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Thom Filicia: Inspiration in Design

Let me start by saying that Thom Filicia’s presentation was probably one of the best I’ve seen lately.  He is just as great as you would imagine, and he was refreshingly insightful, open, and down-to-earth.  The presentation took place in a small auditorium with a maximum capacity of, probably no more than 75 at most, which made for a wonderfully intimate environment.  I even arrived early enough to have center second row seats (the front was reserved).

Thom’s presentation was entitled, “What Inspires You, Inspires Me“, and I felt like I was reading a sacred text when he shared the components of his 5 step design formula:

      1. Understand Your Client
           Learn what makes them tick–how/where do they eat, sleep, entertain? What do  
           they do in their spare time?  How do they define their lifestyle?
      2. Understand Your Architecture
           Identify the architecture and examine how it relates to the client and why they chose 
           that particular property.
      3. Understand Geographic Location
           Coastal? Country? Urban? Suburban?  How does the location speak to the 
           persona/lifestyle of the client?
      4. Identify Historical References
          Identify historical features in the space and determine if they can they contribute and 
          add to the design plan.
      5. Assign Moods
          Assign 3 to 5 moods to room as means of further identifying the client and the design 
          they hope to achieve.  Try to layer these moods into each space . Words like eccentric,
          sexyvibrant, edgy, & refined help to create identity & definition (Thom says the more
          moods, the better!).
(**sorry for the weird spacing here**)

Thom presented 4 case studies (previous projects) and talked in detail about the way he approached each design plan.  The in-depth discussion was almost like interning with him on a project–priceless! It was good to see a successful designer using (and improving) on many of the same principles I’m now learning in design school.  For me it reinforced my belief that knowing the principles is important, but by no means all it takes to be a successful designer.  Learn it, expand upon it, and make it your own.



Thom talked a lot about his background and how he got to where he is today, including how he got discovered (stuck in an elevator with a talent scout and claustrophobe!) and the inspiration behind his furniture line.  He shared that he’s working on a new book due out next year (yes!!!) and talked about organically following & nurturing your career as a designer.  He was full of wisdom, and I’m glad I was able to hear him in an educational environment, because it met me right where I am in my career.  

            
And if you can spare a few more minutes, I found this great video on YouTube which, though old, really sums up the spirit of his energy.  Enjoy!



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15 Comments on Thom Filicia: Inspiration in Design

  1. Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle
    May 17, 2010 at 8:09 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing Dayka. This must have been a lot of fun.

    One question, when he spoke about moods, does he ask the client to choose those moods or does he choose them based on what he thinks the room needs?

    Reply
  2. Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage
    May 17, 2010 at 8:17 am (7 years ago)

    I love the art in the second pic, but then I always love the art. Being that I advocate original art. Thanks for the inspiration, I’m working on my living room. I’m still slightly dreading it, and need all the inspiring I can get 🙂

    Reply
  3. AB HOME Interiors
    May 17, 2010 at 8:40 am (7 years ago)

    Truly inspirational! I really respect him as a designer and loved meeting him at Highpoint. He is incredibly fun spirited and down to earth. What a great opportunity for you!

    Reply
  4. niki.mac
    May 17, 2010 at 9:02 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing his words of wisdom Dayka! I really wish I could have seen him in person but you summed it up very well. Happy Monday! 😉

    Reply
  5. charmaine
    May 17, 2010 at 9:14 am (7 years ago)

    I love Thom Filicia. He really seems so down- to -earth. He has a great knack of defining and expressing the client’s style.

    Reply
  6. autumn
    May 17, 2010 at 11:06 am (7 years ago)

    yay! thanks for sharing dayka! i almost felt like i was sitting there on the second row with you listening to thom.
    very inspiring stuff.
    🙂

    Reply
  7. Dayka (Life +Style)
    May 17, 2010 at 11:36 am (7 years ago)

    karen–from my understanding, he assigns the moods based on what the client describes/is looking for.

    glad you all enjoyed the wrap up!

    Reply
  8. Mrs. Chic
    May 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing this, i’ve love him for years! I like how he broke it down about desining

    Reply
  9. love jenny xoxo
    May 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm (7 years ago)

    Gorgeous rooms!!! I love your blog – I’m your newest follower!!

    XOXO

    Reply
  10. Adrienne S.
    May 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Excellent post, Dayka. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I love getting into the minds of experienced designers.

    Reply
  11. Averill
    May 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the full recap, Dayka — seriously, I really appreciate it! I would have LOVED to have been in that crowd. Sounds like Thom’s presentation was incredibly useful and inspiring. Exactly the kind of thing I need to hear right now as I contemplate my own jump into designing/decorating.

    Reply
  12. L. Duncan
    May 19, 2010 at 9:07 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m nso glad you were able to see/hear him speak! I guess that would be the equivalance to me hearing Janell speak?!

    Oh, and I love those pointers!

    Reply

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