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IFDA Richmond's Day of Design featured a luncheon and live interview withThom Filicia in Dover Hall's Beauty and the Beast-inspired ballroom.
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Designers were invited to enter a design competition usingThom Filicia’s fabrics.
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Garden & Gun contributing editor Haskell Harris, designer Thom Filicia andR•Home editor Jessica Ronky Haddad.
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Filicia signed copies of his new book, American Beauty.
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Filicia with (from left) Dover’s Hall event manger Jennifer McBride, owner DennisPryor and architect Mark Spangler.
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Madelaine, Judy and Maresa Spangler in the conservatory
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Melissa Molitor, Susan Jamieson, Ryan Bundy, Holly Kidwell and Georgia Kukoski
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IFDA Richmond President Muffy Barden with Jennifer Stoner, VP of programs,and Jeanne Blackburn of Ariel Publications, president of the Washington, D.C.IFDA chapter
If you're a fan of Thom Filicia, the internationally known, uber-successful interior designer who first gained national attention a decade ago as part of the Fab Five on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy , you have probably thought he'd be a fun guy to hang out with. You would be right.
About 135 local design professionals discovered this firsthand when Filicia visited Richmond in March as the guest of honor for the Richmond chapter of the International Furnishings & Design Association Day of Design at Dover Hall. The daylong event featured tours of the Manakin-Sabot estate that recently opened to the public for events, and a design competition using Filicia's fabrics, wall coverings and furniture. Attendees also enjoyed a champagne luncheon catered by Mosaic; a live interview with Filicia conducted by Haskell Harris, a contributing editor to Garden & Gun magazine, and yours truly; and a panel discussion on Dover Hall with architect Mark Spangler and Dennis Pryor, the estate's owner. Following a signing for his latest book, American Beauty — during which Filicia personalized every copy with an orange pen and happily posed for a photo with anyone who wanted one — IFDA members and sponsors enjoyed cocktails and conversation with the designer, who never stopped smiling and cracking jokes.
Muffy Barden, IFDA Richmond president, first met Filicia in New York at a blogging conference and was impressed by how friendly and approachable he was. When she visited the High Point Market last fall and encountered him again at a book signing, she introduced herself. "He told me that his first girlfriend was named Muffy," she recalls, laughing. She took the opportunity to invite Filicia to Richmond to speak, and he agreed on the spot. Barden, IFDA Richmond VP of Programs Jennifer Stoner and other members worked hard to organize the memorable event.
Filicia, who has been named a "Top 100 Designer" by House Beautiful, an "International Taste Maker" by House & Garden and an "A-List Designer" by Elle Décor, talked about his new book and the Skaneateles, N.Y., lake house that inspired it. Attendees learned that Filicia's approach to design and his commitment to creating a "New American" style is just as down-to–earth and approachable as he is.