Totem Home

Totem Home by Kim Ficaro | Images by Andrea Gentl

The people you know you can count on, the people who inspire you with their hearts and their minds, the people who never judge and always listen — those are the people who matter. Kim Ficaro is one of those people for me. This past summer, when things felt rather hectic and vapid at times, it was my moments with Kim and our dear friend Winnie, owner and creator of boutique Warm, that kept me rooted.

Kim Ficaro is a ridiculously talented interior prop stylist who just released her global-inspired home décor line, Totem Home. Just about everything Kim touches emanates with beauty — she has a delicate and sophisticated, yet bohemian, touch. Kim travels to every corner of the earth as a part of her job. She is worldly and spiritual, and she has an innate appreciation for the handmade, the crafted, the artisanal. Over the past few years she has made Mexico a second home, and it was there that the spark of the idea for Totem was born. Since then, I have watched Kim pore over textiles and color schemes and heard about her journeys as she met local makers from Mexico to Morocco to help her execute her dream home collection.

Totem Home by Kim Ficaro | Images by Andrea Gentl
Totem Home by Kim Ficaro | Images by Andrea Gentl

I met Kim in yoga class over 13 years ago, and we were reacquainted in Montauk and Amagansett about five years ago. We have swooned over one another ever since. I tease her all the time about how I want to be Kim Ficaro in my next life — or her assistant in this one! She was a massive sounding board when I first developed EyeSwoon and even more so when I was concepting the idea for my cookbook. Together, she and I brought pen to paper to hash out the core concept of what I hoped to express in this massive milestone for ES. Well, I feel fortunate to have been her test market during her early reveal of a few key Totem pieces. Hopefully I was able to return some of the guidance she always extends to me!

Totem Home by Kim Ficaro | Images by Andrea Gentl
Totem Home by Kim Ficaro | Images by Andrea Gentl

This past summer, as we sipped on rosé in Winnie’s front yard with a gaggle of kiddos skating on the half pipe, Kim spontaneously asked, “Wanna to see some pieces from Totem?” She proceeded to pop open the trunk of her car for the ultimate private trunk show. We examined crocheted items, cotton blankets with oversized pom poms and woven pillows, plus an array of sample threads so we could all weigh in on what colorway was best. There was a Moroccan poof in the perfect cognac leather and handmade ceramic cups that I obsessed over. Kim shared her vision and execution for every swoony piece in this inaugural viewing. True to form, Kim proceeded to try to give me some of her samples. I could not accept them — she needed those samples to continue on her course. But this is at the very core of who Kim is and why I love her so — whether it comes to advice, an ear, or even material objects close to her heart, she is a giver through and through.

This episode in the back of Kim’s car was just a few short months ago, and now the line has burst onto the market, sold online and at Warm in NYC. I could not be more excited to share Totem and Kim’s creativity with you all — and of course to embellish my home with her pieces!

Totem Home


Tell us about Totem Home and the evolution behind it.

It was always a natural progression, an evolution from what I do for a living, which is prop and interior styling. I started forming the concept as I was traveling in Mexico about three years ago and slowly started to visualize what Totem Home looked like, felt like, from the inside out. From that starting point there was no turning back, just kept following the path as I continually do.

Your items are handmade in Morocco and Mexico. Why did you choose to source goods from these places?

Mexico I feel a very strong connection to, a grounding that comes from the history, the people, the souls, the land, the food, the traditional craftsmanship. I spend a lot of time in Mexico for various projects, and it’s where I can fuel up, in a way, and be so inspired. I wanted to use traditional techniques and support the hands of where the pieces come from.

With Morocco I have more of a love for the overloading of the senses that the country brings. For Morocco I thought it was interesting to bring in some pieces, such as the pom pom blankets and market bags, that are traditionally made, and use these pieces to add to the collection. Then for original Totem designs, we did wool and leather pillows.

Can you speak about the process of working with local artisans in Mexico and Morocco?

I don’t work directly with the artists and artisans. I have really amazing people that have formed solid connections within communities that support the artisans, so through them we work together. I, of course, can see the process and work with them in process, meeting them when needed, seeing what they do, traditionally, hand dying etc. But I rely and respect the ones that have worked with the artists for so many years and developed a very conscious way to help me make Totem.

How would you briefly describe the ethos of your company?

I believe our surroundings affect how we feel — I know for me they do. Totem is a way to integrate pieces into your home to create warmth and ease, where the approach is a laid-back way of living, inspired by other lands, travels, and the roots of each place. The collection is highly curated — the muted palettes, the color stories and designs.

What is the Totem aesthetic, in three words?

Three words is hard! Thoughtful, tactile, warm, approachable, easy.

Do you have any bestselling pieces?

So far the tan leather pillow made in Morocco and the grey cotton pom pom blanket have been the best sellers. I think the tassel cotton pillows made in Oaxaca will be the next — they are so beautiful in the colors and softness.

Your shop-in-shop location is in the Warm store. How did that partnership come about? Where else can the collect be purchased?

Warm is owned by my very close friends who are family, Winnie Beattie and Rob Magnotta. I have worked with them from the opening of Warm, collaborating with them on Warm’s interior and store seasonal switches. For me, Warm was a place I knew Totem would be supported and given it is best light for its launch to the public.

Tell us about working with Andrea Gentl of Gentl & Hyers to photograph your lookbook.

Andrea Gentl and Marty Hyers I have worked with for many years on shoots for various editorial and advertising jobs. On the side we try and find time to collaborate, work on shoots, travel, explore as much as we can. We have worked together for so long that there is a synergy that is natural. The vision comes to life with momentum.

How has your work as a stylist influenced the items in the Totem collection?

My work as a stylist and the style of Totem have a continual thread of aesthetic. I can’t force my style to be something other than what it is, so what I gravitate towards or lean towards all influence the different styling projects, as well as Totem. I would say in general, there is a softness, a muted palette, handmade nature, texture that is seen within both.

What is your vision for the future of Totem?

I am still envisioning it, letting it evolve and seeing where the path leads. I am practicing a bit of detachment, to let it breathe.

Any other dreams or plans for you personally, career-wise?

Travel. Go in deeper with Totem in the process of making and creating, working with artists. Form a community that is under Totem as a whole. Get better at surfing, get better at my Spanish, and learn to play the ukulele!


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