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Talking home decor with 'Queer Eye's Thom Filicia

Thom Filicia is no longer making over straight guys on TV, but he still says your home should “tell a story.”

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Thom Filicia is no longer making over straight guys on TV, but he still says your home should “tell a story.”

Celebrity furniture lines are hot. Donald Trump, Cindy Crawford, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff all have one. But how about a star who actually has a design background?

Thom Filicia, best known for helping hapless men make over their bachelor pads on Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, will be in town Friday to debut the Thom Filicia Home Collection. The line of classic-yet-modern living room, dining room and bedroom furniture will be available at Robb & Stucky.

He currently hosts Style Network's Dress My Nest, and has a new Style Network show, Tacky House, debuting in April. After co-starring as one of Queer Eye's "Fab Five" lifestyle experts during the show's 2003 to 2007 run, Filicia authored the book Thom Filicia Style: Inspired Ideas for Creating Rooms You'll Love. He's also designed his share of high-profile spaces, including a project for Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and the green rooms of ABC's The View.

Filicia called tbt* from a publicity stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

If people can only splurge on one or two pieces, what should they be?

You should always splurge on your anchor pieces. In a dining room, if you have a great table and you just find some really cute, fun, not-so-expensive but comfortable chairs, like lucite chairs that go around it or maybe a set of old chairs that you paint, I think you can pull off that chair pretty easily when the dining table is something that you're really excited about.

I think we have a hard time with that because the anchor piece isn't necessarily fun to buy. It's more fun to buy cute pillows, and then you realize, "I don't have anything to go with this." Is that how we wind up getting stuck?

I do think so, yeah. Sometimes people get really caught up, and they buy a whole bunch of really small bits and pieces. The problem is that they don't really have the foundation. It's almost like, when you're building a house, picking out your roofing material before you know exactly what the foundation in the house is made out of. You really want to build from the ground up.

Your bio says you are a "designer of sexy, hip and exciting environments." What three things can we add to our homes to make them sexy, hip and exciting?

What is exciting is when you go into someone's home, and it truly tells their story. From their books and their artwork and their furniture and their photographs and all of the things that they have around them, you get a sense of who they are. … What's sexy is when you walk into someone's house, and they're confident enough to paint a room an interesting color or take a risk with a piece of furniture that feels a little bit outside of the box. … And then what was the third one?

The third one was hip. Is it bad to try to be hip, like when my mom said she wanted leather pants?

Hip means you're on top of what's happening at any given time. So I think it's very important that you are clued in, and that your environment is actually current at a certain level in terms of technology, in terms of the colors.

I loved you on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. What are some of the biggest design mistakes guys make?

They're very good about honing in on the obvious things, like a great television or a great stereo system or a big, huge, comfortable sofa. And after that, they kind of fall to pieces. They might have a king-sized bed, but their bedding is not really comfortable or inviting for a girl — or clean. (laughs)

Thom Filicia

The designer will appear at 6 p.m. Friday at Robb & Stucky Interiors at International Plaza, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa. He'll sign copies of the book Thom Filicia Style and take photos with fans. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, call (813) 319-6700 or go to robbstucky.com.

Talking home decor with 'Queer Eye's Thom Filicia 02/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2010 6:27pm]

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