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Thom Filicia Refreshes a Colonial Home with Carefree Color
A classic Hamptons house gets a breezy makeover with happy hues and loads of great texture
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If a house could go barefoot, you’d catch this one joyfully wriggling its toes in the warm sand.
This Shingle-style Colonial in East Hampton, New York, you see, has exhaled all uptightness into the gentle sea breeze and embraced a playfully patterned, color-happy, just-a-bit-bohemian life. And it’s all courtesy of designer Thom Filicia.
“It’s a historic house, and I wanted to celebrate its architecture—have it visible—but at the same time, I wanted it to feel young and fresh,” Filicia says. “While being respectful of the environment of the Hamptons, I needed to be true to this family, a young couple and their two kids. They wanted relaxed, easy, and fun. They love color, pattern, and texture. That became my inspiration for the house.”
Designer Thom Filicia catches some sun at the entrance to the poolhouse, which features the same Shingle-style architecture as the Hamptons home it serves. Like the house, it includes an easy mix of color, pattern, and texture that suits a relaxed vacation getaway. Ocean-inspired artwork is by Soicher Marin.
From the first step inside, the home displays its good bones. A classic staircase, paneled wainscoting, and columned fireplace celebrate tradition and timeless good looks. Filicia finds their perfect foil in a mix of comfortable yet tailored furnishings, all rich with texture. A sandy-hue raffia wallcovering furthers the tactile intrigue, contrasting the sleek wainscoting and painted white floors.
An upholstered sofa from Bungalow Classic pairs with a “Knot” lounge chair from McGuire. The “Chain & Lock” rug is from French Accents.
The wallcovering repeats in the dining room, another textural haven. Host chairs covered in Belgian linen juxtapose woven leather side chairs, a rustic trestle table, and painted floors—here, in a blue-gray that nods to sea and sky. Henna-hue linen draperies, bordered in tweed, complement the expanse of blue as they expand on the home’s other theme: dynamic color.
Draperies in Lisa Fine Textiles “Luxor” fabric brighten the dining area, outfitted with a Sedgwick & Brattle trestle table, Bungalow Classic head chair, and McGuire “Crin” side chairs. The chandelier is by Paul Ferrante.
In the media room, henna glows warm as a summer sunset on the braided hemp wallcovering. Blue-gray also reappears, popping out from the backs of white built-in bookcases that flank the original fireplace.
“It’s brave use of color in a subtle way to make rooms feel alive,” Filicia says. “I mixed color and pattern to get an organic, natural vibe that doesn’t feel anonymous. It’s fresh, light, and crisp with layers of personality that are specific to this family.”
“Braided Hemp” wallcovering in Henna from Maya Romanoff wraps this family gathering spot. A “Chatfield” chair from the Thom Filicia Home collection for Vanguard contributes even more texture, as do square rope ottomans from Palecek.
In the kitchen, color—in the form of blue, red, white, and gray stripes painted on the wood floor—anchors a space that’s all about casual family living. “The kitchen is the hub of this house,” Filicia says. “It has to work for family breakfast, casual lunches, grabbing a drink or a snack after coming in from the pool. There are always people coming and going.”
For ultimate functionality, Filicia paired an oversize island with a lively assortment of seating: a bench, curved-back chairs, and stools. “There’s an outdoor dining table, so we didn’t need a big dining table here,” he says. “Instead, I created seating that’s more like a café lounge. It’s more malleable, easier. It’s fun and flexible for kids and friends.”
A bench upholstered in Amy Karyn fabric offers a comfy seat in the bay window next to CB2 marble cocktail tables. Teak-and-woven chairs are from Colette Home. Stackable yellow stools can be scooted across the custom-painted floor to the stained-wood island.
Through a Dutch door, the kitchen opens to a sleeping porch, one of Filicia’s favorite spaces. “After a long week in the city, it feels so good to enjoy a delicious drink here as the sun goes down,” he says. “I love how this space connects to both the outside and inside.”
The kitchen opens to a sleeping porch that’s home to a navy-hue rattan bar from Palecek, a replica of the one used on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s yacht, the USS Potomac, during his presidency.
Outdoor connections continue in an enviable gathering area around the pool. “It’s a contained space, which is great when you have kids and want to know where they are,” Filicia says. “But it’s also pretty. It’s like a secret garden.”
The designer called on a textural mix of organic-form furnishings, including woven chairs and rope side tables, to furnish the outdoor room. “They’re classic-inspired pieces that at the same time feel clean and modern,” Filicia says. “They connect with the architecture and the land.”
Woven chairs, a rope side table, and wooden urns from Sedgwick & Brattle match the organic mood of a poolhouse sitting area shaded by a wooden pergola. Outdoor lounge furniture in the adjacent seating areas is by JANUS et Cie.
The designer’s amalgam of modern, young moments set against clean, classic backdrops also threads through the home’s private spaces.
The master bedroom offers an expanse of architecture—to-the-ceiling wainscoting painted the same crisp white that covers the wood floors. It becomes a calm canvas for Filicia’s mix of colorful patterns: ethnic prints, geometrics, stripes, and medallions in warm, earthy hues.
“Great color and texture make the room feel inviting,” he says. “It’s about creating a wonderful balance—a classic backdrop set against a fun, fresh, collected, little-bit-bohemian Hamptons vibe.”
The “Chatfield” bed from the Thom Filicia Home collection for Vanguard is upholstered in Holland & Sherry “Bespoke Twill” fabric and topped with John Robshaw bedding from ABC Home. The “Retro Mishan” rug is from French Accents.
Pattern play in the guest room translates into an antique rattan bed spiked with graphic pillows. It snuggles enchantingly under eaves covered in a hand-painted lapis-blue wallcovering that’s sprinkled with golden metallic specks. “It’s like looking at the sky at night,” Filicia says.
“Little Dipper” wallcovering by Elizabeth Dow spans the guest quarters like a starry sky. French Presse linens top the antique bed.
The kids’ room charms with beachy surfboard wallpaper, knitted poufs, and a buoyant sailboat pillow, while their play space unfurls striped rugs that serve as the perfect motorway for toy cars. Colorful bent-wire chairs work with a cushy pouf and whimsical mushroom stools to provide plenty of plop-down places.
“Nothing is too precious,” Filicia says. “It’s young and fresh without trying too hard. My whole idea in this house was to let the architecture play to the traditional and historic, while the rest of the design feels younger and fresher yet is rooted in classic design. It’s approachable, but it’s also just really pretty.”
“Surfboards” wallpaper from Studio Four NYC sets a fun-loving tone. The knitted pouf is from CB2; bedding is by Serena & Lily.