Stephan Lee
November 13, 2012 AT 12:01 PM EST

If your favorite member of the Queer Eye cast was the dapper, comparatively mellow interior designer Thom Filicia, you’re not alone. Tina Fey has written a foreword to Filicia’s new book, American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat (out today), in a way only Fey can. The book contains more than 300 lush photos of Filicia’s rustic and tasteful rooms and chronicles his renovation of a classic upstate New York fixer-upper. Check out Fey’s ode to the sweetest member of the Fab Five, found in the beginning of American Beauty.

Hello. When I read Thom Filicia’s first book, Style, I fell in love with his way of designing interiors. I had been a fan of Thom’s since Queer Eye, and had harassed him at more than one NBC party, but seeing his work unfettered by the extreme time and budget constraints of reality TV, I was really impressed with his legit training, his visual style, and his ability to translate his philosophy into practical tips for nerds. I really wanted to work with him. His rooms were warm, earthy, fun, and a little bit masculine—just like me!

I was determined. If I was ever going to leverage this temporary TV celebrity of mine, it would be to get Thom Filicia Inc. to design my family’s apartment. Of course it turns out that you don’t have to be on TV to collaborate with TFI, and a meeting was easily arranged to discuss the project. When we met, I asked Thom to autograph my copy of his book. (I should point out that I never ask anyone for an autograph, and I have met Paul McCartney and Posh Spice.) My husband and I enjoyed our collaboration with Thom immensely and continue to marvel at our good fortune when we look around our lovely grown-up home.

In American Beauty, Thom tells the story of saving and renovating an old house, but it seems to me it’s also a story about going home again and loving your hometown. (Who knew Thom grew up near a town with a polo club? Classy.) It’s an appreciation of a pre-homogenized America, when each state and town had its own look and feel. It’s a book that offers great pragmatic advice. But it’s also the perfect book for when you want to lock yourself in the bathroom, hide from your children, and look at pretty pictures.

Once signed, this foreword is a legally binding document that states that Thom must help my family with any home we live in until the end of time.


Tina Fey

New York City

Reprinted from American Beauty. Copyright 2012 by Thom Filicia. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

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