The Style Files: Cece Barfield Thompson


CecCe Barfield Thompson is an up and coming young designer based in Manhattan. She’s made waves in the New York design scene since leaving her post as Senior Designer at Bunny Williams, Inc. to start her eponymous design firm just last year. In the time since, she has been named to House Beautiful‘s Next Wave list of designers– a fantastic honor to which I can personally attest! CeCe’s training also includes a degree in Interior Architecture from the Pratt Institute and time spent working in the hallowed halls of Vogue. CeCe specializes in crafting spaces that are high in style, but not in pretense. Coveted for her southern charm and refinement, CeCe creates sophisticated, fresh and one-of-a-kind living spaces — using old, new, inherited and found pieces — that carefully marry the designer’s style with the client’s individuality. I look forward to seeing a lot more from CeCe in the future! In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her a bit more in today’s installment of The Style Files!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

CeCe Barfield Thompson: My style is ever-evolving but it is certainly rooted in traditional, comfortable interiors. The relationship of new to old is what makes a space interesting. A piece of contemporary art can breathe life into an old brown chest, just as an antique can give a contemporary art a sense of importance. This is the conversation I aim to create.

cece barfield hb

PC: Has living in New York influenced the way you decorate?

CBT: There is so much unconventional beauty in New York, which I find endlessly inspiring! The city really encourages people to be bold and take risks. Living in New York has also made me understand that form and function are essential elements of good design. Space can be limited in the city, so projects have to be carefully planned around how clients live and how they want to live. These things influence everything from space planning to material selection.

cc sideboard

PC: What does your home say about you?

CBT: My home is a reflection of both my husband and me. I like our apartment to be edited and uncluttered. To achieve this in a New York City space, the overall color scheme is cohesive and thus each room flows to the next. Rather than fill every nook and cranny with picture frames, I pepper in our collected art, books and sentimental pieces to give it our personal touch without appearing crowded.


PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

CBT: My peers and my library, which is outgrowing my bookshelves!


PC: Who are your personal style icons?

CBT: Lee Radziwill, Francois de al Renta, Catherine Deneuve and Chessy Rayner to name a few…

lee radziwill buckinghampshire 1971

{Lee Radziwill at her Buckinghampshire Estate in 1971 | Image via Vogue}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

CBT: An evening at home in my nightgown watching PBS with a glass of red wine!


PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

CBT: Kindness

cece barfield thompson hb2

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

CBT: My colleagues at Bunny Williams who were the most creative group of people I have ever met. The collaborative environment at Bunny’s is amazing.


PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

CBT: My husband and I have always loved to travel and explore various cultures. We always entertain relocating to other countries for a year or two simply for the unique experience.


{The Lush Tabletop CeCe Designed for the Lennox Hill Gala this Year via Instagram}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

CBT: I am currently working on a Fifth Avenue pied-a-terre and a Rhode Island Beach house both of which I’m extremely excited about.




Go-To Outfit: Skinny jeans, white t-shirt, boucle jacket and Chanel flats

Style Mantra: Always edit

Scent: Quelque Fleurs

Piece of Jewelry: Simple thin gold wedding band

Color I Never Tire Of: Prussian blue

Flower: White tree peony

Indispensable Design Element: Great lighting

Era for Design: Interbellum France

Dream Project: A boutique hotel in an exotic location

Fabric/Textile: Anything Holland & Sherry

Hostess Gift: Flowers the day after

Meal: Chicken enchiladas

Drink: Vodka soda with a splash of grapefruit and twist of lime

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Bubble bath always!


3 Things I Love About New York: The people, the museums and design resources.

Weekend Destination: Connecticut and Hudson for antiquing!

Hotel: Hotel Sacher in Vienna

City: New York

Museum: Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris

Artist: Right now, Walton Ford. All time, Twombly

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Anything Louis Armstrong

Actor/Actress: Grace Kelly

Prized Possession: Lucky jade rubbing stone given to me by my late grandfather, Big Daddy.

Risk Worth Taking: Starting a business

Greatest Extravagance: Fresh flowers

Go-To Color Palette: Blue, white and green

Rule to Break: All of them as long as you adhere to good proportions.

Movie Set Design: Barry Lyndon

I can never have too many… Linens

Paloma Signature

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  1. So fun! I love CeCe… her Aunt Holly + mother Lisa are two very dear friends! CeCe has as much super style today as she did when she was two! xxooo