Podcast, Episode 70: Carson Kressley & Thom Filicia

Carson Kressley and Thom Filicia join the podcast to talk about their new show, Get a Room with Carson and Thom

This week, we are five peas in a podcast with besties and designers Carson Kressley and and Thom Filicia. These hilarious gentlemen talk to us about how they met at the gym and eventually became members of the smash show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and a sneak peek into their new design makeover show Get a Room on Bravo. We talk about why bad taste is better than no taste, their love of using design to tell a story, and how authenticity is the number one design trend in modern day culture.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Thom’s had a whole show, Tacky House, dedicated to turn their extreme design taste into a tasteful and edgy space. Leopard print isn’t bad, but Thom helped make it a punctuation rather than a run on sentence.
  • The hilarious story on how Thom and Carson met at the gym
  • How they auditioned and got picked for Queer Eye and went on to bond filming over 100 episodes together
  • Their mutual love for taking on both large budget “dream” projects, and more small affordable DIY’s
  • The difference between draperies and curtains
  • Thom and Carson’s tips to make a big impact with small places and smaller things
  • Why we shouldn’t be afraid to mix brands and prices in design, the same way we do with fashion
  • Why it’s crucial to invest in anchor pieces
  • What makes their design show Get a Room unique and how the show was developed
  • Carson and Thom’s mission when working with people: to tell their story and bring it out in a beautiful way, and be serious about design while not taking themselves (or life) too seriously
  • Why your kitchen may be your new living room!

Decorating Dilemmas

Hi Karen, Taryn, and Caroline!

My husband and I bought our first house 2 years ago when he began his phD program. Just before we bought it, everything was re-painted and the carpets were re-done in all beige (carpets not pictured). There’s a lot of brown! The kitchen cabinets are looking dated (and also brown). I want to paint them and add hardware. For paint, I’m considering either white uppers and a grey/blue for the lowers, or one of those colors on all cabinets. I’ve priced out professional painting and it’s a pretty penny, so I’m considering doing it myself. I know it would be a huge project…Thoughts?

Any suggestions welcome!




Carson’s 1970’s kitchen in his Pennsylvania home also had a similar medium oak color. He painted it gray, but did hire a professional painter. He recommends hiring a painter unless you are really organized – then go for it yourself but just know it can be a bit of an undertaking! Thom’s first thought is to unscrew the folding countertops on the island. We all like the idea of open shelving, and possibly incorporating it with ¾ glass shelves and polished nickel or blackened metal brackets. Consider a blue color on the upper cabinets with a “paint on architecture” around the window. Finish the cabinet door painting with brushed finish so you can repair them without a spray paint. They both like the island being a color like black, or rich teal, and add something that hangs over the island like a light fixture or pot rack.  Hope that helps!

Show Notes:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply


    January 24, 2020

    After discovering the pod, I’ve been going back to old episodes and loved this one!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      January 24, 2020

      So glad to hear you’re enjoying the show so much that you’re listening to old episodes twice!! Also, you’ll be thrilled to know Carson and Thom will be back next week!
      Happy decorating,

  2. Reply

    Jill Kalman

    January 8, 2019

    Fantastic episode! I adore Thom and Carson and of course – Ballard!!!