Awards: Andrew Martin Interior Design Review & A-List

In case you aren't already familiar with the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, it is a gorgeous book published annually that features the very best interior designers in the world. As the New York Times says, it's the "Oscars of the interior design world."

The cover of the 2016  Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20 .

The cover of the 2016 Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20.

This marks the second time that Cindy Rinfret has been included in the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review. In this year's volume Rinfret, Ltd. is featured prominently with with eight pages of full bleed photography dedicated to the firm and a far-forward placement with Cindy Rinfret being the fourth designer presented in an international group of ninety-five.

Cindy Rinfret's bio and the first spread in the eight pages of coverage in the  Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20 .

Cindy Rinfret's bio and the first spread in the eight pages of coverage in the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20.

Cindy Rinfret's eight pages of coverage are dedicated to one project, her design of Tommy and Dee Hilfiger’s duplex penthouse at the Plaza, which includes the iconic turret and breathtaking views of Central Park.

Cindy Rinfret's design of Tommy and Dee Hilfiger's Plaza duplex, in the pages of the  Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20 .

Cindy Rinfret's design of Tommy and Dee Hilfiger's Plaza duplex, in the pages of the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20.

It is an immense honor to have a repeat inclusion in an exclusive group of internationaldesigners. The publication of this book comes at an exciting time for Rinfret, Ltd. with Cindy Rinfret receiving the honor of being a finalist in two categories (Bath and Kids Room) at the 7th Annual atHome A-List Awards at the Stamford Palace Theater, CT earlier this month on September 8th.

Rinfret, Ltd. has also previously won at the A-List Awards but this event program never gets old as it offers an impressive showcase of the great design talent in Fairfield County. This year Rinfret, Ltd. was a finalist in two categories: bath and kids bedroom.

The Rinfret, Ltd. Bath recognized as a finalist in the A-List Bath category.

The Rinfret, Ltd. Bath recognized as a finalist in the A-List Bath category.

The Rinfret, Ltd. Kids Bedroom recognized as a finalist in the A-List Kids Bedroom category.

The Rinfret, Ltd. Kids Bedroom recognized as a finalist in the A-List Kids Bedroom category.

A heartfelt thank you to the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review and to Moffly Media and athome for recognizing Cindy Rinfret's work. We also value the amazing talent of the other designers featured along with Rinfret, Ltd.

For more information on the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, Volume 20 click here for the press release and to learn more about the athome A-List Awards stay tuned for the November 2016 issue of athome.

A Look Back at Summer Fun with Phillip Watson

Summer is officially coming to a close so before the season is but a distant memory we invite you take a look back with us.

A highlight of the summer was a visit with our friend (and garden designer to the stars), Phillip Watson.



Phillip and Cindy had a blast on a photo shoot at Mead Point in Long Island. For more photos, see our facebook page.

We are lucky to share some fabulous clients with Phillip Watson and are a huge fan of his stellar gardens.


Above, Phillip Watson in one of his incredible gardens (image from http://www.phillipwatsondesigns.net).

And if you are not lucky enough to have hundreds of acres to devote to peonies, you can still enjoy Phillip's green thumb. Watch out for him on QVC. We think you'll agree that he is one talented (and charming ) guy!

As with any good summer, there were lots of fabulous parties. We already showed you photos from lots of them on our earlier blog post on  Cindy Rinfret's second book with Rizzoli, Greenwich Style: Inspired Family Homes. The last party of the summer was fittingly at the Ocean  House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. A more perfect summer escape is hard to come by.


It's always sad to say good bye to summer (especially when you look at dreamy photos like this one of Cindy below, taken on a fun day trip with Phillip) but we are already excited for a fantastic fall. Stay tuned for some very exciting news from us!

 


Celebrating Greenwich Style!

This spring may have been full of showers but the sun always came out to shine at our book events for Greenwich Style: Inspired Family Homes (Rizzoli). Take a look back with us at this party-studded month...

The party month kicked off on May 1st with a book signing at Rinfret Home and Garden, co-hosted with Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine and Christopher Noland Salon and Beauty Spa.  

 

Next stop on the book tour was the Wakefield Design Center in Stamford where Cindy headlined New England Home's Connecticut To the Trade Day with  a special talk  on the making of her book and what "Greenwich Style" means to her. 

 

We took the party into Manhattan on May 16th for another book signing, this time at the new Christopher Peacock Showroom. Cindy and Christopher go way back (when they were both starting off they shared a space in Greenwich) so it was a homecoming of sorts to do a party together. In true city style, the food and drinks (and waiters) were all delicious. Thanks to NYC&G and CTC&G for a fab night!

 

For close friends and clients (many of whose homes were featured in the book) Cindy Rinfret hosted a party with Serendipity Magazine at her favorite restaurant, Polpo. As with all the previous events, the sun was out and made for a perfectly balmy evening. 

  
 

Last stop on the book tour (for now!) was the Westchester Showhouse in Scarsdale, where Cindy signed books for visitors on June 1st.

We're taking a break from book events (after all, Cindy needs to rest her hand from all those signatures). In August we'll be back with another party - this one at the gorgeous Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI - which is featured in a chapter in the Greenwich Style. After all, Greenwich Style is a state of mind, not a place. Stay tuned for more details!



Rinfret wins the A-List Award!

The A-List Awards has become the BIG event for the Connecticut interior design community. The awards were held on September 13th at the Stamford Palace (as last year's venue, The Wesport Playhouse, could not accommodate the 600 attendees this year) and it felt like the biggest party of the season. Our fabulous emcee, the esteemed interior designer Eric Cohler, said it was like the Oscars of interior design. We think that Billy Crystal better watch his back as Mr. Cohler knew how to keep this awards show super entertaining!

The awards were especially exciting for Team Rinfret as we were nominated for the Best Living Space category, which is kind of like the Best Picture category - it's a big one. So we were beyond belief THRILLED to hear celebrity designer, Thom Filicia announce our win and call Cindy Rinfret up to the stage. (By the way, Thom Filicia was absolutely hysterical! In fact, I want to be BFF's with Thom Filicia, Eric Cohler and Alexa Hampton, they just exuded fun up there.)

 Here is Cindy talking about her award-winning project. This living space is a show-stopper down to the smallest details, like hand-stiched felt paneling from Holland & Sherry along the window treatments. This project was also featured on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine and you can see more photos of that spread here. Below is one of our favorite images of the space:

We love what Alexa Hampton had to say about this room, she says the space "has a mix of functions and a calming color scheme that would appeal to any age or gender." Thank you Alexa, we can't help but agree!

Eric Cohler and Thom Filicia should seriously star in a comedy show together. The two were a riot and had the audience on their toes when they announced that they were the winners of the Living Spaces category. But once the joking was done, Thom revealed that Rinfret won - what a rush to see the company name up on the big screen!

In addition to our win, we were thrilled that Hilton-Vanderhorn Architects won the category for Traditional Architecture greater than 7,000 square feet. Rinfret, Ltd. worked with Hilton-Vanderhorn on this incredible Greenwich, CT home and it was wonderful to see the hard work paid off. To check out this project as featured in New England Home Magazine, click here.

The A-Lists definitely felt like a star-studded event (and with judges like Thom Filicia, Alexa Hampton and Victoria Hagan, they were). Above are Rinfret's own stars: Taylor Lagerloef, Jim Farthing and Beatriz Beatriz Santiz posing in front of the photo screen.

We exited the awards high off our win and got to keep that exhiliration going with a sugar high thanks to this tower of cupcakes. Here I am, Elizabeth Ethirdge McGann, enjoying the bounty of icing.

 Here's a closeup of the coveted A-List award that Cindy proudly held at the after-party. (Side note: How great does Cindy's hair look? Big shout out to the pro's at Christopher Noland Salon for her fab look.)

Our winning project will be featured (along with the winners of all sixteen categories) in the November issue of athome. We can't wait to see it! In the meantime though, you can pick up the current issue of athome for a fun interview with Cindy Rinfret on her favorite indulgences and first job. 


Thank you to athome, especially to Amy Vischio, editorial and creative director of athome and the brainchild of the A-List Awards, as well as everyone at Moffly Media for such a fabulous event. Last but not least, thank you to the incredibly talented panel of judges! We are honored!

Celebrating the 8th Anniversary of CTC&G at Cindy's home

Last night Cindy Rinfret was honored to host the CTC&G (that's Connecticut Cottages & Gardens magazine, for those of you who have been living in a cave the past eight years) anniversary party at her home. Cindy and CTC&G have a long history as she was profiled in their very first issue eight years ago. Since then Cindy has designed her dream  home, Laurel Hill, where this party (and many, many others) have taken place and published her first book, Classic Greenwich Style (Rizzoli) with a second book due in 2013. CTC&G has become one of the most well respected design magazines in the area.

The party was epic, just check out the photos to see for yourself...

 
Upon entering Cindy's house, guests were greeted by friendly faces and champagne. What's better than that?

 The clouds parted so that the party could enjoy the lush grounds at Laurel Hill.

The lovely ladies of Diane James (twin sisters with their mother, Diane James, and friend) are always a delight. If you haven't seen their amazing faux flower creations that look like the real thing you need to do that right now.

Speaking of flowers, this party had gorgeous (real) arrangements, thanks to the master designers at Winston Flowers.

The party was sponsored by Nicolas Feuillatte and a huge hit at the bar were these adorable mini champagne bottles. Our personal fave was the rose champagne. Perfect for extending that summer feeling.

In addition to the champagne selections, guests were treated to a gin & tonic station, and for the more adventurous, to blueberry vodka cocktails, which were enjoyed by Rinfret ladies, Chelsea Garber, Taylor Lagerloef and Margi Vorder Bruegge. It wasn't just the booze that had us smiling, the food was absolutely delicious, thanks to the pro's at Marcia Selden Catering.
 
Cindy along with Marianne Howatson (CEO of CTC&G, above left) and DJ Carey (Editor of CTC&G, above right) toasted to the success of CTC&G. And reflected that Cindy had told the magazine in their inaugural issue that her most creative time was cocktail hour. Cheers to that!

 
Notable guests at the party included Amy Macmillan-Tambini (top left) who has been with CTC&G since the very beginning eight years ago. The most loud-spoken guest was Cindy's pet parrott, who kept party-goers on their toes at the bar.

Here I am with two of my favorite Rinfret ladies, Taylor and Cindy. It was a great night and I can't wait to get together with the rest of the Rinfret team for the A-List Awards next week!

- Elizabeth Ethridge McGann

Holiday Decorating, Part II: Creative Christmas Trees

Last week we talked about "mantel mania" and this week it's time to go inside the holiday home and take a look at the Christmas tree. After all, it's the most important decorative element this time of year. If you know Cindy Rinfret, you know that she decorates with a "more is more" philosophy, so it's no surprise that she doesn't limit herself to one tree. Each of her children have their own trees, her dogs have their own doggie tree, and sparkling trees brighten up her halls and entry.

The mother of all trees in Cindy's home is without a doubt the monumental tree in her Great Room, below:

A tree like this one demands a lot of ornaments. Luckily for Cindy she has a great selection of ornaments at her own shop, Rinfret Home & Garden, that she can choose from. (If you're close to Greenwich Avenue then lucky you too!)

Here are some of our favorite ornaments right now (all available at Rinfret Home & Garden):

Doesn't this charming ornament remind you of those fantastic, super preppy Tommy Hilfiger ads?


We also love these lifelike red cardinals that you can affix to your tree, wreath, or anything else you can imagine for a festive pop of red that feels fresher than just a glitzy red ball.
If you're more into bling than birds, you'll want these luxe crystal ornaments that will make your chandelier jealous of your Christmas tree.

Cindy's Marketing Director, Elizabeth, loves this doggie ornamanet because it looks just like her Korean Jindo dog. If she could get a Korean Jindo ornament at Rinfret Home & Garden, then we're willing to bet they can get you whatever breed you can think of!


Speaking of dogs, how cute do Cindy's goldens look in her hallway, framed by these simply elegant trees?

Cindy not only has special dog ornaments for her goldens but a whole Christmas tree dedicated to the four legged family members. Check it out:



If you like the idea of a special little tree but aren't a dog person, you should check out the famous Rinfret Teddy Bear Tree:

This is sure to please family members young in age and young at heart.

We could go on and on about all the great ornaments and decorative accessories for Christmas trees but you'll have a lot more fun if you simply come down to Rinfret Home & Garden and check out what we have first hand! While you're at it, you can count how many trees we have (there are a lot).


We hope to see you soon!

How to get your home ready for the holidays

The holiday season is upon us, Halloween has come and gone, and in our part of New England, we've even already had our first blizzard. It's time to start thinking about holiday entertaining and decorating. Cindy has some great tips for taking the stress out of making your home festive and inviting to guests (and you!)...

Think outside the box
Don't rely on Pottery Barn for all of your holiday decorating inspiration - do something personal that you have never seen before. Cindy is a dog lover and has the golden retrievers to prove it, so each year she dedicates a special Christmas tree to her dogs. It's decorated in adorable dog-themed ornaments and setup in the mud room, which is the stomping ground for the pooches. The tree is a great conversation starter at parties and more importantly, brings a smile to Cindy's face every time she sees it.


Make your home cozy and inviting
This is something that you should want for your home year round, but it is especially important around the holidays when you want to make your family and friends feel immediately comfortable at your house.


Faux fur throws are the perfect accessory to cozy up a room. They feel absolutely luxurious but are most of all comfortable. It's just the trick to add both style and comfort to a room. Another tip for fab parties is to make sure that there's plenty of comfy seating for your guests and that the furniture is arranged to make it easy to chat while simultaneously drinking and eating.

Entertain in style!

Take a tip from Mad Men, and whip up an old school cocktail with a fancy shaker (and yes, that means make cocktails - it's much more interesting than the standard white wine that everyone is sick of by their 5th holiday party).

Your guests will notice your extra effort and creativity and you'll find yourself energized by the excitement of using and trying new things.

The best part? You can get all this great stuff (from fur throws and ornaments, to the serving trays and cocktail shakers) at Rinfret Home & Garden. So go ahead and make your home cozy and your parties fabulous! It's easy and fun!

Cindy's Favorite Spots in Greenwich

Cindy Rinfret is not your average Greenwich local, she knows this town inside and out, after all, she did write a book called Classic Greenwich Style. Everyone is always asking Cindy what her fave spots in town are, so rather than keep these insider sources to the Rinfret design clients and Cindy's pals, we decided to share the love with you.

Favorite Restaurant: Polpo
Polpo is a classic. Great people-watching and dancing on Friday nights!
Hair Salon: Warren Tricomi
I love Lea for color – blondes do have more fun! Michael and Margot are great for a cut and blow-dry.
Sushi: Kokoro
Best sushi and waiters in town! Kokoro is great for lunch.
Yummy Photography Cakes: Black Forest Bakery
Email your favorite picture and they will put it on a cake for you.
Event Planning/Catering: Jon Cutler
Always there for effortless dinner parties and events. He also has a cute wait staff!
Wine: Liquor Pantry in Port Chester
Has everything, especially “skinny girl” margaritas.
Pharmacy: Grannicks
Support your established local business -- and they deliver!
Best place for people-watching: Whole Foods
They should have happy hour from 5-7.
Gifts: Michelangelo’s
Make any gift special with their custom engraving. I love their St. Christopher enamel necklaces, “The Patron Saint of Travel” – you have to get these for all your loved ones.
Jewelry: Alma Workshops
Alvaro is a master of gems and jewelry. Hill will make anything for you! What a talent!
Outdoor Furniture & Home Accessories: Restoration Hardware
Margaret is the best! She will always help you find what you need to accessorize and furnish your home. If not…got to Rinfret Home & Garden and see Hilary and Jim!!
There, now you know all the secrets!

Outdoor Entertaining

It’s time to throw a party outside!
June is the perfect month for an outdoor party – everyone is still giddy about sunshine and summer, and the oppressive heat of July and August have not yet set in. Cindy adores both the outdoors and parties so she is the ultimate hostess when it comes to outdoor entertaining – here are some of her best tips for throwing a fete en plein air.
  1. Set the table in style
Just because your outdoors doesn’t mean that you need to use a plastic gingham tablecloth and plastic sporks. Bring some glamour to outdoor dining and set a beautiful table, complete with flowers and candles – and real silverware!

  1. Be more creative than hotdogs and franks
Sure, everyone loves a good old fashioned BBQ but just as delicious and more unexpected is a grilled pizza. Cindy is lucky enough to have a state of the art pizza oven but even if you don’t, you can still grill a delicious pizza on your grill.
For our fellow tri-state hostesses, if you have not already, you must check out Mario Batali’s latest gourmet experience, Tarry Market in Port Chester. Here you can find the most delicious cheeses, proscuitto, olive oils, breads and more.
If you’re not in the mood for pizza (which is almost incomprehensible, but anyway) you could go the more refined route and do tea sandwiches for a proper English Garden Party ambience. Cucumber and creamcheese is so easy and yummy to make (just cut off the crusts and cut the bread diagonally and voila) but if even that sounds too daunting you can always just call up the kind folks at the Drawing Room in Cos Cob, who can whip up some pre-made tea sandwiches for you
  1. PIMMS!
No garden party is complete without Pimms No. 1 Cup, which is a British Liquer that makes for the best fruity garden cocktail. A staple at an English Garden Party or Polo Match, Pimms is the perfect summer drink as it’s light, cool, fruity and delicious. Plus, it's not too heavy on the alcohol so you can drink away all day and still be standing by sunset.
Now that we’ve given you the tools for a perfect garden party, step away from the computer and go outside and make this happen!
Cheers!!

Tricks of the trade

To say that Cindy Rinfret has a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to creating gorgeous interiors would be the ultimate understatement. A design education at RISD and the University of Copenhagen School of Architecture will give you that, not to mention over twenty years working in the trade with the best architects, upholsterers and stylists.

Here are six of Cindy's best tricks for creating an inviting space.

1. THROW PILLOWS
Got a limited budget? Instead of going broke on an expensive new sofa splurge instead on fabulous throw pillows. Luxurious pillows will bring new life to your sofa and make it look expensive.

We have the most amazing selection of throw pillows in Rinfret Home & Garden right now (as seen above in cheery, spring colors) plus more to be found in our online shop.

2. PAINT THE CEILING
If you have low ceilings there is something you can do to give the appearance of height. Never leave your ceiling white. This is a huge pet peeve of Cindy's. Too often people will put time and energy into decorating a room and then stop short with the ceiling. You can choose a complimentary color to your walls but that may be better left to a professional, so to play it safe you can also simply use the same color as your walls but 50% lighter for the ceiling.


In the above dining room the blue ceiling perfectly compliments the hand-painted wall covering.

3. BE BRAVE
Be brave in design and think outside the box. Try something new and find inspiration in the unexpected. Cindy often incorporates unusual finds from her travels into her interior design.


In Cindy's master bedroom at Laurel Hill, above, she used an unusual piece that she found in Thailand for her headboard.

4. THINK BIG
Think BIG when it comes to lighting. A common mistake is going too small with light fixtures. It can be hard to visualize how a lantern in a crowded showroom will look in your open entryway. So many times our clients will see the enormous box containing their new light fixture and worry that the scale will be too way big - but once they see it installed they immediately recognize why Cindy chose that size. You want people to notice your beautiful light fixtures (especially since these pieces are often pricey) so don't be afraid to make an impact.

See what we mean?

5. IT'S IN THE DETAILS
The beauty is in the details. The fun part of design is in adding the personal touch that says something about you and your family. Whether that be a gorgeous coffee table book that shows off your love of fashion, a map from a favorite city, or a monogrammed pillow, details add personality. Plus, people will notice (and even if they don't, we guarantee that you will, and that's what it's all about).


Even for a decorator show house, Cindy made the extra effort to bring in pieces that referenced the environment of the show house (in this case, the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI).

6. ACCESSORIZE!!!
Last but not least: accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Much like the ceiling that is left white, too many projects are left unaccessorized. It's not uncommon to lose steam after spending so much time (and money) finding the perfect rug, furniture and fabrics for your room -- but don't! Accessories are the jewelry of a room. The power of a well placed throw, vase, book or chic tray is not to be underestimated.


The above vignette would be far less interesting without the urn, lantern, frames, art and mirror.

Still feeling greedy for more insider tips? Check out this fantastic interview on the Asmara website (where you will also find the most gorgeous rugs) and hear Cindy describe her process in creating the beautiful design of the Tower Suite at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI. (We encourage you to also check out our blog post on this project as well.)

What's Hot & What's Not: Cindy's Design Philosophy

This past weekend Cindy gave a presentation to the Junior League of Greenwich on "What's Hot & What's Not" in interior design. Her talk was so well received that we thought we should share it with all of you here.

The main takeaway from the lecture was that homes are meant to be lived in and should be luxurious yet comfortable and reflect your personality and your family's lifestyle. The days of living and dining rooms that are only used for guests are over. As Cindy loves to say, "life is too short to put your jewelry in the vault -- wear it!" Here are some photos that Cindy showed in her presentation as examples of how her own home reflects her philosophy of comfortable luxury and the importance of making your home work for your lifestyle.

Cindy's dining room is intimate in scale and that's how she likes it. The space is perfect for dinners at home with her family.


Cindy loves to throw big dinner parties, and when she does (like the time she had over forty guests at her house for Thanksgiving) she clears out the furniture and makes a grand statement with a long table.

In addition to entertaining, Cindy loves the outdoors. Her "outdoor dining room," complete with a pizza oven, is picture-perfect for a baby shower.


A favorite place in Cindy's home is her outdoor living room. Some might think that Connecticut is not an ideal place for outdoor living but Cindy and her family have been known to linger by the fire in this "room" as they cuddle under blankets while holding hot drinks.

Many of you have seen Cindy's designs in gorgeous magazine spreads, or in her book, but have you ever wondered what these rooms looked like before Cindy blessed them with her magic touch? Cindy brought the JL ladies behind the scenes into some of her most fabulous projects and let's just say that there were lots of oohs and ahhs in the room. See for yourself:

Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee look fabulous in their ultra-luxe penthouse duplex in the iconic Plaza Hotel. But what this spread doesn't reveal is that this super chic apartment had to be totally gut-renovated before it could achieve the aura of timeless elegance. This photo of the same staircase shows just how much work went into creating it:


Here's another gorgeous spread:

Take a look at the same master bedroom during construction and before the addition of the glamorous headboard and chic bedding from Leotine Linens.

As you can see, the Plaza project for Tommy was a total renovation. Interior design doesn't always have be about gut renovation to achieve dramatic results. Accessories can result in a dramatic transformation, without the headache of painting or construction. The difference that some accessories can make is evident in a project that Cindy did for a Greenwich family that won Connecticut Cottages & Gardens' Innovation in Design Awards in 2010. The magazine had to shoot the home for their IDA issue but the client had not yet accessorized so we had to bring over items from Rinfret Home & Garden to get the client's dining room, below, photo shoot ready.

Here's the magazine-worthy result:


Well, we hope you enjoyed this little teaser on Cindy's presentation for the Junior League. It goes to show that you don't have to do a total gut renovation to achieve dramatic results. And when decorating, always remember that your home should make you feel comfortable so stay away from anything that doesn't suit your lifestyle because this is YOUR home. Now go decorate!