He was the Interior Designer on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, apprenticed at the legendary design firm Parish-Hadley, and graduated from Syracuse University. Now has his own line of fabrics and furniture and has authored a new book called "American Beauty, Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat."  Yes, Thom Filicia, himself took part in the keynote panel discussion and signed books (and took photos) at a reception afterward at the Kravet.

The keynote panel with Thom Filicia and Campion Platt 
(sorry for the fuzzy photo)
One of the topics the panel discussed was how the internet is changing the business of interior design.  With all the various resources on line clients have access to more than ever before.  That said, it is not just about being able to purchase, our job is to create the design and bring it all together.  Being able to go to sites like or gives clients and designers a great way to start a dialogue. Then the designer takes over and and does what they do best, bring it all to life.

They also talked about the "democratization" of design, meaning with so many resources in all price points, an interior today can be sourced in so many ways that was not available before.  Bringing together a mix of high end and lower end, retail and custom, humble and refined, gives a modern approachable and liveable design.
Thom with my business partner, Ellie and me in the Kravet showroom.

We all purchased his new book.  He was charming and delighted to chat with us.
Ellie told Thom about the new design project in the owner's lounge in her condo that will be done in all his furniture and fabrics.  He was so excited! I can't wait to see how it turns out.  It will be beautiful. He told us he wants to come see it when it is installed!

His book looks fabulous.  I can't wait to read it.

Here is a glimpse inside the cover.  He wrote this fun autograph to me inside, too.

Doesn't he look like he is just so comfortable and about to invite you in for coffee?
The house he wrote about in his book is located near where he spent his childhood.

The Fall Market at DCOTA is an annual event where designers can attend seminars and listen to panels of celebrities discuss current trends in design.  They have terrific speakers, luncheons and receptions all day long.  I always come home exhausted with my mind on design overload.

Isn't this one of the most creative floral arrangements you have seen?
It greeted us at the reception desk when we arrived.

Our first presentation was at the Jeffrey Michaels showroom.  The topic was wallpaper and here 
are two I just loved.

This looks like a ceramic tile mosaic but, no it is actually wallpaper!
They had a the whole wall behind the reception desk papered in it.  What a dramatic statement!

This wallpaper is made out of grass but is certainly "not your grandmother's grasscloth".
Here is a twist on a sunburst mirror...oval.
I love the bold red wall and draperies with black and white striped lining.

Does this look like your typical outdoor fabric?

Next I went to Century Furniture for an update on what is new in outdoor furniture.  I took this photo of a fabric that was passed around.  It was so soft and draped so well I could not believe it was outdoor fabric.
They also showed us a product they called outdoor leather!  The great thing about these outdoor fabrics is that they are just as wonderful inside, too. They are practical for high use and families. So much has been done to improve the "hand" as we call the feeling of the fabrics.  It was inspiring.

As I stolled through the hallways I always like to check out the little display windows. I noticed these unusual fabrics.  They all have a textured pattern, like they have been stitched on to the top of the background fabric. The edges are loose giving the design even more interest.

The pattern on this fabric had a felted look.  So different and interesting.
It had an artisan handcrafted design.

At the Kravet showroom they showed this hounds tooth gray and white sectional with brightly colored orange pillows.
I like the mix of geometric, solid and floral (shown above).  You can see the grays do not match exactly.
Not matching perfectly is one way to make your room look like it was put together over a long period of time.
How do you feel about not matching every color?  Do you like the more relaxed feeling that creates?  When the colors do not match I think an interior looks less decorated...meaning that it was not orchestrated.  The end result is more natural and less forced.  What is your style, to match or not to match, that is the question.

The last keynote presentation was done by the design team of Hellman and Chang.

Hellman Chang are designers and manufacturers of incredible modern furniture such as this cocktail table.
Often done in a darker wood like walnut, this stunning table is in white lacquer.
This dining table is one of their signature designs and is available in console tables and accent tables too.
One of the things Hellman and Chang spoke about was how they love working in wood because wood "tells a story".  It has an organic and a romantic value. Their work is like sculpture!

I managed to squeeze in one more seminar presented by Sherwin Williams on the color red, which happens to be one of my most favorite colors.  I am making a note to write about that in a post all on it's own.

This spectacular Italian chest is one of many shown at the Decorative Crafts showroom.
They also carry incredible lighting, mirrors and more.
I wound down the day at the Decorative Crafts showroom with a glass of champagne and a book signing by  Claudia Strasser.  Claudia offers tours of The Paris Flea Markets!  They are the most fantastic places to find all kinds of antiques and treasures.  Stay tuned for more on Paris Flea Markets too.

the paris apartment book

Paris Flea Market Style
These are two of Claudia's books.  I know I will be wanting to do some
 Flea Marketing in Paris after I read them!
It can be overwhelming even for interiors designers to spend such an incredible day. Days like this always leave me wanting more.  It's a passion, you might say.  What are you passionate about in decorating and design?  What makes your head swim or keeps you up at night?

Whew, this post covered a lot of topics.  As always I invite you to express your ideas and experiences on any of these subjects in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

                                     Happy Decorating!

If you are planning a decorating project in your home and would like some assistance you may contact me directly at


  1. Thanks for sharing your day with us. I love Thom Filicia too.

  2. I love the color red too. When will you write your post on it?