Interior designer Thom Filicia was never one to mince words on Bravo’s hit series, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but he’s showing a different side in his just-released interior design book, American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating A Beloved Retreat (Clarkson Potter, $45). The tome uses photography to tell the story of how Filicia discovered a home in serious need of a makeover on Skaneateles Lake in Central New York, where he spent much of his childhood. Filicia bought the house and spent nearly two years doing renovations. We caught up with Thom to hear more about the project and get his interior design advice. “The house was just charming and simple enough that it could have a slightly modern aesthetic,” Filicia told InStyle.com. “It’s on a really beautiful piece of property in a community that is very special to me.” And his own witty tone isn’t the only humor found in the book: Reigning queen of comedy Tina Fey, a long time fan of Thom’s, wrote the foreword. “Tina is a fabulous woman,” Filicia told InStyle.com. “She’s just really cool—very down to earth, relaxed, and smart.” And what about us mere mortals interested in tackling our own interior design project? “Put your stamp on it!” Filicia said. “Make it feel like it is an honest and authentic extension of who you are and what you’re about. Putting that personal stamp on an interior turns a space into a space with a soul.” Buy a copy of his book for yourself and pick up a few as holiday gifts!

Plus, see our favorite Tina moments!

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