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Book Friday: Thom Filicia Style

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It was such a pleasure having interior designer and TV personality Thom Ficilia on my radio show last week. Today, I wanted to share his book Thom Filicia Style with you. The book features his unique take on basic design strategies, including photos and floor plans. And it's is jam-packed with decorating tips. Here is peek at what's inside.

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1 "This photo, snapped during a rare nanosecond of downtime during the filming of Dress My Nest, really captures what this book is all about. I'm about to take you behind the scenes of my design process, explaining my tools, techniques, and tricks, and empowering you to create rooms that embrace and accommodate who you really are." -- Thom Filicia

A view of Thom's living room in his newly built SoHo apartment. His decision to replace the wall between the living room and bedroom with safety glass was a bold move, but I like it!

2 A view of Thom's living room in his newly built SoHo apartment. His decision to replace the wall between the living room and bedroom with safety glass was a bold move, but I like it!

Thom says that poorly planned rooms are the number one decorating problem he encounters. The first step to decorating any room is to lay out a plan.

3 Thom says that poorly planned rooms are the number one decorating problem he encounters. The first step to decorating any room is to lay out a plan.

Here is a carefully considered layout of a one-plan room. Thom says that another big design challenge is finding a non-claustrophobic way to delineate the open-plan room into separate sleeping and living sections.

4 Here is a carefully considered layout of a one-plan room. Thom says that another big design challenge is finding a non-claustrophobic way to delineate the open-plan room into separate sleeping and living sections.

Lighting is another important aspect of the design process. A custom fixture of interlocking restoration glass reinforces the furniture's clean geometric lines and delivers high-wattage flair.

5 Lighting is another important aspect of the design process. A custom fixture of interlocking restoration glass reinforces the furniture's clean geometric lines and delivers high-wattage flair.

A trio of no-nonsense outdoor carriage lights enhances the rusticity of Thom's rural lake house.

6 A trio of no-nonsense outdoor carriage lights enhances the rusticity of Thom's rural lake house.

In this section of the book, Thom addresses color. With this neutral palette, he adds pops of yellow for some contrast.

7 In this section of the book, Thom addresses color. With this neutral palette, he adds pops of yellow for some contrast.

Texture is an important part of design that people often forget about. Here, Thom has added a nail-head bench to the room, as well as a coconut grass lampshade (how's that for some texture!).

8 Texture is an important part of design that people often forget about. Here, Thom has added a nail-head bench to the room, as well as a coconut grass lampshade (how's that for some texture!).

This room is just the right mix of of masculine and feminine–the industrial details of the nightstand lamps paired with soft pink of the headboard is perfection.

9 This room is just the right mix of of masculine and feminine–the industrial details of the nightstand lamps paired with soft pink of the headboard is perfection.

Thom's lake house features a lot of nature-inspired designs, including these animal prints in the bedroom.

10 Thom's lake house features a lot of nature-inspired designs, including these animal prints in the bedroom.

I love how mounted bedside lamps free-up space on the nightstand. This bedroom is so simple and tranquil.

11 I love how mounted bedside lamps free-up space on the nightstand. This bedroom is so simple and tranquil.

This outdoor space incorporates indoor elements such as a daybed outfitted with cushions and a sheepskin rug.

12 This outdoor space incorporates indoor elements such as a daybed outfitted with cushions and a sheepskin rug.

Thom created a playful nursery with a gender-free color palette. Muted tones painted in stripes along the walls give the room a modern feel.

13 Thom created a playful nursery with a gender-free color palette. Muted tones painted in stripes along the walls give the room a modern feel.

Here, Thom shows readers how to build a basic palette with a mix of natural neutrals–earthy tones including red, blue, mustard, and warm brown.

14 Here, Thom shows readers how to build a basic palette with a mix of natural neutrals–earthy tones including red, blue, mustard, and warm brown.

Book Friday: Litchfield Style

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Every once and a while it's great to take a break from the city and spend a weekend in the country. For many New Yorker's, Connecticut's Litchfield County is a convenient escape. The homes in Litchfield County are mostly carefully renovated eighteenth- and nineteenth- century houses in a variety of styles–from farmhouses and saltbox houses to Colonial and Federal styles.

In her book, Litchfield Style (Rizzoli, 2011), Annie Kelly captures the distinct decor of this pocket of the country. Flipping through these pages is like taking a step back in time. The classic furnishings and architecture are truly remarkable.

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On the cover, an early nineteenth-century portrait  by Anthony DeRose hangs in author Annie Kelly's eighteenth–century sitting room in Bantam, Connecticut.

1 On the cover, an early nineteenth-century portrait by Anthony DeRose hangs in author Annie Kelly's eighteenth–century sitting room in Bantam, Connecticut.

The entry to this eighteenth-century barn was outfitted with cabinets in the period's carpentry style. The barn now serves as a kitchen and living area. Many barns in Connecticut have been converted into conventional spaces.

2 The entry to this eighteenth-century barn was outfitted with cabinets in the period's carpentry style. The barn now serves as a kitchen and living area. Many barns in Connecticut have been converted into conventional spaces.

The intricate woodwork in this room is beautiful. Painted a muted gray, the woodwork provides a neutral background for the rich brown furniture.

3 The intricate woodwork in this room is beautiful. Painted a muted gray, the woodwork provides a neutral background for the rich brown furniture.

This bedroom still has the original stencil work on the walls. It's remarkable how well preserved the stenciling is.

4 This bedroom still has the original stencil work on the walls. It's remarkable how well preserved the stenciling is.

A view of the rolling hills of Litchfield County.

5 A view of the rolling hills of Litchfield County.

The vegetable and cut flower gardens at Rock Cobble Farm.

6 The vegetable and cut flower gardens at Rock Cobble Farm.

Bunny Williams and John Roselli's Manor House in Falls Village boasts a beautiful dining room, in which the woodwork is painted green to match the Federal-style wallpaper.

7 Bunny Williams and John Roselli's Manor House in Falls Village boasts a beautiful dining room, in which the woodwork is painted green to match the Federal-style wallpaper.

The gateway to the garden at Manor House has built in seating on either side.

8 The gateway to the garden at Manor House has built in seating on either side.

The stenciled floors of Manor House add definition to the space.

9 The stenciled floors of Manor House add definition to the space.

There are two items that stand out in this room–the eighteenth-century carved and gilded mirror and the large, amethyst hurricane lamp. Both draw your eye to the center of the room, anchoring the space.

10 There are two items that stand out in this room–the eighteenth-century carved and gilded mirror and the large, amethyst hurricane lamp. Both draw your eye to the center of the room, anchoring the space.

In the conservatory, a while stone table seats eighteen people for outdoor dining.

11 In the conservatory, a while stone table seats eighteen people for outdoor dining.

This large, eighteenth-century English bull's-eye mirror hangs above the mantel, which dates back to the 1840s. I think the mirror is quite impressive.

12 This large, eighteenth-century English bull's-eye mirror hangs above the mantel, which dates back to the 1840s. I think the mirror is quite impressive.

The staircase of Jane and Stephen Garmey's nineteenth-century house in Cornwall is simple and traditional.

13 The staircase of Jane and Stephen Garmey's nineteenth-century house in Cornwall is simple and traditional.

The Garmeys designed a way to hide a cat tray by banishing it to a dark cupboard and cutting a decorative doorway for the cat.

14 The Garmeys designed a way to hide a cat tray by banishing it to a dark cupboard and cutting a decorative doorway for the cat.

A collection of birdhouses can be found in the corner of the  Garmeys' garden.

15 A collection of birdhouses can be found in the corner of the Garmeys' garden.

Matthew Patrick Smyth's late eighteenth-century house in Sharon.

16 Matthew Patrick Smyth's late eighteenth-century house in Sharon.

The original tiger maple stair rail was found during the renovations. Isn't it stunning? The restoration is flawless.

17 The original tiger maple stair rail was found during the renovations. Isn't it stunning? The restoration is flawless.

Smyth found this old-fashioned bathtub at AF New York. I love that the tub looks as if it could be original to the house.

18 Smyth found this old-fashioned bathtub at AF New York. I love that the tub looks as if it could be original to the house.

Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine's Southview property has an outdoor dining pergola and fireplace. Both are recent additions, but they blend in well with the original architecture.

19 Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine's Southview property has an outdoor dining pergola and fireplace. Both are recent additions, but they blend in well with the original architecture.

A converted barn makes a grand sitting room at Southview. The color palette compliments the color of the antique wooden beams.

20 A converted barn makes a grand sitting room at Southview. The color palette compliments the color of the antique wooden beams.

The back of Robert Couturier's home in Kent looks out onto a raised terraced, which is meticulously manicured.

21 The back of Robert Couturier's home in Kent looks out onto a raised terraced, which is meticulously manicured.

This entrance bridges the private and public wings of Couturier's house. The use of symmetry here is pleasing to the eye.

22 This entrance bridges the private and public wings of Couturier's house. The use of symmetry here is pleasing to the eye.

An octagonal library sits apart from the house and overlooks the lake.

23 An octagonal library sits apart from the house and overlooks the lake.

The corner of the salon contains vintage ephemera and a touch of bright green and red.

24 The corner of the salon contains vintage ephemera and a touch of bright green and red.

The guest bedroom contains many rich colors and fabrics all in traditional eighteenth-century style.

25 The guest bedroom contains many rich colors and fabrics all in traditional eighteenth-century style.

Most of the furnishings in this first-floor kitchen are seventeenth-century English–a deviation from the rest of the house.

26 Most of the furnishings in this first-floor kitchen are seventeenth-century English–a deviation from the rest of the house.

Couturier had an original eighteenth-century chair from Connecticut copied to make a dining room set.

27 Couturier had an original eighteenth-century chair from Connecticut copied to make a dining room set.

Book Friday: Bite by Bite

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Throwing a party this weekend? Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party by Peter Callahan is a wonderful resource, especially if you're expecting guests for the holiday. The cookbook's author, Peter Callahan, has worked with Martha for years, contributing to Weddings magazine as a caterer and catering parties at Martha's home. Peter's creations are beautiful and bite-sized–the perfect party fare.

This book contains recipe ideas for various occasions, from casual dinner parties at home to formal holiday soirees–and it was just released on August 30. Here are just a few examples of Peter's dishes to whet your appetite.

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Bite by Bite has an entire section dedicated to comfort foods, from spaghetti and meatballs to lobster rolls. Yet, each dish is elegant and bite-sized.

1 Bite by Bite has an entire section dedicated to comfort foods, from spaghetti and meatballs to lobster rolls. Yet, each dish is elegant and bite-sized.

There is a great deal of prep work that goes into the presentation of these stylish bites.

2 There is a great deal of prep work that goes into the presentation of these stylish bites.

Peter's signature hors d'oeuvre–miniature cheeseburgers and frites.

3 Peter's signature hors d'oeuvre–miniature cheeseburgers and frites.

This recipe was created at the request of Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Director, Darcy Miller. These are not your average pigs in a blanket.

4 This recipe was created at the request of Martha Stewart Weddings Editorial Director, Darcy Miller. These are not your average pigs in a blanket.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a classic that appeals to the kid in all of us.

5 Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a classic that appeals to the kid in all of us.

Tiny lobster rolls would be wonderful for a Labor Day party.

6 Tiny lobster rolls would be wonderful for a Labor Day party.

Another section of the book is dedicated to small bites and two-sip shots of a drink or soup. So many great pairings for a cocktail hour!

7 Another section of the book is dedicated to small bites and two-sip shots of a drink or soup. So many great pairings for a cocktail hour!

Dainty citrus-marinated fish tacos paired with a shot of tequila.

8 Dainty citrus-marinated fish tacos paired with a shot of tequila.

A signature American pairing–fried chicken and Coca-Cola.

9 A signature American pairing–fried chicken and Coca-Cola.

This edible spoon pokes fun at the traditional way of serving caviar (on a mother of pearl spoon). Peter serves his with a shot of vodka, as it should be.

10 This edible spoon pokes fun at the traditional way of serving caviar (on a mother of pearl spoon). Peter serves his with a shot of vodka, as it should be.

Another great way to serve caviar is on buckwheat blinis. Small bottles of vodka outfitted with straws complete this pairing.

11 Another great way to serve caviar is on buckwheat blinis. Small bottles of vodka outfitted with straws complete this pairing.