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!

What I did this summer - by Taylor, the Rinfret summer intern

My summer as an intern at Rinfret is coming to a close and to say that this internship was enriching would be an understatement on all accounts. My summer working at Rinfret has allowed me to learn, experience and witness far more than I could have ever anticipated. From my very first day when Cindy Rinfret walked me through the installation of a spectacular home in Greenwich, I knew that this was going to be an irreplaceable opportunity.

As a soon-to-be senior in college, I have been mulling over what exactly I am going to do for a career for quite some. Interning at Rinfret allowed me to experience firsthand the realities of a successful business in the Interior Design industry. During my first week, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon hosted by Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, where Cindy and Dinyar Wadia discussed the realities of this industry, in terms of design and decorating trends.

Above, the Indian Harbor Yacht Club where the lecture was held.

As the lecture progressed, I found myself mesmerized by the discourse between Cindy and Mr. Wadia. At one point in the lecture, they discussed security for the homes that they create, as many of these homes are located in wealthy areas and belong to high-profile clients. Cindy began describing certain "safety rooms" that she had developed for several clients. The purpose of these rooms that she created was to provide shelter, clean air, and necessary resources in the event that another September 11th were to occur. I found this to be compelling because it went far beyond the scope of anything one might imagine for a normal, everyday home, but it exemplifies how function is so highly considered in design.

At another point in the lecture, an audience member asked Cindy how she begins her design process with a new client and if she is able to instinctively pinpoint their tastes right off the bat. Cindy said that there are certain crucial factors that she considers right away, such as their careers, if they have children, and if they have pets. Cindy also noted that she tries to get a strong sense of a client's lifestyle beyond considering how much space they may need inside the home. For example, it might be a family that weekends in the Hamptons, or sits down to a formal dinner every night, or they might have a strong passion for sailing or skiing. She also recognizes how people carry themselves and whether their lifestyle is formal or casual. All of these components together ultimately translate into the vision for the home design.

Listening to Cindy recount this process really resonated with me because design is all about collaborating and learning to work with different personalities and tastes. Furthermore, some of the comments that Cindy made tapped into a psychological side of design, previously unbeknownst to me, and it is something that I ruminated over even after the lecture had completed. I shared these points with friends and family when they asked about my internship because it shows that there is an incredibly critical aspect to design, being that a designer can identify someone's style immediately, and the process is far more than simply choosing paint colors.
Above, an example of a yachting style mood board.

About midway through June, I was helping keep track of updates for an installation in Greenwich when Cindy approached me and asked if I wanted to help her design a room. At this point in summer, I had become so familiar with the products we had in the studio and I had been eager to work on a project that involved some creativity. Cindy told me to grab some Designer's Worksheets and we began by selecting a drapery fabric and moving forth from there. This particular client wanted to keep their existing rug, so we kept choosing fabrics, accessories, and furnishings that coordinated well with the rug until the room was turned into a complete thought.

Being able to shadow Cindy with this design project was such a phenomenal experience because I hope to have my own design company eventually and Rinfret, Ltd. serves as such an inspiration for me. One of the greatest things about my internship is that Cindy and all of the Rinfret designers have all wanted to help me learn. I have had so much more responsibility than a “standard” internship, for instance, where designated tasks might only include filing, copying, and faxing. Being treated as more than an intern has allowed me to learn and expand my abilities, and has given me a strong idea of what a career in this industry will be like. It has been an amazing summer – from meetings with vendors where I viewed new collections, to photo shoots, to assisting with home installations, to picking out furnishings and accessories. I even went with the Rinfret team to the Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Innovation In Design Awards Party. Here I am below with the team, from left to right: Chelsea Garber, Jo Ann Zawalski, Kristen Farrington Dawson, Elizabeth Ethridge McGann, me (Taylor Lagerloef) and Cindy Rinfret:

As my internship is about to culminate, I am wrapping up last-minute projects and assignments. I have been helping one of the designers pick out certain trims and wall-coverings for a client. We wanted to look at some new options, so just last week I was finally able to make it into the city to go to the Decoration & Design Building. In addition to our need for new products, I figured it would be an important place to visit, especially because I had never been before. I must admit, it was a bit overwhelming as there are many showrooms in the building, but I knew exactly what I needed and where I needed to go in the building to find it.

Back in the studio, I would call the showrooms in the D & D Building on a daily basis to check availability of products, place orders, and follow up to ensure the orders arrived on time (which I quickly realized requires a lot of follow-up). It was a bit surreal to finally visit the home base for pretty much everything I had been working on this summer, but I found exactly what I needed and was able to pick up samples right on the spot – definitely a relief as opposed to waiting for them to arrive to the studio!

Check out this stationary monogrammed with Cindy's name from Schumacher (always a required destination at the D&D):

I am now in my second to last week at Rinfret. I am able to look back and realize how fortunate I have been to gain so much knowledge of this industry, inside and out. It is difficult to simply recapitulate what I have learned from this internship as a whole, but on a daily basis I was able to approach work from more than just an intern’s perspective and begin to get a sense of all aspects of a design concept. Although I return to school in two weeks, I couldn’t be more eager and thrilled to graduate and continue a career in interior design.
Yours Truly,
Taylor Lagerloef

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!