Style

How CeCe Barfield Thompson Lives Her Style

How CeCe Barfield Thompson Lives Her Style
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In our series “My Mix,” we explore how our favorite designers and tastemakers embrace personal style not just at home but in every facet of their lives, asking them (among other things) to share the one moment that has come to encapsulate their unique aesthetic. This week we sat down with New York-based interior designer CeCe Barfield Thompson. Read what she has to say below, and see how she’s come to live her style here.

 

Something I really look up to in my mom is her carefree sensibility when it comes to entertaining. Growing up, it was always, “If the car’s in the driveway, come on in!” And she truly meant that. She is somebody who will go pick up takeout, doctor it up with some herbes de Provence, and call it her own. She doesn’t stress out when it comes to entertaining—she really enjoys it, and I admire that about her.

I think so many people feel like the food has to be perfect and the flowers have to be just right when they have a dinner party. And if you work, that’s really hard, and it will keep you from entertaining. I always say do the best you can with what you have—even if that means picking up food and buying flowers at the deli and throwing them in a vase or just using fruit on the table. It’s really making your life about experiences and moments and not letting the decoration of it become too overwhelming.

My mom has a farm out in the hill country in Texas, and I’ll tell you, there is no florist nearby! She will go out in the yard and cut some berries or daisies, make the table look stunningly beautiful, and then go to the grocery store and get creative. I think that is the ideal hostess mentality: just making it work. And realizing that it’s not about having the perfect everything. It’s really about the memories and the moments with the people you love.

Built-in bookshelves in CeCe’s Manhattan apartment hold her treasured design library, along with a mix of modern blue-and-white plates, green Italian art glass, and traditional chinoiserie ceramics.

Built-in bookshelves in CeCe’s Manhattan apartment hold her treasured design library, along with a mix of modern blue-and-white plates, green Italian art glass, and traditional chinoiserie ceramics.

I always mix…
Old with new.

I never mix…
Chintz with chintz. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

Every home should have…
Fresh flowers and music.

My favorite color combo is…
Blue and green or white and cream.

Heirloom tableware mixes best with…
Colored glass and bright florals.

My decor mix is…
Ever-evolving.

A 1950s bombé chest, discovered at a San Antonio antiques store, was CeCe’s first big decor splurge—and now serves as storage for her two young daughters’ toys.

A 1950s bombé chest, discovered at a San Antonio antiques store, was CeCe’s first big decor splurge—and now serves as storage for her two young daughters’ toys.

CeCe loves to set a mix-and-match table, pairing colorful glassware and accents with timeless white china.

CeCe loves to set a mix-and-match table, pairing colorful glassware and accents with timeless white china.

My favorite high-low mix is…
Simple linen upholstery with midcentury French antiques.

When mixing colors, I…
Look to nature.

When mixing patterns, I…
Vary scale and hue.

My first big splurge was…
The chinoiserie bombé chest in our apartment that I purchased in college.

My fashion mix is…
Practical and feminine.

A little black dress looks best with…
Bold earrings.

The most stylish movie is…
The Leopard.

My favorite book is…
À Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans

A graphic accent table gives some edge to a floral-patterned armchair in CeCe’s living room, while a Moroccan-style rug lends rich textural contrast.

A graphic accent table gives some edge to a floral-patterned armchair in CeCe’s living room, while a Moroccan-style rug lends rich textural contrast.

Mixed metals add luster atop the coffee table, and fresh flowers (one of CeCe’s decor musts) pick up on the touches of purple in the room.

Mixed metals add luster atop the coffee table, and fresh flowers (one of CeCe’s decor musts) pick up on the touches of purple in the room.

My favorite flower is…
The tree peony

I mix up my weekday routine by…
My two-year-old takes care of that!

My tea order is…
Earl Grey with cream and honey

My go-to cocktail is…
Margarita on the rocks, no salt.

My favorite place to check in is…
Residenza Napoleone III in Rome.

For a last-minute dinner party, I’d serve…
Steak au poivre, a bouquet of green and white asparagus, and roasted new potatoes with fresh herbs.

CeCe decked out the master bedroom in one of her favorite color palettes: a tonal mix of white and cream. The result is a restful escape in the heart of the city.

CeCe decked out the master bedroom in one of her favorite color palettes: a tonal mix of white and cream. The result is a restful escape in the heart of the city.

Above the fireplace, a classic landscape gives CeCe’s bedroom a pastoral view—and lends a touch of color to the monochromatic scheme.

Above the fireplace, a classic landscape gives CeCe’s bedroom a pastoral view—and lends a touch of color to the monochromatic scheme.

It’s not about having the perfect everything. It’s really about the memories and the moments with the people you love.

— CeCe Barfield Thompson

Tour CeCe’s home to see how she lives her style →

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