Family-style decorating with Thom Filicia
Sometimes when I browse through those glossy pages of design magazines, I think, sure they’re beautiful, but not exactly practical for a living, breathing family with a penchant for Italian food and Crayola products. Those white sofas and glass carpets wouldn’t last a minute in my house -- or in anyone’s I know.
So when I got an opportunity to ask celebrity designer, Thom Filicia (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Dress My Nest) how to practically decorate a family home with kids, pets and husbands, he offered some very helpful advice.
His design philosophy begins with the concept that everyone’s “interior should tell your story.” Your home should reflect your personality and “what makes you unique and authentic.” So decorate with those family photographs and mementos from vacations, and anything else that makes you happy.
- Look to Kindergarten classrooms for organization ideas. Teachers are masters of having to organize lots of different materials for many different kids.
- Use inexpensive bins and cubbies to keep the clutter under control.
- Make it fun -- Make kids part of keeping their own space organized. Thom loves to use a stopwatch for a fast pick-up or to sort things by color in a matching game while picking up.
- No room should be “off-limits” to children, but do explain that certain rooms serve different purposes than others. The living room isn’t the best choice for coloring, but the playroom or kitchen table is.
- For kid’s rooms, he warns not to invest too much into trends or specific interests. Kids grow out of things faster than you think, and it may be Barney this year, but karate the next. Keep the backdrops neutral so the room can mature with the child.
And as we Mommas already know, frugality is going to be a top decorating trend of 2009. Thom assures us that’s a good thing. “Be honest with yourself about your budget and your goals.” He says we should definitely “reuse and repurpose what you already have.”
- Move things to different rooms to change the look.
- Add a coat of paint to older furniture or to make odd pieces coordinate.
- Shop at flea markets, classified ads and tag sales, but also be on the lookout for really great bargains at traditional stores. You may be able to pick up a great deal on good quality pieces that will last for years.
- Don’t be afraid to “mix the timely with the timeless.”
And if you still need help? How about a $25,000 room makeover? After revealing his redesign of the dressing rooms on ABC’s, The View on Monday, Thom announced the Room-A-Day Giveaway sweepstakes to award 16 lucky winners $25,000 each for a room makeover sponsored by The View and Kimberly-Clark. Enter online daily through March 6 at RoomADayGiveaway.com or abc.com. Winners will be announced daily on The View beginning on Feb. 2.
Maybe we’ll make it onto those glossy magazine pages yet.
For more of Thom’s tips, pick up his new book, Thom Filcia Style, or check out his blog.
-- Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva