CeCe Barfield Thompson knows how to light up a room—in more ways than one. The New York City-based designer (and one-time senior Bunny Williams designer) has a knack for creating rooms that are just as captivating as her Texas-honed personality. CeCe’s Barfield Thompson’s sophisticated, but all-inclusive style (Her mantra? “If you love it, buy it!”) has fast catapulted her to fame, with House Beautiful recognizing her as a Next Wave Designer in 2016. Given the buzz, we jumped at the chance to engage CeCe in a round of Playing Favorites and get the low-down on everything from her love affair with the chintz chair to the one and only design rule you’ll never catch her breaking (seriously, just one!—you’ll want to take note).
What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
I love that I can shop at any hour of the day from my phone. I also love the daily updates regarding new arrivals.
Is there any particular product category where Chairish is your go-to?
I am usually pretty specific in my searches in terms of period, material and style. If I am in the mood to peruse, it is usually the accessories section.
Favorite 3 items on Chairish right now?
Favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
The character, quality, and individualism that they bring to a room. Wouldn’t life be so boring if everyone’s house looked the same?
Favorite way to add drama to a room?
Nothing gives a space drama like a little lacquer! And if lacquer isn’t in the budget, high gloss paint will do.
Favorite source for design inspiration?
Old Architectural Digest magazines. I am really into any issues published between 1980 and 1985.
Favorite paint color?
Right now, “Day’s End” by Benjamin Moore.
Favorite pattern (and how you love to use)?
There is nothing I adore more than a tufted chair, upholstered in floral chintz. It is so old world and glamorous and truly the most practical fabric. Like most things in life, it only gets better with age. Nancy Lancaster used to take her new chintz pieces and let them sit out in the garden to be beaten up by the elements. If that isn’t a testament to the material’s durability, I don’t know what is!
Favorite design rule to break?
The only law that one should respect is that of well-balanced proportions. Besides that, I don’t really adhere to rules. If it looks good, do it!
Favorite color combo?
Blue and green
Favorite way to mix high and low?
Beautiful hand-embroidered table linens paired with simple white pottery and bodega flowers of a single variety.
Favorite way to work a bit of vintage into a room?
Accessories are the easiest way to work in vintage pieces.
There is nothing I adore more than a tufted chair, upholstered in floral chintz. It is so old world and glamorous and truly the most practical fabric.
Favorite travel destination?
Favorite hotel to check into?
Hotel Sacher, Vienna
Favorite weekend activity?
With my husband: Friday evenings at the MET are magical. They have live music and cocktails in the atrium. The galleries are generally pretty empty so one really feels they have the museum to themselves. It is the perfect date night.
With my kids: Central Park is full of adventure. My daughters love the zoo and carousel!
With my friends: Dinner at Lucien.
Favorite morning beverage (and how you take it?)
Earl Grey tea with a spoonful of honey
Favorite way to treat yourself?
Lunch for one al fresco with a good book
Favorite thank you/ hostess gift?
Mariage freres tea boite classique
Favorite adult beverage?
Gin and Tonic
Measure twice, cut once!
Favorite entertaining essential?
Julia B table linens
Favorite TV show?
Favorite thing to collect?
YOUR CITY: NEW YORK CITY
Favorite local culture hub?
Favorite local attraction?
The architecture of Greenwich Village. The walking tours are such a treat!
Favorite local flea market / vintage hunting ground?