New York-based designer CeCe Barfield may be the new kid on the block, but she’s anything but green. Following a stint at Vogue, she worked for Bunny Williams, eventually becoming Senior Designer before opening her eponymous firm in 2015. Named to House Beautiful’s “Next Wave” list of designers, Barfield imbues her projects with a refined, cultivated aesthetic and deep-rooted respect for tradition that’s well beyond her years, and anything but pretentious.
What inspired this career path for you?
A love of preservation, design, and antiques… also a fascination with the way people live.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
Inspiration is endless in New York. If I ever feel in a design rut, Museum Mile helps me out. Another huge source of inspiration is my group of creative peers.
Tell us about your creative process.
It is always slightly different. When a project starts, I spend hours pouring over my design library and falling deeply into Instagram and Pinterest holes. From there, projects are schemed — I start with fabrics and then focus on furniture. It’s a malleable process and so much depends on my client.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Feminine and elegant with a playful twist.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
My tape measure — proportions and scale are THE most important elements of a well-designed space.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
My mentor, Bunny Williams. Her work combines classical elegance with practicality. While rooted in tradition, she is constantly exploring and seeking new inspiration, which adds layers of interest. This is why her designs stand the test of time.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
A western-facing dining room in a leaded conservatory. Nearby would be a lush potager to source ingredients. Dinners would be made with produce from the garden. Cocktails would be served with the sunset. The dream client for this project would be a passionate gardener and elegant hostess who invited me for dinner often!
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
World of Interiors and Cabana. It feels like Christmas morning each time they arrive at my door!
What do you love about Viyet?
Its accessibility and the fabulous deals!
new york, ny