2018 Design Market Honoree
Over the last three decades, the name Cindy Rinfret—principal designer of Rinfret, Ltd.—has become synonymous with Greenwich, CT, style. She not only wrote the book on it—she wrote two. Both published by Rizzoli, the first, Classic Greenwich Style, hit well-curated coffee tables in 2006 and the sequel, Greenwich Style: Inspired Family Homes, came out in 2013. Celebrities like Tommy Hilfiger and Regis Philbin are on Rinfret’s client list, a group of people who have experienced her top-to-bottom approach. Rinfret, Ltd., employs a full design team and an in-house architect. “We don’t just decorate—we design, do trims, bathroom vanities and kitchens, and consult on layouts,” says Rinfret, who was inducted into the New England Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2013.
Educated at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Copenhagen School, Rinfret’s goal is to create luxurious yet comfortable spaces that are timeless for her clients. “We get the bones right. Then you don’t have to over-decorate a pretty girl,” laughs Rinfret.
For inspiration, Rinfret says she first looks close to home. “Greenwich is inspirational, aspirational [and has] beautifully designed architecture and interiors,” says Rinfret. “It is classic style, success and a well-traveled collective vision on design.” Rinfret herself is well-traveled. “It influences everything, not only in my work, but in my life. I think India and Morocco are inspiring because their attention to detail in terms of architecture, design and color sense are amazing. Europe has a different sensibility but is equally inspiring—it’s more of a historical inspiration,” says Rinfret. Finally, her clients also spark creativity in Rinfret: “The best clients are clients who like design and who enjoy the process.”
Over her diverse career, Rinfret has worked on hotels, including The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, where she designed the Tower Suite. “It was a difficult floor plan, like a tree house, on many levels,” say Rinfret. Another favorite project was Tommy Hilfiger’s Plaza Hotel apartment. “I spent a month with artist Hilary Knight who drew the ‘Eloise at The Plaza’ painting and illustrated the classic book,” recalls Rinfret. “We worked on a mural for the turret room and as a bonus he so kindly signed a book for my daughter! If that was not enough, the art collection was so inspirational and mind-blowing. Being around Warhols and Basquiats every day was a joy.”
Currently, Rinfret is working on a waterfront build in Greenwich, a duplex apartment on Park Avenue and a Palm Beach home designed by the late famed architect Addison Mizner and owned by John Lennon. She’s also working on a luxury accessory brand project and a new book, and gives back to the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT, through fundraising and advisory responsibilities. However, she says her focus will remain on her passion—elegant, yet easy design and maintains that your home should be “like the perfect cashmere sweater with your most comfortable jeans.” Explains Rinfret: “I think your home should be a vision of your lifestyle—comfortable and a reflection of the things that make you feel most relaxed and serene and happy.”